Pretend you’re standing in a check out line with your child. You’re at an old-school regular grocery store — not Whole Foods, not Trader Joe’s, not Stew Leonard’s. Just a regular grocery store. And you ask your child if they want to pick out a candy bar. What would they pick? Do you feel like you know their favorite?

This is on my mind because yesterday, Betty mentioned that she had won a prize from her church Sunday School teacher, and that she got to pick out any candy bar she wanted. She chose her very favorite: a Take Five. And I was like, “What in the world is a Take Five? And since when are they your favorite? I thought you were all about Twix bars.” 

It got me thinking about two things. First I asked myself: How well do I know my kids’ favorite things?

Regarding favorite candy bars I’m mostly confident. June’s favorite is Kit Kat. Betty’s is Take Five, with a second favorite being Twix. I just learned that Oscar apparently also loves Take Fives the most, and Butterfinger is his second pick. Olive and Maude? I’m not sure. I think Heath Bars maybe? And for Ralph, I believe his favorite is a Symphony Bar with Toffee.

As for favorite colors, I’m mostly unsure. I know June loves blue. But I only know this because all four daughters went through what turned out to be a very predictable pattern. They adored pink above all else from about ages 3-5, and then had a sudden switch to blue and immediately rejected all things pink. June is currently in the blue phase. I know Betty loves yellow the most. Yellow was also my dad’s favorite color, so that makes me happy. Everyone else? No idea. If I guessed, I would say blue for Oscar and red for Olive. Maybe navy for Maude? And I can’t even guess for Ralph. Maybe green? I might just be thinking of his green screen. Hah!

Favorite song? Favorite meal? Favorite outfit? Favorite movie? Favorite school subject? Favorite book? I probably know one or two of these for each child, but mostly I don’t.

It makes me wonder: Is this just because I have lots of kids? Would I know all the favorite things if I was parenting one instead of six? Or, is it just me, and the fact that I don’t prioritize that kind of info?

If you ever have to choose something for your child — from a menu, or a toy shop, or a clothing rack — do you feel like you could confidently pick something they would like? When I ask the question this way, I’m pretty confident. I wouldn’t be perfect, but I feel like I could choose something each child would be really happy with maybe 85% of the time. But when we get specific? Oh man. I’m no good at all.

The second thing the candy bar story made me wonder about is modern-day-kids and the candy from my childhood. As I was learning about Take Fives from my kids, I started wondering why my kids were familiar with any of the candy bars at the check out. I mean, I admit we love treats, but we are much more likely to buy ice cream, or make cookies, than pick up a candy bar. Also, we don’t take the kids grocery shopping that often. Ever since we became parents, we’ve usually done the shopping at night when they’re already in bed. So it’s not like they’ve spent a lot of time studying candy bars as they waited in line.

Of course, then I remembered Halloween — which is basically a perfect storm for getting familiar with tons of different candy bars. But still, it had me thinking: how familiar are the average American kids with the candy bars we grew up with? If they get to choose a treat, are they as likely to think of something Japanese, like Pocky Sticks or Hi-Chews, as they are to think of a Hershey Bar? If they grew up with parents who mostly shop at Trader Joe’s they may not even be familiar with a Snickers bar, right?

What’s your take? How familiar are your kids with the candy bars at the grocery store check out? Do they have a favorite? If they were to pick out a treat, would a candy bar even come to mind? And how well do you know their favorite things? I’m so curious!

P.S. — I feel like I know my grocery-store-check-out-candy-bars pretty darn well, and I have never had a Take Five. Are they new? Are companies still inventing new candy bars? I feel like the only new things I see are endless versions of Reeses or new flavors of M&Ms. Hah!