We needed quick thinking to create a distraction last night. It was 5:30 PM and Lukas, Mrs. LIAYF and I had just arrived home from work/pre-school. As a reward for having a good day at school, we had given him some jelly bellies on the ride home. Apparently, they met with his approval. "They have sprinkles!" he enthusiastically let us know.
However, any thought that the beans would appease his sweet tooth was wishful thinking. That's because as soon as he walked into the house Lukas turned into a Candy Zombie and walked with his arms outstretched toward the refrigerator, on top of which his candy jar resided, calling 'Caaaaannnnnndddddyyyyy'. I might be slightly misremembering but I'm sure you get the gist.
"Why don't we play a game instead?" Mrs. LIAYF suggested. "Maybe you can have another treat if you finish all your dinner. How about we play Candy Land?"
Now, I was skeptical about the notion that we could actually distract our son from pleading for candy by playing a confection themed board game with him, but I am frequently proven wrong these days, so I decided to play along. Literally. I was the Blue Gingerbread Man. Lukas, of course, chose the Red figure. His Mother, the Yellow.
It was a brand new game so we got the pleasure of removing the plastic and getting a whiff of that new game smell. The board even crackled as we opened it flat for the first time. We all brimmed with excitement as we got our first glimpses of the Lollipop Woods, Gumdrop Pass, and the Chocolate Swamp. I however, was bit disappointed when I learned that there was no Big Rock Candy Mountain in this particular version. I had brief visions of little streams of al key haul trickling down the rocks.
Mrs. LIAYF was in charge of shuffling the deck, which apparently she didn't do too well because upon drawing the 2nd card off the deck, yours truly pulled the Ice Cream Cone card moving me nearly to the end of the game on my very first draw.
So long Suckas!
From there it was an easy couple of draws until I reached the Candy Castle and declared myself King Kandy. Bwaahahahahaha. I briefly thought about collecting a candy tax from Lukas' Trick-or-Treat bowl, but feared an uprising.
To his credit, that didn't phase Lukas much. Especially since we started up a 2nd game right away. Plus, after a few mediocre draws by each of us it was he who was the beneficiary of a long jump up the board leaving both parents in his wake. He was now enjoying game. However his mood changed instantly when he got stuck on a pesky licorice square, causing him to lose a turn and for the reigning King Kandy to catch up quickly.
In retrospect it may have been my taunting that caused the wailing and the tears to flow. Perhaps I laid it on a teensy bit too thick.
Whatever the reason, we convinced our little guy that the game wasn't over and that we didn't know what would happen next. And fittingly, with his next draw the reigning King was humiliatingly forced back to the start of the game, leaving the usurper an unobstructed path straight into Candy Castle.
There were smiles. There were laughs. There were hugs. A new King was crowned.
And after finishing his dinner, he had candy.