Who knew I could smell so bad?

This is my week with T.  Wednesday I was suddenly struck cold, right through to the bone. I even pulled the heater out at work when I was covering my second’s break because I was so cold. Went home, slept, went and picked up K and came home to T. In the evening it wasn’t so bad. But it hit hard over night. I awoke drenched in sweat my hair could almost be wrung out. Gross right? Well I felt worse.

I called in. Something that I had promised myself the last time that I was going to avoid doing for the next six months. I moved and my head throbbed, my eyes squinting because the light was too bright. I had blinds closed, glasses off and it was painful. My hips, my legs, my back ached. I slept almost all day. I did not take T to soccer. Ordered him pizza for supper because I could not move to cook. I have never felt so helpless and useless a mother as at this point.

T tucked me in and gave me his stuffed puppy to cuddle with. Along with his blanket. His dad knew I was ill so he picked him up and off to soccer they went. Home at 8:30 I tell him his bedtime is 9:30 and I am trusting him. He was in bed at 9:30. Friday a.m. I woke up again covered in sweat and my sleep had been so disjointed but I had to go to work. I groused and groaned and snivelled and groused some more, but off we went.

I am glad that I went in. I pushed through my day and as I did I began to feel so much better. By the end of my shift I was no longer forcing my smile or my laughter. Not cured mind you as my head was still throbbing. I made T clean up the floor because it hurt to bend over and pick up the mess on the floor. Hint 2 I was feeling better: the mess that had accumulated in two days of being ill, was annoying me.

Woke up this morning feeling good. Wee headache but livable. Only to discover that T puked in the middle of the night. He also had a wee accident. And he was cold.

It is Summer in the City in our city this weekend. He had to go. ‘Mom I am fine.’

I caved. He pushed through it. I am going to say this kid has way more stamina than I do. I do believe he is built like his chichi and refuses to allow illness to deny or keep him from anything.

As we are walking home, holding hands, I know yet again my guy isn’t feeling very good. Because what healthy 8 year old boy wants to be seen holding his mother’s hand as they walk down the street? He is also complaining that his legs are aching.  ‘Mom when we get home I just want to lay down on your couch.’

As I am sitting at the computer T is laying on the couch. He has not eaten yet, another indication of illness. I look over and use the bribe food: ‘Hey if I make mac and cheese you gonna have some?’ ‘Sure mom.’

Okay, and he is warming up. Maybe he is like chichi and not his wimpy mommy when it comes to sickness.

I start making the mac and cheese and he is patiently waiting. I am playing on the computer, minding my own business, eye on the timer when all of a sudden……pooot poooooot poooot pppppoooooot ppppppppppoooooooooot.

I look over at T with wide eyes and say what was that? Like I don’t know.

T stares at me I think in slight suprise. And than I am guessing that the smell hit him. His face twitched, he gasped and said ‘I didn’t know I could smell like this mom!’

And I laughed as I got up to stir the noodles and said ‘and you can’t even get away from it.’

****T did attempt to get me to smell said disgusting fart by insisting he required a kiss. I held my breath until far enough away.

 

A Mother’s Guilt

“Mom! Mom!” I bolted upright from a dead sleep sure that some new crisis had arisen. “What buddy?” I groggily call back trying to find my glasses. “I am all cured. No stomach ache, no headache!” “That is great buddy, but it is only 7 a.m. go back to sleep!” June 3/17 @ 6:55 a.m. 

This is my week with T. My heart. My soul. I watched him cry and sob as his head throbbed and his tummy hurt. I felt as though that pain would cleave me in two. I could do nothing to help him.

After our doctor appointment on Wednesday I text my boss to let him know that T was down and out for the next two days. I was in a way hoping that he would tell me that I should take the time and be with my son. For it is my week and he is ill on my watch. The offer was not made so I had to take my ex up on his offer to watch T for me. He felt that he ‘owed’ me.

Thursday morning he arrived to pick T up. T was still asleep when he got here. I woke him up and he stumbled up the stairs. Whimpering a little at the pain but a trooper still. I worked at 5:30 this morning so again asked what the plan was. Which is when I found out that T was not going to be home until today when I got off at 2. I walked down the stairs, my heart breaking in two and I cried.

