The dining room chair shoved in front of the stove should’ve been my first clue. I kept staring at this inconsistency while sipping my coffee, but nothing else was amiss.
My kids had used this maneuver to pilfer the cabinets before, but they were always sloppy about it. Cabinets were left hanging open and food scattered everywhere, like raccoons had turned over the kitchen.
And the kids were still asleep, weren’t they?
Eh, whatever. I shrugged it off and went about my day until later that morning, when I plopped down on the couch and heard the faintest crunch.
I tugged back a cushion to see a flash of yellow. I jumped off the couch, grabbed the yellow thing and pulled it out–an empty, crinkled bag of Nestle’s Mini Chocolate Chips–and then, more yellow…
ANOTHER empty bag of Nestle’s Chocolate Chips. Baffling.
I took a deep breath before peeling the cushions back all the way, which revealed TWO ENTIRE BAGS of Nestle’s Mini Chocolate Chips packed into the couch crevices.
WHAT THE HELL WAS GOING ON?
Who’s responsible for this? Think, woman, think…
Maybe Brontë, our four-year-old, because she has two years on baby sister and therefore tends to better cover her tracks. Yet Bridget is the one super-motivated by food and has already demonstrated a growing aptitude for Ninja skills.
But I’m a Ninja too. That’s where she got it.
I tucked myself onto the stairs, where I could invisibly wait..
And after some time, Bridget wandered into the living room, sucking her thumb. She slowly backed up to the couch. After checking the perimeter, her tiny hand darted into the couch cushions, coming back with a wad of chips. She shoved the chocolate wad into her mouth, chewed it up, then used her shirt to remove the smears of evidence.
I played it cool for a couple of hours while Bridget played the drooling toddler bit to absolute perfection, innocently wandering around with toys like she didn’t have six cups of chocolate chips stashed in nearby furniture. She never once succumbed to her chocolate cravings while I was in the room.
She was shoving Legos into random castles when out-of-nowhere, I hauled the H-vac in.
Flipping in on, I noticed her sudden panic at the sounds of whirling vacuum. Grabbing her blankie, she raced over and pounced on the evidence couch.
She stretched out
“I know you hid chocolate chips in the couch, Bridget. You need to move.”
She looked at the floor, got up, and backed away from the couch.
I almost felt bad about sucking away her chocolate stash. I couldn’t help being impressed by her multi-step plan.
I mean, she’s only two years old, but she thought to:
- Get up either in the middle of the night or early that morning to pilfer the chocolate supply when no one was looking
- Cover the evidence up, not only closing the cabinets but also tucking the chocolate chips evenly around all the cushions so no one could see them poking out
- Tuck the empty bags into the couch too
- Go back to bed before anyone was the wiser
- Only grab handfuls of chocolate when she was by herself, and
- Hold out to protect her chocolate stash until the gig was absolutely up.
It was almost the perfect chocolate heist. The only flaw in her devious plan was not realizing the chocolate would eventually melt and best-case scenario, she’d be left eating handfuls of melted chocolate with a bunch of lint balls and couch threads mixed in.
And her oversight led to the obliteration of our chocolate supply. Now it’s gone and mom will never store future chocolate in that cabinet again, a toddler miscalculation of potential risks and rewards.
I figure that’s punishment enough. She was this close to establishing a personal chocolate supply for days on end and I don’t think her big sister had any clue what was going down.
You’re a dark horse, Bridget, but I’m onto you. For now.