Why Mama Eats Blue Cotton Candy

“Children may be deductible, but they’re still taxing.”

~Mell Lazarus


So last week I got desperate. It had been raining non-stop all week, Rhema was home from school and out of her normal routine, and both girls were going stir crazy. They needed to go to that special place ‘where a kid can be a kid.’ So I did the unthinkable and took them to (gulp) Chuck E. Cheese.

As soon as we got to the place, the girls took off in opposite directions. I felt like a guilty boyfriend on a date with two women, running from one to the other, supplying tokens and assisting them onto rides.

I was buckling Hope into the Chuck-e-Derby when I saw a commotion near a basketball game. The game ChuckECheeseGameconsisted of a big shoe in which the balls come down the front of the shoe and you shoot baskets into the top. Apparently Rhema crawled in through the opening in the front and was standing inside the “cage” area where the basket is.

Any time someone took a shot Rhema was there to happily catch their ball and keep it for herself. She was tossing up balls with a squeal of “Wheeeeeee!”. She was like Air Jordan with a couple of dunk shots and some serious hang time from the rim. (That’s my girl!)

I climbed up the outside of the shoe in my most dignified manner (- we had an audience.) And, while balancing on shoelaces, I lifted her out.

Then Chuck E. Cheese himself appeared. Rhema’s eyes widened with delight as she ran over and held up her hand for a high five. I have never seen such good eye contact and attention from her as I do when a furry, life-sized character is involved. I was amazed at how interactive and engaged she was. Hhhhmmm, I’m thinking I need to don a big, gray mouse costume and ask all of her teachers to do the same.

I had to ration Rhema’s tokens because she loves slots and likes to go around inserting her tokens into every slot she can find.  She lives by a what’s-yours-is-mine philosophy. If she saw that all the horses on the merry-go-round were occupied she’d simply climb on the back of some poor child’s horse… or better yet, that child’s back. If she saw a baby’s unoccupied car seat, she’d settle in and make herself comfortable. She was instantly attracted to an old lady’s walker because it had a small basket on it – just perfect for sitting in while pushing yourself across the room.

Not long into our adventure, Hope predictably began sneezing a lot. She had been exposed to some sort of allergen and was having a mild reaction. Hope and I sat down, I wiped her nose between sneezes and gave her some Benadryl. I kept an eye on Rhema bouncing around, but realized after several minutes that I did not see her.

I did spot a family of four at a booth across the room. The mother, father and two children seemed frozen and all had bewildered looks on their faces. I looked again, and there sat Rhema in the booth with them, contentedly chowing down on their pizza and sipping their soda.

She hasn’t learned all her manners, but, clearly, she believes in sharing.

I rushed over with apologies. Rhema had finished off half a slice of cheese pizza, and the mother graciously offered me the remaining portion. Never mind the major gluten and casein infraction… I fought the urge to giggle.

On our way out of the land of 25 cent fun, I bought myself a big bag of blue cotton candy. After putting the kids to bed, I tore into my cotton candy like a madwoman. Lots of blue sticky goo on my cheeks and fingers and in my hair.

It was mind-numbing.

It was euphoric.

Yes, friends. Why Mama Eats Blue Cotton Candy is my version of Why Mama Drinks.


19 thoughts on “Why Mama Eats Blue Cotton Candy

  1. Oh, so funny, Jeneil! And, I’m so glad that Rhema had a good time!

    By the way, I LOVE blue cotton candy, too … or pink, or purple, or whatever color! 🙂

    I’ve missed you and have five more of your posts saved to savor. Hope you’re all doing well.

    PS-Love the Mell Lazarus quotation, too!

  2. This whole post is great, but for me, this one takes the cake:

    “I climbed up the outside of the shoe in my most dignified manner”

    I love it!!

  3. I just love Rhema. Foster is the same. If he sees food he wants, he just grabs. I had to make sure the school knew it was an impulse control issue and not bad behavior, or they would have kicked him out by the second week.