Nothing mattered to me. I went to work, and thank goodness it was quiet. I spent my day tidying my desk and getting all my paperwork caught up that I had been neglecting for the longest time. Got organized. Do not need my boss to put down that the thing I need to work on is maintaining a clean desk. (In an aside, I have read that a messy desk is the sign of an intelligence person so who am I to argue?)

I text my ex. I tried calling. I could not get through. My heart begins to race. T never gets sick like this. The last time he was this sick was at about a year and a half, and we were in hospital for three days while he had pneumonia. I was scared sick, than feeling that I had failed him as a mother.

My evening was relatively quiet as I sat here. I text the ex a couple of times. I asked that T call me. I waited. And than he did. In tears. Telling me that his tummy hurt. Asking me why I had to go to work and could not come and get him. I tried to be so strong. I told him how great he was doing because he had not asked for Advil since 6:30 a.m. and it was 9:30 p.m. I asked how the pain was. Had he eaten? I could hear his fear. I told him I loved him and could I please speak to his dad?

I burst into tears when my ex got on the phone. I demanded to know what he was doing to help T. I was livid because I could tell that he had been drinking. His dad came out. It was a party. (Yes there is some lingering anger issues here) He tried to tell me it was all good. The I did not need to be there, he was. And I said to him “That is not what this is about. I am his mother. That I cannot be there to hold him, to help him kills me. When we get off the phone you go inside and you cuddle him. Promise me!”

He promised. I think he was chastened. I was sobbing. My baby needed me and yet I could not be there for him.

Do I not trust my ex to do the right thing? Not at all. However, I felt that he did not quite see how extreme this was. Our son is never sick. Sniffles, flu, but down and out? Never.

This morning I lasted until 9 a.m. before I text to see how T was. And was told he had not eaten. That he had puked. And I freaked. This was an escalation, not a getting better. Now I am panicking. I made an appointment with the Quick Care Clinic because, well, I am a mom and I jump to insane conclusions when my normally healthy child is so ill.

On Wednesday I got everything done before 8 a.m. Today, I was done by 7:30. I do what I have to do. But that is not where my heart is. I argue with my phone when I received messages that are not about T. I tried calling my ex and finally shot him a message saying that his house line was screwed and to please let me know what was going on with my son.

When I showed up at 2:30 to pick up T he did not come out to greet me. I was concerned. Asked the ex where is he? In the house.  I went in and he is laying on the couch his head covered and I look at the ex and say ‘He is still sleeping??????’ T pops up and looks at me. ‘Hi mom.’

Than he stood up. Oh dear lord, really? The pants he wore were six inches above his ankles. I looked at the ex and went really? What the hell are those? T bursts into tears and falls on couch covering himself with his blanket. I rush to him and apologize, brushing his tears away.

I tell him we will stop at home and change before the appointment at the Quick Care Clinic. That is when he tells me he does not want to go. His dad and I cajoled and he agreed. We walk outside and he trips falling head over heels. This has not been a good week for my baby.

His head is aching a little and as we drive along I try to hold his hand. He is not in the mood. Still a little weepy. When suddenly he announces that he is starving. I look at him and ask what he has eaten today? Nothing. We drive along and I tell him he has a choice. How is he feeling? Does he want to see the Nurse Practitioner? T tells me that he is feeling better. He is hungry.

I ask again what he would like for supper? He says to me you mean lunch right mom? Okay buddy what do you want? McDonald’s mom. I am really hungry.

I stared at him. The good mom is already nattering away, ‘Jay don’t you dare. He has not had anything substantial to eat in 72 hours. That is not the way to go.’ Mom who is experiencing reality and relief ‘Jay let the boy have whatever he wants so long as he eats it.’ T did ask for milk with his happy meal and drank it all. As well as eating everything.

As I sit here typing this, he is curled up in his bed, eating half a freezie watching Youtube. He was cracking jokes and making fun of me earlier so I know that he is on the upswing.

T is my life. Nothing and no body matters more to me than he does. That I could not be there for him each and every day that he was ill, when he required his mother to hold him and cuddle him, rips my heart asunder. The stress and fear that I felt because he was not in my presence, where I could ensure his well being, was crippling.

T is my life. He is my heart. He is my soul. He is my inspiration. He is the reason why I want to achieve and be a better person. And he is the only boy (man) who has the ability to rip the heart from my chest. And I will love him forever.

 

Are you dying?

