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Sneakers are NOT Footwear

Beef Jerky

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I have fond memories as a child of “sneaking” beef jerky (I know, I can’t believe I used to LOVE that stuff) from the kitchen cabinet and going off in secrecy somewhere to eat it. Sometimes I operated alone, and other times I had an accomplice. Usually my younger brother, or my friend from down the street. Some of our favorite spots for eating the beef jerky were:  my bedroom closet, my backyard and the “attic” of our garage where we kept dusty, unused sleeping bags.

Of all things, why we chose beef jerky, I cannot remember. One of two different types of jerky could be found in the cabinet. The first type was flat and dry-looking. It was about 6 inches long and had a peppery taste to it. It was the kind that required quite a bit of saliva to break down the tough fibers. You really had to work your jaws and teeth, which left no time for conversation. It was a silent experience, except for the sucking and slurping sounds, which was good, since we were always listening for my mom, in case we had to hide the evidence quickly.

The second type was slim and round. I remember the red and yellow Slim Jim package and wondered who Jim was. You could actually chew them, as they were juicier  than the other kind. If we were lucky, sometimes my mom bought the type infused with artificial cheese. They were finger licking-licious and of course were our favorite.

I’m sure that I “snuck” other things during my childhood, but the beef jerky brings back the fondest memories. At my friend’s house down the street, there was no sneaking aloud. My friend’s mom always had a bowl of pastel colored Jordan almonds on the table by the door. It would have been easy to grab a handful on the way out the door, but we had to ask first. We would only be allowed a few.

Now that I have children, I’ve noticed that the “sneaker” gene must  have been passed down to my children. I first saw it a few years ago when my son retrieved the Easter baskets from atop a high shelf. He and his sister gorged themselves on chocolate and jelly beans. When confronted, he promptly blamed his younger sister, saying she ( the 2-year-old) had climbed the 7 foot tall shelf and grabbed the baskets.

Recently his “sneaking” tendencies have resurfaced. My son was successful in sneaking candy to a back hallway that was until recently, home to many boxes. While cleaning and organizing this area, I discovered lollipop  sticks and numerous wrappers of candy canes, sweet tarts and fun-size chocolate bars. I cleaned up the wrappers, but then hid the candy while the kids were sleeping, thinking that I had solved the problem. It didn’t.  In fact, he sought out new items to “sneak”. While in the pantry, I found half empty boxes of cookies and bags of mini marshmallows. Small liquorice infused chocolates that the rest of the family had deemed disgusting, were found stashed in his pants pockets at the end of the day. We sat him down and explained that too many sweets were not good for his teeth. We emphasized that if he asked permission first, he most likely could have a treat.

I don’t think we’ve seen the last of the sneakers. In fact, the sneaking  will probably escalate. I’m sure in no time his sister will become heavily involved and later one of the many children who live on our block. I’ll be ready for them, as I was once a sneaker too.

120 thoughts on “Sneakers are NOT Footwear

  1. Good to know I’m not alone — I recently discovered a stockpile of candy wrappers between my son’s mattress and bed.

    Having NOT been a sneaker myself as a child, I hastily considered psychotherapy. 😉

    Cooler minds now prevail!

  2. I guess I wasn’t a sneaker. We were allowed certain things and I remember being satisfied with that. I don’t remember much candy being around. So maybe I had nothing to sneak. My kids on the other hand think candy is just another food and they can get it any time they want, brazenly! We have had to put limits on that but they know it is there. Maybe shrinking the supply would help?! Congrats on being FP!

  3. Haha! Candy that was approved by a parent doesn’t taste as good as candy that was so cleverly ‘sneaked’ and eaten behind a wall of boxes. 😉

  4. Who doesn’t like Beef Jerky…I mean really…You gotta snap into it! Snap into a Slim Jim!! I still love beef jerky when we go on long trips because it reminds me of my childhood. I also like Capri Suns too – every time you drink one you always think…”This is so not enough!” You need like three of those to be satisfied.

