Gideon was given a small box of chocolates from his young cousin for Valentine’s Day. He was very excited about the strange box with the gold foil lettering, and then gasped with joy when he opened it to find that it was filled with four small brown lumps of assorted chocolate. But I’m afraid the dude really had no idea what he was supposed to do with these alien delicacies.

“It candy?” he asked with a huge grin.

“Yes.”

“Oooooooh.” he pushed them around with his finger. “Clara and Lydia like candy…”

I placed a hand on his shoulder and adjusted the strap of his overalls. “Yes, I’m sure they do, little man. But these are yours, Gideon. They are for you to enjoy. Don’t give them to your sisters, please. They both have a box of their own.”

He just stared in the box. Then quietly whispered, as if to himself, “okay then, me have an idea…”

He jumped and ran up the stairs. A few moments later he was standing next to me with an empty box.

“What, you ate them already?!”

“No!” he protested and then winked. “Me hide them. I keep them safe.” still winking, “Safe from… sisters.”

“Where did you hide them? Why didn’t you leave them inside of the box, and then hide the box?”

He tilted his head and looked at me as if I were speaking to him in Latin. Then he softly explained, “One is under couch. One behind the bookcase. Me put one in Clara’s sock drawer. And one… I don’t remember.”

I raised my eyebrows. “Gideon that is a terrible plan.”

He winked again.

“Why do you keep doing that thing with your eye?”

He was puzzled for a moment and then looked down at his empty chocolate box. He tilted it to one side and then the other, and then slumped his shoulders as if he were suddenly immensely bored. “Me have better idea for candies.

“Oh good. What’s that?”

“Me put them into a straight line instead.”

I made a confused face as he dashed back up the stairs. I hear thumping on the floor above me. Finally, I sighed and turned back around to look at my computer. When I got up to go to the kitchen a little while later, I found four Valentine’s Day chocolates sitting in the middle of the floor in a line, next to an empty box. Gideon was nowhere to be seen.

I can’t believe I’m having to teach my son how to eat chocolate. Does anyone have any good teacher’s resources or leftover workbooks that I could borrow? Or maybe a mobile we could construct, or a fun song we could sing with hand motions? I’m worried that someday my son will meet a sweet young girl and she will give him some chocolates and he will inexplicably line them up on the floor or hide them in his sister’s sock drawer, and I may never have grandchildren. This is important; he’s currently my last hope for having a normal child.

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