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Saturday, October 10, 2015
How To Steal Your Kids' Halloween Candy And Get Away With It
With candy-stealing, as with so much else in raising youngsters... the biggest mistake parents make is to act immorally rather than amorally. You tell yourself you're never going to lie to them or secretly take their things, and then eventually when you break down and do it, you are disorganized and they find out. You are a person with an ethical code who doesn't live up to that code, so your guilt trips you up. Instead you should be a person who realizes that raising children means you need to shed your ethical code completely and live beyond ridiculous concepts of good and evil. Here's how:
1. Steal big and steal early. Don't swipe their candy piece by piece as you get hungry. Taking most of their treats later means their pile is smaller and the theft is easier to notice. Plus in early November, your kids are no longer confused by a sugar rush and exhausted by the excitement of trick or treating. The time to strike is immediately after they pass out on October 31. At this point take everything you can get away with, store it in a secure location far away from their bags, and forage from that pile for the duration of the post-Halloween season.
2. For younger children, use development milestones against them. The PBS Parents webpage has an excellent year-by-year description of what your children understand about numbers and quantities. The average two year-old "identifies three or more items as 'many,'" according to the site. That sounds like a two year-old who won't miss a vat quantity of mini Snickers bars! Most three year-olds can count items up to five. At four and five years, kids can count items up to 10. And so on. Obviously each child is different and development changes happen rapidly - any parent wanting to steal from his kid needs to keep that in mind. Play a couple of math games with your kids in the week before the big day. It'll be great for both of you.
3. For older children, take photos of everything and steal from them in equal amounts. You need an exterior and an interior shot of each stash of candy (if they're all together, one exterior shot will probably do). You want to be able to duplicate how the bag or plastic pumpkin looks sitting on the shelf or table, so that it doesn't appear disturbed. The interior shot is going to help you figure out what pieces of candy are most prominent on the top part of the pile. After you do this, your job is to empty out the candy, take whatever you can manage below the top layer, and leave a quantity behind so there's still enough bulk to convince your kids nothing's been taken. You'll use the photos to reassemble their candy stashes so they appear undisturbed. Do each stash separately so you don't mix them! All this might seem like it's too much work, but you want them to be completely convinced the next morning that they have the same amount of candy. This will become the new reality, and you'll have your haul safely stored away.
4. Live the lie. If you watched the Lufthansa heist in Goodfellas you know that how you behave in the aftermath of a major theft is crucial. Don't get careless. You should practice discipline about when you eat the candy and especially what you do with the wrappers. Have a separate bag for empties with your stolen loot. Do not dump evidence of your crime into a kitchen trash bag and especially not into a small trash bin somewhere in the house. Now comes the really hard part: You need to act as if you are a parent who hasn't stolen a load of candy from his or her kids. And what does such a parent do? A parent like that mooches candy openly. Yes, you need to ask your kids for candy occasionally. I know this sounds particularly egregious - but if you don't commit to the deception they're going to find out. At least once a day, or whenever they raid their own bags, give them a look that makes them feel a little guilty. Bug them. That sickening twinge in your conscience? It's weakness, and it's leaving you. Next time it'll be easier, I promise. And you're going to need to lie to them in ways that are much, much worse, in the coming years before they head off to college.
Parenting is all about making sacrifices.