    • Before I went vegan, I was a huge beef jerky fan. Teriyaki beef jerky was my absolute favorite. My brother worked at a convenience store for years, and he’d shake his head at me whenever I came in to buy jerky. “Deb,” he’d tell me with a shake of his head, “Why the heck are you going to eat something that dogs will not eat?” I thought he was kidding, but then I witnessed a half-dozen different dogs reject jerky. (My own dog doesn’t belong in this group, FWIW.) Still didn’t stop me, though. For reasons I still can’t comprehend, I just couldn’t get enough of the stuff!

  5. I was a sneaker. I used to sneak into the pantry for reese’s peanut butter chips that my mom kept around for baking. I didn’t take many, so I wouldn’t get caught, but she eventually caught on when the tupperware container she kept them in was almost empty. That wasn’t the only “incident”, but it’s the one I remember the most.

  6. “When confronted, he promptly blamed his younger sister, saying she ( the 2-year-old) had climbed the 7 foot tall shelf and grabbed the baskets.” Oh, how this made me laugh!

    My siblings and I were also sneakers. We weren’t into the same things, fortunately; I nabbed the Adams peanut butter the instant my mom turned her back while my sister went for the pickles and my brother the cheese. No matter what tactics my mom adopted to combat the sneaking, it kept on happening. After many years, she finally threw up her hands and left it at, “Someday you’ll have your own kids! Then you’ll know!”


  7. You know who has some awesome beef jerky is Trader Joe’s beef jerky. I had to sneak it lots of times too because I was forbidden to eat it by the Dr., bad TMJ. Once you start sneaking, it’s hard to stop!

  8. What’s the opposite of sneaking? My brother was notorious for throwing Flintstone vitamins and whatever other pills he was given behind the couch. When my family remodeled and pulled the couch away from the wall, they found enough colorful pills to start a children’s pharmacy. I just don’t understand. Children’s chewables are so delicious!

  9. It’s funny how so many of us learn at a young age that it is easier to ask forgiveness than permission — especially when you don’t normally get caught. Good story!


  10. Well, I’ve never stolen Mom’s beef jerky, but I would sneak her powered white icing mix. OH gosh, heaven. I used a small green plastic bowl, put about 5 huge spoons of the icing then add a little water, stir and eat. Oh my, the sugar rush. Thinking back the idea repulses me. Great post. Congrats on Freshly Pressed.

  11. I shudder at how much sneaking I did as a kid, and since I believe in karma, I am so in for it with my kid…..

  12. As a greek girl who lives in her sneakers, I wanted to say I loved your post. My manager Mr. Bricks lives on beef jerky….he has to sneak it when he is around me because I lectured him all of the time on the importance of good nutrition.

    Congrats on being Freshly Sneakered, or rather Freshly Pressed.



  13. My dad made his own jerky from deer or elk. It was yummy. His is thicker and chewy but not as dried out. There is a meatiness to it most jerky lacks. He also had beef sticks, pepperoni sticks, and summer sausage made up. I would sneak the pepperoni sticks out of the basement freezer. I would also climb the counter to reach the upper cupboards for the sugar cubes. I went after regular candy. Only sugar cubes. I blame it on second grade polio shots that included a cube of sugar. It was the texture of it melting in my mouth that I liked. The only other thing I would sneak were sips of my dad’s beer. He used those little toppers to seal a bottle after opening. It was back in the days when parents let kids have ‘one sip’ from the top of the newly opened beer. That way the kids felt included and not deprived and then usually didn’t care about it anymore. I learned that one sip tasted great. More didn’t. So I sneaked sips. To this day, the best part of a bottle of beer is the very first drink. After that, I don’t really care for it.

  14. It’s amazing that sneaking can be so enjoyable! My Gram used to keep “tea trays” set up in various rooms of her house, and I would sneak from tray to tray and eat the sugar cubes. I think it had to do with her giving me one after I had to take medicine one day. Disgusting! But it tasted so good at the time!

  15. I was always a sneaker and a good one! I hope this doesn’t pass on in the future. Thanks for sharing your story!

  16. beer sips, wine sips, beef jerky… oh so good!

    My brother and I snuck a brand new bottle of Flintstones chewables vitamins, divided it up and ate almost the entire thing before my mom came home and caught us [my dad was asleep on the couch]. The funny thing was I wasn’t even that in to sweets. I just wanted my brother to think I was cool. I’m sure that did it 😉

    Love the title of this post too!

