About two months ago while still enjoying her grade three Pioneer Village studies, (mandatory requirement to pass and maybe even to maintain Canadian citizenship) Hanna returned home from school one day and asked, “Mommy! Have you ever heard of a store called the Bulk Barn?”

Indeed I had. I once visited Bulk Barn (or the Bulk Barn?) and waited in line for what seemed forever behind people who each had $300 worth of misc candy and I anxiously awaited spending my $.69 on a cookie cutter shaped like a turtle. I dreamed of making the cookies, decorating them, discussing our special turtle operatives with the kids but never actually allowing them to eat any of the cookies. We would cook them on low heat, slowly because, well, turtles.

When Hanna described a store decked out like a real life game of Candy Land I knew exactly what she was talking about. A friend of hers had arrived at school with a sucker shaped like a duck riding a cupcake, with hard candy eyes and candy cane legs. There were colourful marshmallows attaching some sort of hot air balloon-type apparatus, filled with creamy, strawberry goo. The thing sounded as though it was the size of a growth chart on the back of her door. Hanna dreamt of the day she too would visit this mystical land and swim in a sea of candy.

The name Bulk Barn had changed from, “Can we go to that Candy Bin store today?” To just, “Candy Land” and I always knew what they meant.

Given my rant about them growing up too fast and Ellie’s solid argument, “Mommy, remember how you said candy makes your teeth fall out? Well…?” pointing to her top front tooth she had been waiting months to finally fall out. What better way than to be infused into a bag of sugary treats or wedged into a sucker the size of her bed before falling prey to a greedy Tooth Fairy.

I countered with, “Well a visit to Bulk Barn wasn’t on your list of 20 things to do this summer.”

We agreed candy overrides all lists.

Telling the girls they could each choose one special treat was a bit like handing them a plate of stir-fry and limiting the rice intake to just the one grain.

The girls flip-flopped between quantity and quality trading plastic tubes filled with powdered sugar they knew probably wouldn’t taste very good but would outweigh a piece of gum or one hard candy.

I spent most of my time wrestling huge metal scoops from Chloe’s hands which I quickly learned were just decoys when she figured out she could just shove her entire arm into a bin of rockets before I had time to unload thirty paddles from my pockets.

Everyone left with a bigger candy than they needed at 11am on a Monday morning for no reason at all. (and a couple of oversized, commercial metal scoops)

Best summer ever.