    The next time we’re anywhere near cotton candy I’m going to buy a bunch and send it your way. But don’t get your hopes up – we avoid those situations at ALL COSTS.


  4. I much prefer sugar than alcohol as my comfort of choice. You are a brave woman to take two little kids to CEC by yourself – and are even able to laugh about it later.

    The whole post was great and it’s nice to “see” you “smiling.”


  5. God, I love that kid. Can’t ever say she doesn’t have a sense of fun!!!

    and if you ever want to spike that cotton candy, you know who to call 🙂

  6. I’m sorry. I was laughing. Too funny! I also LOVE the line — “I climbed up the outside of the shoe in the most dignified manner.” 🙂 You are a brave, brave woman to take two kids to Chuck E. Cheese on your own. I don’t know that I could do it! Glad the cotton candy helped! 😉

  7. Blue cotton candy is my favorite too!

    I was laughing at the thought of you climbing up on the shoe as well as the look on the family’s face that had the pleasure of dining with Rhema!

    Laughter and a big bag of blue cotton candy make the grayest skies brighter. Proud of you for going for it and taking the girls out for some fun!

  8. That’s awesome! You had a very understanding family Rhema was eating with….Our Chuck E. Cheese story involves a strange woman yelling at me and my son thinking I’m the bad guy ’cause the stranger he was visiting with was mad at me. And Blue Cotton Candy!!! YUM!

  9. Funny post. It was once necessary for me to climb to the top of a McDonald play land. . . .yes, clear to the top. My son had a clothes issue, he stripped down to his underwear. All the kids were screaming and running from him, he thought it was a game and chased them back and forth on the ladder bridge. At the time I was convinced that I would never go back.

    • Wow! The exact same thing has happened to us! Once Rhema came out of the play land with no clothes on whatsover. The other kids were running and screaming when she ran towards them. And we had to go searching for pieces of clothing scattered inside the tunnel. Another time she decided to climb on the outside of the the play structure and was walking around on the very top. I remember that the boys there were very impressed!

  10. Wow, that just sounds SO familiar! Kayla grabs food off people’s tables, too. And is entranced by weird costumed characters. Oddly enough, when we went to Sesame Place, we didn’t visit with any characters.

    At least Rhema doesn’t attack random Daddies with hugs and kisses.

  11. oh the fun! Chuck E Cheese is the kids favorite and we rarely go. It’s a ways from here though. We must all have “those” stories. I also once had to crawl into the famous tunnels because Daniel was just sitting in there, blocking everyone (with a stinky diaper bc he wasn’t potty trained) and wouldn’t move. I had a toddler Zachary with me and was ALONE. I was so torn about what to do with Zachary until I finally found the “nicest” looking person I could to keep an eye on him while I crawled into grab Daniel and tell him it would be a VERY long time until we did that again! memories….

  12. Again, I was right there with you with Rhema and Chuck and his cheese!

    You earned that blue cotton candy and all the “sticky” that came with it. Heaven knows, you spent the majority of the day getting yourself out of some “sticky” moments.


  13. Oh my goodness, I think Rhema could actually give my boys a run for their money when it comes to making their own creative adventures, and that is saying something :). I had to laugh when she joined that family for pizza, CB & BH tried that once but luckily they were together and it was just them at the time (pre-Bitty) so we were able to catch up to them before they actually ate anything, but they were making themselves at home and going for the straws…

    that was some well-deserved cotton candy :).

    we’ve been stir crazy here too, not rainy but too hot to play outside… looking forward to fall!

  14. I never would have pegged you as a blue cotton candy addict! Have missed your great humor….love the guilty boyfriend analogy. I feel like him alot with twins setting up at win-lose dilemma and forcing me to choose. So many hilarious moments–glad you can see them in the moment:)

  15. Pingback: It Happened Again « Autism In a Word

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