  17. I do not love jerky but I enjoy peanut butter or chocolate. My 14 y.o. is an intense sneaker, willing to take things off of the dinner plate from whomever is sitting next to him.
    Congrats on a great post and being freshly pressed.

  18. I love that he stashes things in his pockets. There’s a little ‘sneaker’ in all of us 🙂

    • Once I went to wash his winter coat. It was so heavy. I unloaded the pockets and discovered a treasure trove of found objects that I’m sure had once delighted him, but ere now forgotten. I think you are right about there being a sneaker in all of us.

  19. Oh yeah, I was definitely a sneaker and my 7 year old daughter has received that sneaker gene. I bet she wishes her mother wasn’t an OCD cleaner because I always find lollipop sticks and gum wrappers hidden behind her toy box and nightstand. In her defense, if I wasn’t the local Candy Nazi her life would probably be a lot easier.

    Oddly, I used to sneak frozen french fries (eww, I know) and as I grew older I began to sneak her smokes.

    You’re not alone! 🙂

  20. An amusing account! I have the same habit… with chocolates stored in the fridge. But it’s only a matter of time until someone figures out that the chocolates are less right? Lol, I guess it’s time for me to change ways too 😀

  21. Who hasn’t done some sneaking in their lives? Is it possible that “sneaking” can be equated with “stealing”? God only knows, I guess. 🙂

    • Maybe sneaking happens in a homelike or other comfortable atmosphere, whereas stealing implies that it didn’t belong to you or that you didn’t have access to it without permission. Usually it is harmless, I think.

  22. I don’t know if sneaking is in one’s “genes” or “jeans” but yes, been there and done that! Congrats on FP’d!

  23. My mum has a cookie jar that everyone tries to open ‘silently’ to sneak a cookie or treat. Its nearly impossible, but we all sneak (including my mum). Its kind of funny, but I kind of miss that cookie jar now that I’m not living at home.

  24. I don’t have any kids yet **happy sigh** but I guess part of the whole concept of having children is to see them exceed the successor generations to become smarter. One of the results is when we see advancements in the world around us for the better! There’s definitely been advancements in how sneaky children can be 🙂

    Btw…when I was younger my thing was raw sugar – turned into a bit of problem when my Step-Mum realised that the sugar jar was constantly having to be refilled. One day when she came in from work, she saw me standing on a fairly high counter for my height at the time cupping handfuls of sugar straight into my mouth…MAYDAY!

  25. Some habits don’t change, they are like our signature act or trademark.
    Some change as we grow up. I guess all is good, if its in control.

  26. I wasn’t a sneaker originally, but after a while food had such a lure that I wanted to be able to have more than others would know about. Can’t say that it worked!

  27. this all seems pretty simple to me: if you don’t want your kids eating all that crap, don’t buy it, but I guess that would make for a pretty boring blog post.

    • Really, we are not the one’s buying the majority of it. Mostly the candy is left over from birthday party goody bags and treats given to them from holidays. We actually do throw quite a bit of it out. It seems to be pretty typical that children are given way too many sweets on way too many occasions. Perhaps our society feels guilty for not spending enough time with the families, so they placate their emotions with sweets.

  28. Lol, my brother and sister and I would sneak into the cold storage room and drink soda (from the old school glass soda bottles) in the dark, passing the bottle between us, and then sneak back out and upstairs.

    I also remember sneaking sugar cubes from my dad’s basement office while he was on the phone. We would try to sneak across the room to the table where the box of sugar cubes was, grab one, and slowly creep back out before he swiveled around on his office chair!

    Ah me… memories!

    • Do you ever get toether with them and play remember when we…? That’s the best.
      Oooh, old school glass bottles. My soda memories are of generic orange, grape and cream soda, . Mmmmm.

  29. My son is the exact same way. He sneaks into the fridge and eats food while people are sleeping and I find candy wrappers buried like hidden treasure everywhere. Sometimes he looks the other way for a second and when he turns back, he’s chewing. Ask him what he’s eating and I get the EPIC answer all kids give…”I dunno”.

