When I was a little girl, my mother used to take us grocery shopping with her. I had two older sisters, and my Mom was smart enough not to take all of us with her at the same time. She had us on a rotating schedule, which meant that each child had her turn to accompany her to the A&P while the other two stayed home.
The child of the week had the honor of selecting the cereal and a bag of candy for the week. We didn’t often get candy, but my mother would always have a small bag on hand tucked up in the highest kitchen cabinet that we couldn’t possibly reach even if the three of us collaborated all of our efforts.
The cereal of the week was no problem. The sister on deck would usually select a variety pack, so everyone was happy, more or less. But the candy was a different story. Every three weeks, when it was my turn, I would come home from the store with my favorite candy on the face of the earth….B B BATS! And, every three weeks, my sisters would pull the bag of B B BATS out of the grocery bag and groan out loud. I guess they didn’t like them as much as I did. Since they always came home with something different, I didn’t see what the problem was.
My two older sisters tried every trick in the book to get me to bring home something, anything , but B B BATS. They reasoned with me. They teased me. They bribed me. Finally, they threatened me. One day, when I was waiting to leave for the A&P with my mother, my siblings cornered me. The older one kept a lookout for parental units while the eldest grabbed me by the shirt and said, “If you come home with B B BATS again, I’m gonna kick your butt!” I told you they didn’t like them.
Just a few minutes later I was in the candy aisle at the A&P with my mother encouraging me to take my time selecting a candy. She pointed out the Tootsie Rolls, Tootsie Pops, Hershey kisses, gum drops, licorice whips and more. Hunh, maybe she was in on the conspiracy as well. I never thought of that before. I took my time looking at all of those tempting treats. As I considered my options, I remembered my sister’s threat and the crazed look in her pretty green eyes. It was scary. I made my choice.
When we got home, my sisters were waiting to help unload the bags, another family ritual. But, they seemed even more enthusiastic as they waited to see what their threat had delivered in the way of a sugar high. As for myself, I waited with eager anticipation to see their reaction when the discovered their treat for the week. One sister pulled out the bag of candy, and the two of the stared at it in disbelief as I gave them a great big grin. There it was….a nice big bag of B B BATS!
There are several life lessons in this fun little story. First of all, sometimes threats just don’t work, even with a younger sibling who is much smaller than you. Second, never underestimate the incomparable stubbornness of that same sibling. It’s important to remember that some of us have (as my father used to say) “more guts then brains.” Keep in mind that occasionally it’s okay to take a chance and disregard the consequences, but I’d be careful with that one. Finally, and most importantly, sometimes a girl just has to have her B B BATS!
Cheryl Ilov, PT, GCFP