Snapple does it to them. Kiwi Strawberry. Causes odd, unexpected, uncontrollable reactions. Not allergic, thankfully. Just idiotic fits that exhibit a true lack of self control. It brings out an animal like response. I don't buy the stuff, thus the ramped up excitement level when they make contact with it. My mom will occasionally drop off a large jug of Kiwi Strawberry, because she has watched them gulp it down at her house. She's witnessed the happy, grandma's-the-best moments. She is lucky to escape the irrational, I-will-do-anything-to-get-me-more-of-that-liquid-love-in-a-bottle fight that Coach and I have survived on a few occasions. She recognizes that it is a treat for them. If it is on sale, one magically appears on the kitchen counter top while we are out.
I have refused to open the unannounced gift at times in order to wait for all Snapple lovers to be present, accounted for, and thirsty. That is harder to do than it sounds. Six kids tend to drift between after school activities, caddying jobs, and friends houses like leaves on a windy day (only noisier). If I wait too long to give my blessing to open it, someone will open it when they think no one else is around. Then we all have to hear about the wrong that has been done to a Snapple starved sibling.
When I do open it and pour it into anxiously awaiting cups, somehow the portions are never fair. Whatever is left over after the initial mother-monitored serving, gets mysteriously hijacked from the fridge when no one else is around. There is typically a gasp heard across town when someone discovers that the sweet, pink inventory has dipped below its last observed line. A Snapple container housing less than a sip hidden discreetly behind the pasta sauce in the fridge is obviously a sign of foul play.
It's embarrassing to admit that my offspring aren't smart enough to do away with the evidence properly when they actually do finish the remaining sip. Shoving the empty container under the newspapers in the recycling bin might aid the thirsty fellow in getting away with his Snapple slurping crime. Few of us would ever remember that there was actually a drop of Snapple remaining in the gallon size bottle in the fridge, if it was simply disposed of properly. No, one of my clueless brood actually tosses the evidence behind the television stand. The TV is positioned on a small cabinet with one door partially broken off and an array of DVDs fanned out on the carpet before it. This scene, straight from House Beautiful magazine, is angled in the corner of the room partially blocking a window. The space created by this arrangement is apparently the perfect landing spot for an empty, gifted-from-grandma, clear plastic container of Snapple. It's true my housekeeping habits don't include vigorously inspecting, dusting, or collecting debris from behind the TV. Perhaps this clan is intelligent after all. One of them has observed that this off limits haven for dust bunnies can throw me off the path for ages.
I should point out that my children do not limit their consumer-love solely to the Snapple product. I rarely purchase individual portions of Gatorade. Our kids pack up reusable water bottles to their sporting events. So much cheaper. Anyway, a few years back I purchased a case of Gatorade bottles during the summer. I was organizing an enormous garage sale for the kids' school, and I thought they would be easy to pack for the kids while they endured long hours of mommy sorting stacks of smelly clothes in the hot school. Tetonka was getting picked up by a neighbor for basketball camp. When his ride arrived, he made a mad dash down the basement stairs. His excuse was something along the lines of 'Forgot to turn off the lights down there.' On his way out, he shuffled past me without rotating his body towards the door. Odd. Was he practicing some kind of basketball drill? With an eyebrow raised, I watched him head out the door. If I had blinked I would have missed it. There in the back waistband of his shorts covered by his t-shirt was an ill concealed Gatorade. Unreal. Later that day I headed to the grocery store with Curly. She was about 3 years old. When we arrived, she wouldn't get out of her car seat. She insisted that she would just wait in the car. Baffled, I chuckled. Since when do I leave kids in the car at the grocery store? Eventually I got her out of the seat. There behind her was a sweaty bottle of blue Gatorade. She winced and offered me a sheepish grin.
There are many foods that I rarely purchase, because it requires too much energy to fight off the clan for very long. When there is a treat in the house, they sense it. I often joke with baggers at the store who offer to help me to my car, that I really need help at home stashing the good stuff so that it doesn't disappear overnight. A package of frosted animal crackers just surfaced in Laddie and Eddie's room. Only crumbs remained. This bag of cookies traveled directly from the cabinet to their room. It bypassed the pantry shelf. It was never made free game to the other cookie lovers (OK, I love those damn things and I couldn't believe I never ate a single cookie). I don't buy those often, and I only bought one bag. Gone.
Today Coach asked me to identify something he stumbled across in the back of the fridge. Always dicey. It took me a minute. Sealed neatly in a zip loc bag were two Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls. I was perplexed. Let me clarify: they were uncooked. Who would put two raw rolls in a zip loc bag? Where were the rest? Laddie has used the oven on occasion when I wasn't home. Not something I encourage. I once came home to the most God awful smell. Never did find out what he attempted to 'cook' in there. I cornered Laddie and Eddie. Did either teenage son know what the back story was to the lonely looking rolls? Eventually Eddie cracked. What tin did you use to bake them in? Oh, no, he assured us. He didn't bother to cook them. He figured he ate about 3 of them. Couldn't account for the other three. Gross. Literally. Salmonella?
This diving into whatever they can get their paws on has reached new levels. Perhaps we could channel our excitement over treats, and star in some reality based TV commercials. Viewers might actually stay tuned.