Mom is a trained nurse. She is tough. When the bro and me were younger we so did not even dare to get sick during the week. Mom even brags about how good we were, always saving our sickness for the weekends. I can only remember staying home once and that was when I had Scarlet Fever and only than because we had a babysitter coming to the house.

My brother has asthma and rarely did he have an attack the precipitated a visit to the emergency room. I recall, again, only one incident. And it was late. Or later in the day on a holiday. I want to say Thanksgiving but am not sure.

This has lead me to going to work and pushing myself hard when I should be at home. In bed, sleeping and sipping hot drinks. Not cashiering and talking to/sneezing on my staff and customers. I have to suck it up though for I constantly hear my mom asking me if I am dead. (Inside joke dead or in the hospital the only way one was allowed to stay home).

Flash forward to yesterday when T is at M’s because Auntie K cannot watch him after school. Apparently he crawled right into K’s bed and told M had had been cold all day. I talked to him briefly re soccer and at first he wanted to go but two minutes later M is calling me to tell me he got out of bed and began to cry.

By the time I got home he had been let into the house and was curled up in his bed. I could feel the heat coming off him. I was able to persuade him to take a Tylenol which seemed to bring the fever down. Still had a headache and his tummy hurt. I fed him some soup and he was off  and into bed by 9 p.m. without a fight. Asleep in like 2 minutes.

Had to wake him up this morning at 5 to take him to the babysitter’s. Again I could feel the heat coming off of him and he began to cry. It hurt his head to stand and walk, his tummy was hurting again. I felt horrible but needed to be at work. I dropped him off with heavy heart and went to work.

My mind was not there. I went through and got everything done in record time. Everything from settling the store to getting inventory done. Watching and waiting for  8:30 a.m. so I can call the doctor’s office. In the two minutes it took me to get through this morning, our family doctor was fully booked up but we were able to get into the same day clinic.

I was frantic when Auntie K called to tell me T had a temperature of 103 but she had given him some Tylenol and he had eaten an orange. I no longer even had a thought about work. I watched the clock to 9:30 when my second got in. Raced through the doing of exceptions and tobacco daily inventory so I could be out by 10 a.m.

I ran across the parking lot which should give you an indication of how scared and worried I was. I may move at a fast walk but rarely do I break into a run. Got home transferred T from the van to my car. Talked with Auntie K for a few minutes and than we all went our separate ways.

T brings his stuffed dog into the doctor’s office. He ended up wearing my coat because he was freezing. And he cannot get comfortable. Wants to lie down but has grown so big that he is draped across my lap. He sat with his head on my lap and I ran my fingers through his hair and across his back. T was not happy. He had no questions and even my attempt at a lame joke went completely unanswered.

Finally we see the doctor. His temperature is down in the normal range. Ears and throat are good. Headache not good but manageable. It is the stomach that is of concern. And of course in my head dances the possibility that his appendix is the culprit. He told the doctor where it hurt while she was poking and prodding. Thankfully it was not his appendix.

Viral gastroenteritis. An inflammation of the stomach lining due to a virus. Usually includes all T’s symptoms with the added bonus of diarrhea and puking. Thank goodness T does not have those two symptoms. Diarrhea I can live with, but I am a sympathetic thrower upper. The minute I hear someone throwing up my own begins to rise. In all his life T has puked on me once, he sat up in bed and blach! I made the ex clean it up.

So we came home. And he took over the couch. Binge watching Teen Titans and suffering with the pain as best he can. He finally caved and had half an antacid which I was told to give him because it might help. I am making him drink a bit of milk and praying that he does not end up throwing that back up. (Milk thrown back up is disgusting.)

Where I may not look after myself and see the doctor unless I am in deep distress, I do not wait for T to get that bad. But there are sickness rules; if you are sick you are not allowed to play with your friends. You may watch t.v. but there is none of this racing around, you have to lay on the couch. T willingly follows all these rules. Which is when I know that he is truly ill. Oh yeah, and he had no questions for the doctor. Usually, he asks tons of questions as he wants to know everything. Today none of that.

Did you know you are my hero?

My mom. She has always been my rock. My support. She doesn’t pull any punches with me, she never sugar coats it, the truth as she sees it is always laid bare for me to absorb. For me to learn from. When I was that horrid teenager I really did not care for her much and I made her life hell. Even in my twenties, we had a very rocky road. Now though, now we talk about everything and I realize just how many of her lessons I absorbed throughout my life.

