04/05/2012 09:41 EDT | Updated 06/05/2012 05:12 EDT

Loot Bag Larceny and Other Parenting Perks


One of the perks of parenting is the access to your kids' stuff. That's right -- you paid for it in one way or another so it's kind of yours, right? That's what I tell myself when I'm scoping out the goods from my kids' Halloween candy stash or borrowing change when I'm short on cash (I admit it).

We may collectively complain about the burgeoning and ongoing responsibilities of being a parent, but there are some perks that many of us enjoy. It's not all bad, folks; producing progeny does provide a certain level of ROI.

Let's face it: we put up with a lot in our quest to raise balanced, well-behaved and contributing members of society. There are the financial stresses and let's not forget pretending to enjoy school plays. I won't even venture into toilet training. Pretending to be thrilled about a fecal matter that has appeared in a potty is often a testament to the acting abilities of more than one mom or dad. But I digress.

There are times when things are good -- really good -- and the return on the parenting investment is evident. My standards are pretty low so bear with me here.

Treats are my weakness, so when there are opportunities to "borrow" a candy here or there, I'm in. Share and share alike, I teach my kids. That's the way I roll. Loot bags are fair game.

I know I'm not alone in this activity. Surreptitious subterfuge is part and parcel of being a parent. Stealing candies from babies is just one of the many things that we parents do in our quest to equal the playing field and "get ours." To this end, I'm throwing the door open and revealing the real deal behind some of the perks of parenting. Be prepared to be shocked.

1) Loot bag larceny -- All bets are off. If I've shelled out for the birthday gift, I have equal access to the loot bag. Fair is fair.

2) Piggybank pilfering -- Mommy giveth, Mommy taketh away... often under like a stealth bomber under the veil of darkness -- or between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

3) Vicarious victories -- I never made it as a soccer/swimming/figure skating/(insert desired sport here) star, so doggone it, my kid's gonna do it for me. So what if I don't possess one shred of athletic or sportsman-like talent? I can pretend I do by riding off of the successes of my child. I paid for the lessons so they must succeed. They must.

4) Intellectual infallibility -- To whom else can I come across as an all-knowing, all-doing and overall incredible person? To my kids, that's who. Sure, they're completely off base in this delusion, but there is comfort in knowing that I can perpetuate this myth for a number of years, or at least until they learn to use Google and Wikipedia.

5) Beauty Bliss -- My kids think I'm beautiful and I like it that way. All kids think that their parents are beautiful and handsome. They haven't seen any really beautiful and handsome people, or don't know what it means. Reality hits as they get older, so I milk it for as much as I can while they're young. "Mommy, you're beautiful," they say. "Thank you darling. Thank you," I answer. Let the delusion continue.

So as you can see, parenting has its perks. Theft, larceny, lying and deception may be involved but they're simply the cost of doing business. Work it while you can, mom and dad. Work it.