Saturday morning after breakfast and cartoons, I headed Paolo upstairs to get dressed. He ran right back downstairs when I popped into the office to talk to Sam, who was vesting himself in multiple layers of Lycra to go for a cold bike ride. Paolo was gone for all of two minutes, when he came tearing up the stairs and burst into the office waving a Pez dispenser. An empty Pez dispenser. The Pez dispenser that was full two minutes ago and stored safely out of reach in the snack cabinet. In case we hadn't yet grasped the enormity of what had transpired, Paolo filled us in on the details while sprinting madly around the room and laughing between sentences:
"I had a snack! I had a big snack. It was really long and my belly is really full. It was really good. I ate them all. There was a lot and they were pink. I had a pink snack. It took a long time to eat them all and, look, my belly is long now."
Sam and I stared at each other with horror that we couldn't keep from turning into amusement as Paolo whipped himself into a frenzy jumping and spinning and gloating about the greatest snack ever. And, boy howdy, there was a LOT of it. I must say my amusement faded quickly when I realized that Sam wasn't about to change his plans to leave the house. I implored him not to leave me alone with our small child who was practically foaming at the mouth having just ingested twenty nuggets of highly concentrated sugar. Sam argued that Paolo was only experiencing the level of blood sugar that most kids reach on an average day. Then he pedaled away with nary a look back.
Here's where it gets really weird. I pulled out a big piece of foam board and invited Paolo to decorate it with stickers. That's a pretty calm activity for someone who just snorted battery acid, but he was totally into it. He stayed on the floor working on his sticker board serenely, sweetly, making up stories as he went along FOR TWO HOURS. I have never seen Paolo exhibit such focus and stick-to-it-iveness in his young life. So, all you parents who dump money into medicating your children for behaving like, well, children, here's some good news! Obscene amounts of Pez may have the same effect on your child as Ritalin, with fewer side effects.
Disclaimer: I'm no doctor, but I did conduct a clinical trial in my living room. Try the pink ones, and forget about junior taking a nap.