My cookie jar is a Dutch oven, a big heavy red pot that keeps cookies moist and has a built in alarm system. No matter how quietly a child tries to sneak out a cookie, there's always the telltale ‘clink' sound that gives them away no matter how muffled.
"Get out of the cookies!"
"I wasn't in them."
"Yes, you were."
"Well, I was getting a cookie for you."
I don't know what it is with kids these days, maybe it's only mine, but none of my kids seem to have an aptitude for sneaking into things and getting away with it.
I was smart enough to hire a lookout. I'd have my little sister watch for my mom while I filched snacks and paid her from my booty of stolen goodies. None of my kids have thought of doing that, yet. (And I'd like to see them try without bickering over who got the bigger share.)
My oldest son filches pickles out of the refrigerator, but he either doesn't twist the top back on or he leaves a jar of pickle juice. And even though I've told him about these telltale clues, he still leaves the jar uncapped or empty and looks surprised when I catch up with him.
My youngest son sneaks into my husband's candy stash and leaves a pile of empty wrappers at the scene of the crime and walks around with chocolate smeared around his lips. These are not criminal masterminds.
"Are you sure you didn't eat Dad's candy?"
"Oh, no, Momma. I didn't touch it!"
One of my daughter's has a pesky angel on her shoulder. If she even thinks of doing something wrong, her conscience keeps her up at night until she tells on herself. I don't worry about her.
The biggest giveaways are their eyes. Two of my kids look like they've seen a ghost when they've done something wrong or when they're holding back incriminating information-and I'm not saying which ones because I know they read this column. No matter what expression they try to assume they can't control their eyes.
I like to interrogate them just to for the sheer pleasure of entrapment. It's what moms at home do for kicks.
"Is there something wrong with you?"
"No…." The eyes get even bigger.
"What were you doing in the kitchen?"
"Getting a drink of water."
"Why didn't I hear the water run?"
"I only got a little bit."
"What cup did you use? The red one?"
"Aha! We don't have any red cups!"
"All right! I just wanted a cookie."
"I know. You've got crumbs on your mouth and I heard the cookie pot ‘clink'."
Huzzah! Nobody steals cookies in my house.