As I have mentioned before my mom was the first and probably only woman on our block to be on her own in 1979. I remember when I was older she admitted to feeling guilt at leaving my father because some of the mothers of my friends would not let me play with my friends after that. But can you imagine how strong she had to be?

She left my dad, kept the house and began to raise not one, but two children. On her own. Without any help at all.

She learned how to drive a standard with my grandfather as her teacher. I am sure that I can imagine the conversation, the yelling that came from my grandfather, but she did it and got her license to boot.

She became the Nursing Unit Director of the psych unit at one of our hospitals. And than proceeded to work her way up and into career choices that to this day hold me in awe. She is so smart my mom. Anything she decided she wanted, she worked her ass off and got.

Her reward. The ability to retire at age fifty-five and move to Mexico. This was her dream and this she did at the end of 1999. I cried when she left. I cry every year that she leaves. I cry when she comes home. She is my mom, my best friend and I hate leaving her.

When I am with her, she gives me courage. She walks me through the plans to make my life happy. She steers me in the right direction and than wipes her hands clean and tells me that I am to get off my butt and just do it. JDI, her favorite three letters.

However, there is one thing my mom has given to me that I am failing to see in the younger generation that resides in the town I live in. I will not paint all those in this generation of 20-27 year olds with the same brush, but I see a lack of independence and cutting of the strings.

My mom, she never wanted me hanging onto her apron strings. She never wanted the bro to hang on. He just chose not to let go until she booted him out. Granted she probably did not want me to move out of the house at age eighteen but she allowed it. I mean how could she stop me?

I have stood on my own two feet forever it feels like. My mom fostered a strong sense of independence in me and a desire to do it on my own. I have some difficulty in asking for help because I should be able to do it on my own. My mom did how come I can’t?

I look at the dreams that I have. To write. There really is no other dream. I just want to write. Maybe make enough money so I could at least go down to Mexico to see my mom. Even if I do cry when I leave. (As an aside, every time I leave and I am sobbing, tears rolling down my cheeks, my middle aching with pain everyone is so concerned about me. And there is mom, assuring them that really I am fine, this is just me.)

I misinformed you. I have one other dream. My dream is that I will be a hero for my son the way my mom is my hero. We all imagine how our lives would be different if small things changed, but I know what I would be without my mom. I would be a selfish whiney girl child who blamed others for the misfortune in my life. I know this, I know she resided in me at one point and time. But mom drove her out as sure as if she was exorcising the devil.

She taught me to stand tall and firm in my beliefs. She taught me to have the strength to admit when I am wrong but to fight when I am right. She taught me to accept my weaknesses, embrace and learn from them. She did not teach me how to cook though, I can tell you that one! (Asked for the recipe for her banana bread and cookies and she could not remember either)

My mom, she has taught me all I need to know about being a strong independent woman. A woman who still needs her mom sometimes to reassure her all will be fine. A woman who has still crawled into her mother’s lap and cried her eyes out. My mom, she is awesome.

The Invisible Brake

I am sure that as every teenager passes into that realm of being a responsible adult by learning how to drive every last one of us….we have driven with our parents.

I am unsure if when a father teaches his daughter or son that the same things occur when a mother teaches the same children to drive. I will actually never know. My mom taught me how to drive. Kinda. I mean, because of her, I learned how to drive a standard. The rest of it, I learned in an automatic. Most cars I drove were automatics because well my mom did not trust me enough to let me drive her car.

When I was 14 we took a trip down to Texas. My mom allowed me to sit in the driver’s seat in a McDonald’s parking lot and practice shifting gears. Totally awesome right. I am one of those summer babies. So while all my friends hit their landmarks in school, I hit them all before the next school year started. (Try being the only 17 year old in your group of friends graduating, sober, boring and watching everyone else have a grand time) PSA Drinking does not lead one to have a good time. But in moderation and with good friends, it can enliven an evening and make for good memories.

So while all my friends were getting their driver’s license’s I was held back by my age restraint. And than the fact that the first time I went for my driver’s test, my brake lights did not work, second time I failed everything but the parallel parking aspect and third time is the charm. Got my license.

