The Checkout Line

Do you or do you not allow your children to shake the plastic tubes of mini M&Ms like maracas in a mariachi band when you wait in the checkout line? I do. My children shake and sometimes even dance a little. Maybe I’ve lost control of my children, or maybe I’m justified in allowing this behavior.

First, Mars Inc. is to blame. They package tiny low-quality chocolate candies in colorful plastic tubes to market them to children. And jack up the price for the tubed minis, at that. My kids are getting their thrills from Mars’s packaging without having to consume the cheap chocolate or pay a dime.

Second, the grocery store is to blame. Grocery stores never have no-candy lanes anymore, or at least those lanes aren’t open when we shop. Which is the same time all moms with young children shop. The stores place the tubed M&Ms at hand-level to tempt my kids and then take forever to check me out. What do they expect?

Third, we cannot afford the local $15/hour corny kid’s group music classes right now, but we do greatly value music in our household. My kids are learning the basics of rhythm and sound at the grocery store. It’s all part of our “lifestyle of learning” like the homeschoolers talk about.

And lastly, I shouldn’t overlook the fact that we’re bringing good cheer and entertainment to all the other grocery store patrons in line with us. My Von Trapp kids just can’t understand why most of them look so agitated by the performance.

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