Stealing Candy

“Guys, don’t mention it, okay?”

I’m smuggling a bag of Reese’s peanut butter cups back to my room, hidden under a towel. As soon as they’re hidden I sit innocently down at my desk, trying to look like a person who would never steal a bag of Reese’s, under any circumstances.

I’m not on an enforced diet. I’m not a cruel older sister, torturing my younger siblings by stealing their treats. No, I’m an over-indulgent aunt, and am trying to smuggle some of my purchases back to my room out of sight of my three- year-old niece Yasmin.

She’s too sharp, however, and a moment later a shrill cry rises from the living room.

“THEY’RE GONE! WHO STOLED THEM! SOMEBOLLY STOLED THEM!!!”

I sit tight and wonder how on earth I am reduced to smuggling my own sweets through the house to my room- as I’m sure you who are reading this do also.

This morning, we took her shopping. She was brushed up and ready to go- but before she leaves she has to have her Bath and Body Works ‘otion’ all over- her hair included. Her dress must obviously be the one she likes best, and we are fortunate that it’s not something silly like a party dress. Her earrings, of course, and now that she’s ready to go she has misplaced her shoes. By the time we get her in the car she’s exhausted, and falls asleep.

Which may not be a good thing. When we reach the store she is awake and bouncing.

“Let’s buy this! We need some sour ones, Juwayliyah!!”

So the sour ones go into the cart.

“And we should get some for everybolly too!”

So the infamous Reese’s go into the cart- although  I have to confess my intentions are far less altruistic than hers are, and I intend to eat them myself.

She also purchases a little blue nightie with pink Hello Kitty dotted all over it. It was on sale. She is fine after that- until we get into the toy section. Then, because I am not going to spend any more money- but also don’t want to fall out of her good graces- I abandon her to her father and listen innocently from the next aisle.

“But Baba, I need this one! And her clothes……..here are her clothes!”

I hear my brother try to offer her something, then Yasmin says decidedly-

“No.”

Well so much for that, Dad.

When I see her next, she’s clutching a big basket of toy food under her arm, but still racing around pointing out the best of this and that. Other shoppers watch with a smile- she’s red-headed and adorable and clearly in charge of her father.

She also manages to coerce me into buying a big bag of tortilla chips and dip. I furtively count my babysitting money and agree- just to keep her hyperactivity confined to the cart. (I told her to hold them so they wouldn’t get crushed.)

When we got home, she sequestered all of these things onto her little table and started playing with them- including the Reese’s intended for me;I sit forlornly contemplating the consequences of taking them away- and then she ran into the kitchen and started asking someone for water.

I saw my opportunity. I snuck past the kitchen door, snatched the bag of peanut butter cups, and fled.

“SOMEBOLLY STOLED THEM……………….”

P.S: She forgot in approximately three minutes.

P.S.S: I feel kind of sorry for her future husband. Only kind of, of course.