Alright, I have my license. Hey I even had a job. I was well on my way to becoming a responsible and active adult member of society. But mom, well mom had some issues.

The first time we drove together after I got my beginner’s was in the Kmart parking lot near our home. There was a lot of shouting. It was a Sunday. (This was before Sunday shopping was a thing, so the parking lot was empty.) I stalled a lot. Do you know, that really to shift gears is so easy, 20, 40, 60 and 80 and 100. Learned that from a boyfriend. Prob only good thing cause I don’t recall his name.

Mom yelled. I slammed on brakes. A lot. Not the invisible one. The real one. I stalled. She drove home.

Which leads me to this recollection.

One Friday evening mom is going out with the girl friends. I am going to babysit for one of them. Mom decides that I should drive from one end of the city to the other. Back in my day it would take about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes depending on how I hit the lights. Today, it would take us close to an hour and a half.

Hyundai Pony. A blondish gold color. Very basic. Had the radio on to my station. Yes, mom allowed me to have my radio station on. She sat in the passenger seat which underneath the glove box had a shelf that held the interior warmer. This is an item that you have when you live in Manitoba.  One plugs it in along side their regular block heater. This one though kinds takes the chill outta getting into a car in -40 degree celsisus weather.

The drive from home to the downtown area of Winnipeg is uneventful. It is twilight and I have made most of the lights so it has been clear sailing. Part of my route is a known route for it is the way we drive to my grandparents every week. Mom and me we are talking. Laughing. Having one of those really rare mother daughter (when she is a teenager) moments. Where all the animosity, the ‘you know nothing attitude’ the exasperation because well how do you understand a daughter who is nothing like you? That night mom and me, we were in a groove.

We are driving up Donald Avenue. This area is center downtown Winnipeg. It is a bus route. It is Friday night approximately 7ish in the evening. Traffic is enough to make mom a little nervous. So we are cruising along. I am doing all the right things. I am, for one, in the damn lane I need to be in. Two, I am watching all angles of traffic…..including the buses to the right of me. And yes, I am aware that the bus has it’s flasher on. Yes mother I am aware, I am watching.

Well mom had very little faith in my ability to gauge traffic. To this day she still grabs the door handle if she thinks I might be about to kill us all. First she says ‘Jay, watch out.’ I look at her and say nothing. (From the corner of my eye) ‘Jay-lyn do you see that bus?’ I glance at her and return my concentration to the road. Please note, the bus is 50 feet in front of me, edging out and I have already taken my foot off the gas because a) my depth perception is a little off and would rather be safe than sorry b) mom is starting to panic.

The bus swings out into my lane. There is more than enough room to spare. I am no where near crashing into and killing not only ourselves but the bus riders. Mom shrieks. I look at her in dismay. Radio is playing Bon Jovi. And mom slams on her invisible brake.

Her invisible brake? The shelf that held the interior warmer. She slammed her foot into that shelf like it was going to bring the car to a complete and utter halt. My head whips around and in a split second I gape at her than return my attention to the road. The bus soars off into the distance and four cars are able to slide into the gap.

I glide to a stop at the red light. And my head swivels to look at mom. Mom stares back at me. I cannot even ask the question. But I do. ‘Mom what do you not trust me?’

Mom looks at the the shelf. She looks at me. (and this is poetic license)

‘Onward Jeeves.’

**If memory serves I think there was a lot of giggling and accusations shouted in fun. I demanding to know if she didn’t trust my driving skills or what? And her defending her actions……’but that bus was soooooo close.’**

I am not the perfect mother

I am not the perfect mother. Hell I do not even come close. I am the mother whose car is a disaster, who although I have all his shit packed, will still forget to pick up her son at the sitter’s before heading off to soccer practice. Because well that just happens when you are single mom and you need to be in six places at once.

When I was a child I hated my mother’s punishments. And truly they weren’t punishments they were corrections to my behaviour. As an adult omg my mom is my hero. (Having said that mom read ahead with caution). She set boundaries. She made me responsible for my actions. She made me the incredible person that I am (okay so that is tooting my own horn) But I am following in her footsteps so she must have done something right.

So this evening I am having a conversation with a friend. We are discussing boundaries and how her kids seem to ignore hers. So I am listing off all the things that she can do. All the things that my mom implemented with me. Things that worked. And as I read over my suggestions I start to envision what she is seeing.

