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I’m fairly certain that every mother in the world has a chocolate stash – though, not all may have been hidden for the health and safety of everyone in the household. Some, I’ll admit, may have been kept away from prying eyes just so that there’d be some chocolate left when the mother of the house needed a fix.

In our house, however, chocolate has always been kept out of our reach and well hidden for our own good. Now, I say well hidden, The Mom certainly thinks she’s out-smarted us every time she moves the chocolate stash, but like all true junkies, we’re more than capable of finding it.

The Mom likes very much to believe her chosen spots for stashing the forbidden fruits are seriously high-level, on par with say, something the CIA might get up to, or possibly MI5. And it’s in everyone’s best interests for her to keep believing that, because once we’ve found what we’re looking for, as we always do, she can at least have the dignity of feeling that it took us a while to find it. When in reality I do believe the longest it’s taken is about ten minutes.

The thing is, The Mom normally hides chocolate in several favourite locations. The cupboard with the baking supplies (the idea being if it’s hidden in plain sight, we’ll ignore it), in her walk-in closet (The Dogs always know when it’s in there, so it’s easy enough to spot), or in a drawer in the kitchen (being that there are only so many drawers, a few minutes spent rifling through things generally leads to success).

When she comes home from the grocery store, if there’s chocolate in the shopping, she’ll be really cagey about putting it away when you’re not looking. She might leave a head of broccoli in the bag to deter watchful eyes, as broccoli is a well-known repellant of children. And when she goes to have a piece for herself, she’ll do it when she’s dead certain no one is around. Though she’s quite restrained – it’ll take her weeks to get through one bar which makes it even harder to pilfer bits and pieces.

Because that’s key to remaining undetected. If you’re bold as brass and eat the whole package, she’ll be onto you. But if you take one or two squares at a time, the theory is that she’ll just think she’s the one eating it. I mean, her day’s pretty full-on, especially when we were kids, I can’t honestly believe she’d remember how much was left.

Sometimes, though, I remember her hiding the stash in her walk-in closet. I do believe those were back in the days of the chocolate benders, which had to stop due to the migraines they were bringing on.

The Mom has always had a soft spot for chocolate. She’ll happily describe herself as a chocoholic. In fact, when I was home this summer, The Mom took L’il Sis and I out for ice creams, whereupon The Mom ordered the only flavour that had four different types of chocolate in it. She will literally go bonkers without unfettered access to chocolate. Her eyes light up when there’s chocolate around. And when I come home to visit, I always bring a box of her favourite very posh chocolates – ones that go off in a week or two as they’re all natural. She’ll say she doesn’t want them, as she’s getting fat or whatever, but I tell you, that box gets eaten. Weirdly, though, we seem to know there’s a line that ought not be crossed. We’ll gobble up the supermarket chocolate, but the fancy ones that come in a nice box those are for her and her alone. Even desperate, thieving children have a moral code.

In a strange turn of events, given that I’ve been pilfering chocolate from the stash, I don’t actually like the stuff. Well, I do and I don’t. Whereas The Mom will start at choclate and go no futher, not even acknowledging there might be anything else that would satifsy her cravings, I’ll take chocolate if it’s the only thing going. I just want the sugar. Which is just as well, because she never pilfers my sweets.

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