Hypocrisy is a funny thing.  I am as big a hypocrite as anybody else, but I had fooled myself into the proud notion that at least I know when I am being a hypocrite.

Ha!

Not so much.

The family has had a tough reentry into our routine since our Thanksgiving road trip, and The husband was out of town on business again last week. The combination of these factors and the holiday chores seeded in me an unanticipated regression.

That is also where the unbidden hypocrisy comes in.

Our oldest is twelve, so we’ve had at least 10 Halloweens where we’ve watched the kids dump out and choose candies over the years. Time after time, year after year, The Husband and I have marveled that their consensus preference is lollipops. Four kids consistently choose lollipops over such bon-bons as Snickers, M&Ms, 100 Grand bars and Milky Ways. In our day, lollipops were the leftover candy. Houses that gave the lollipops were the rip-off stops, doors behind which children must not dwell or dentists lived. The good houses, the generous people,  gave chocolate treats, and preferably more than one. How we could have raised four kids whose go-to candy is lollies always confused me.

Until now.

What began as an innocent strategy to sooth a sore throat, and give the kids a treat on I-95, has turned into a 2-3 lollipop a day habit.  I thought at first it was simply stress, or because I had given up gluten, but The Mamma’s got a Tootsie Pop on her back, and it carries a big stick.

All of a sudden I am like an orally fixated ex-smoker who has to have something in her mouth so that she doesn’t fall off the wagon. It is ridiculous how much I am liking these things, a Pavlovian dog who begins to salivate the moment I unwrap the pop. I appreciate the weight of the candy on the stick as I lift it to my mouth. I sigh as I taste the first sweet tang of cherry on my tongue.  I like sour apple, grape and watermelon too , but cherry is my favorite. It’s even gotten to the point that I  won’t share the red ones with the kids anymore.

What’s wrong with me?

I’ve begun to identify the phases of lollipop consumption like a connoisseur of fine wine.  One of the best stages in the eating of a lollipop process is when it has molded to the shape of your pallets and just kind of hangs there in your mouth like a delicious retainer. That’s the hands-free-yummy-time when you can email or do laundry without ever taking it out of your mouth. Tootsie Pops pack a sweet chocolate kiss in their center better than a prize ring from a box of Cracker Jacks.

Lollipops please even after they are gone.  The stick offers chewing pleasures beyond any flavored toothpick in the country.  First there is the candy coated tip that is more fun to chew than the most delectable of San Francisco buffalo wings.  Once each crunchy, tasty remnant is gone, the dry tip of the stick still remains.  There is something indefinably satisfying about nibbling that to a pulpy mess.

A good lollipop can offer 40 minutes of genuine oral pleasure for 60 calories.

My kids were right all along!

Lollipops are the best!

And The Mamma is one big hypocrite with a stick hanging out of her mouth!

I’ll stand before the Lord of Song,
with nothing on my
(cherry red) tongue but Hallelujah!