Saturday 01 Oct 2016

More Cupcakes
Jennifer Flaten

After I paid for my two cupcakes, the clerk asked if I needed a bag. The implication being he didn’t think I needed one. This gave me pause. Wal-Mart is notorious for giving you a bag per item. Why did this fellow think I didn’t need a bag?


Was I going to scarf up the cupcakes, right away?

Sure, I was at Wal-Mart buying cupcakes. It was at 2 pm on a Thursday. Did I actually look as if I was going to scarf up those cupcakes on my way to car?

I mean, it was one of those days, but I know I fixed my hair and makeup before I went to the store, so I was reasonably sure I didn’t look like I was in desperate of a sugar fix. I hoped, at least, I looked like I could wait to get home before breaking out the fork. I mean, he couldn’t possibly know the Swiss Army knife at the bottom of my purse has a cute little spoon, just right for eating cupcakes on the go.

Was I sending out some invisible signal, indicating I can‘t control myself around cupcakes. Perhaps, he thought I needed cupcakes because a gaggle of loud children surrounds me.


As soon as we reached the check out clerk, the fisticuffs started.

It took three tries to pay the clerk because the kids kept interrupting me. It wasn’t enough that they spent the entire shopping trip poking and irritating each other, and by extension me, but they had to pick the minute we get to the clerk to break into fisticuffs.

Maybe the clerk hadn’t pegged me as a sprinkle addict. Maybe he assumed I would stuff a cupcake in their mouth, on the way, to the car in hopes of lulling them into a sugar coma.

In case you’re wondering, yes, I have done it, given the kids snacks just to keep them quiet, for a few minutes. Some of my most cherished memories of them involve them sitting in the back seat of my car, the only sound that of the delicate crunch of a Cheeto, as I drive home from the store in blessed silence.


Where is silence?

Silence, you have no idea the lengths I am willing to go for silence. Anyone who’s spent a sub artic winter trapped inside with three energetic kids understands. Kids make as much noise as a herd of elephants charging across the savannah, in fact the elephants might be quieter.

It’s my own fault I didn’t let them watch much television or play electronic games, so instead of quiet beeps and boops or the muted sound of yet another Adventure Time marathon I had kids running through the house chasing each other.

It is never a silent chase, not even when I told them to pretend to be mimes. No, it is always a loud, knock over the television; break a lamp kind of chase.


Snacks keep my children from murdering each other.

Yes, my kids are older now, but still keeping them from murdering each other usually involves the liberal application of snacks.

When you have little kids everything you do revolves around feeding them, you assume when they get older you won’t have to cut event short because they need feeding. You’d be wrong.

I’m still scheduling our activities around feeding them. Hungry kids are grumpy, poky kids who get irritated by the simple fact their sibling is alive and breathing. Okay, so maybe their sibling is breathing directly on them but still. Thank goodness for snacks.


Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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