She sees that little old lady with her glasses perched on the end of her nose. Steely eyes glaring. Pin curls that were contrived in the 1950’s and have never changed a bit. Her bosom is a shelf that cannot be breached, her waist thick and barely there. Her stockings roll up at the knees because she can’t be bothered to pin them up at her thighs.

Oh my dear god, that is so not me. So I needed to enliven the conversation. I needed to let her know that I was not the perfect mother that my voice portrayed in the messages I sent. So, I told her the following story.

I am a single mom. I have needs. I have desires. I have an eight year old son who at this point and time does not need to know that his mother is a being with a life beyond him. (He will learn, but right now I can hide this aspect of my life) So when T is around I am the celibate single mom who lives for her child.

Alright folks (mom I suggest you stop reading here) I am going to admit the truth. I may be single. I may not want to introduce a multitude of men to T’s life which would only serve to confuse him, but I am a sexual woman. And I have a drawer full of toys. Yes mother if you are still reading I have toys!

So and I am absolutely positive that I am not the only one that this has happened to, but I am putting this out there. I was having a rough night and T was being a little shit. Arguing and fighting. Telling me how great his father was. I was incensed and a little pissed. He would not go to bed. Finally after a bath at 10 and listening to him chant mom over and over and over again I caved and told him go to sleep in my room! I can move him back to his when I go to sleep.

Silence ensues and I lay back on the couch, ready to watch another episode of whatever I was watching when T comes into the living room.

‘Mom what is this? I found it at the end of your bed?’

I look over and omfg he has my vibrator. I cannot even be ashamed at this point and time; because this folks, this is why we as parents have boundaries. He is flicking it around and I bolt off the couch screeching ‘give that to me.’ Poor child thought that he had done something wrong.

As he stares at me with tear stained eyes, confused and unsure as to what he has done wrong I implore him; ‘Buddy I have never ever asked you to lie or say nothing to your dad. But baby this is a secret we need to keep okay?’

‘Mom what is that?’

‘That is a toy for mom.’ I admit lame ass reply but what the hell else am I suppose to say?

‘Oh so do you use that when you are sad? You play with it to make you happy?’

As I choke on my laughter and shake my head, tears glisten in my eyes. Oh yeah I am still waiting for my ex to confront me about the fact that T found my vibrator. I am still absolutely horrified that he found it. But this leads me back to my mom, who set boundaries so never once did I ever find her sex toys. (Sorry mom please forgive me.)

I am not the perfect mom.

 

 

Parental Secret Society

T comes into the house. He has been with his dad for the last week. Immediately he zones into the empty pizza box on the counter. His head swivels around and he glares at me. I have broken some sacred law that exists when you are a single parent. Thou shalt not have any fun or take out when your child is away from you. Not sure who wrote the law but am certain that it was a child.

I can only buy my favorites when he is not home. Chips. Cheese. Cookies. For if I were to buy when he was home I would never get a taste.

Is your eyebrow raised? Are you doubting me? If you are a parent and skeptical, than I am pretty certain that your child has not yet reached the treat stage. They are like 2 and you can still control them. Wait until your child turns 3. You will never again be able to enjoy your favorite foods without hiding it from them. From your child. From your spouse or significant other. Hell, from your parents. Everyone will devour the snacks that you have bought for yourself.

You mock me right now.

So listen to this story.

It got a little busy at work this morning so I had to jump on till. One of our regulars comes through. She has two younger children who are with her, and a teenage child. As I scan through her items there are a few chocolate bars. I ask if she would like them for herself. Would she like to hide them? As a treat.

And she looks at me and bursts out laughing. She knows what I am talking about. Explains that the bars cannot go into the ‘school snack cupboard’ because she would never even see a morsel. Has to hide the chips too because if she does not, her husband will eat it all.

‘I like chips too,’ she tells me and I agree.

This is the parental secret society. It is not limited to women. Men are also involved in this group. Generally they are buying the donuts, one only and scarfing them down in the car. Licking their fingers clean before they even start the car/truck. No need to get the steering wheel sticky and give away the fact that……a donut was consumed, without your knowledge.

I have a week to eat my treats. And I have learned to toss out the evidence prior to T coming home. You all only have minutes. And I bet sneaking that wrapper into the garbage is going to become a skill you hone all so you can enjoy a single treat.