  30. A year or so into marriage, I realized my husband always walked on his toes in the kitchen . . . and only in the kitchen. Upon further investigation, I found out he was a serious sneaker as a child. He even ate the entire filling out of a pie once, and then replaced the crust on top. His mom did not find out until she cut into it . . . in front of company. I guess I should probably start watching to see if my kids are walking on their toes in the kitchen . . . just in case it IS genetic.

    Cute post.

  31. I like a spicy flat jerky!
    When I was young, I used to sneak brown sugar out of the bag. I didn’t eat too many sweets in general, but there was just something about brown sugar!

  32. My husband grew up on a farm and still has a love affair with beef jerky. Mostly because his family made their own beef stick thingies. I used to eat it until I sat at his house one day eating a stick and peered through the window to see the cows milling about. I looked at my beef stick, then back at Bessie in the pasture. I haven’t eaten one since but I know my husband sneaks them.

  33. Wow this is a great post i really enjoyed it … The only thing we sneaked was probably pizza .. like we would go out sometimes and eat pizza and not tell any body about it … And cookies… good times. Great post.

  34. Unfortunately, my sneaking became more pronounced AFTER I had my children – there were special treats I didn’t want to share with the little stinkers (never claimed to be mother of the year) so I would sneak when they were asleep. So, I really couldn’t say a whole lot when I caught them sneaking! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

  35. I’m assuming your innocent childhood stealing habit didn’t result in any jail time later in life. I’ll tell my mother to stop pulling her hair out worrying about her chronic candy theft of an 8 year old son… he’s an extremely sneaky one I kid you not. Thanks 🙂

    • No time behind bars for me. I think it’s a time in life where children are learning rules and boundaries. Also maybe the sneaking is a way of controlling something in their lives. They know that a few pieces of candy or sugar cubes will not get them in hot water, maybe just a little “talking to” if they get caught.

    • I am also on twitter and facebook. I link my posts so that they get sent to these feeds. I tell friends about my blog, I try to write interesting posts with equally interesting posts. Look at the wordpress information page. There is a whole section with suggestions. You can also get tips from other blogs and sites that discuss that topic specifically. Good luck!

  36. Fabulous post.
    My other half is brilliant at sneaking biscuits. JUST BEFORE DINNER!
    I truly believe that when we have children, he will train them in his sneaky ninja biscuit stealing ways, and get them to carry out his deeds!
    It truly is a worry.

  37. I myself am not a sneaker (I’m a teen) but I have a friend who is. His room is practically a pantry! Whenever we go over, it’s like, “Are you hungry?” and he magics a Mars Bar from no where!

    Nice post by the way!

  38. My dad used to stock vending machines in his restaurant. He kept boxes and boxes of candy bars, chips, gum, you name it, in his closet. I remember sneaking Junior Mints and Goo Goo Clusters, Snickers bars and Butterfingers, M&M’s and Slim Jims out of that closet. I would bury the wrappers in the kitchen trash can. My waistline was the ultimate victim.

    Great post. 🙂

      • No, I don’t think he kept a formal “inventory” per se. He just went to Sam’s and stocked up and then would stick it all in his closet. Then he would take what he needed to load the machines when they got empty. It was probably safer for him to keep the stuff at home, where there was only one little sneaky thief, as opposed to a whole staff!

  39. Oh I was definitely a sneaker as a child. I think that’s why I still have such an aggressive sweet tooth! I can’t imagine tracking down the trail of a sneaky child, as I don’t have one, but I have found stockpiles of hair ties and bobby pins under rugs in my house thanks to my cat. Thankfully she’s not sneaking around with candy. Great post!

  40. I have fond memories of sneaking into the kitchen as a child to eat the raw cookie dough that is used to make sugar cookies! I used to run into the kitchen when my mom has her back turned and then run back out and hide in the corner to eat it! It was totally worth it!

  41. I read freshly pressed almost daily
    Check out my blog sometime.
    “Whatcha need Got you covered in Northwest Houston,Tx.”

  42. Oh, this brings back so many memories of my own childhood.
    My mom has always been an amazing cake-maker. She loves making cakes. Back in the day, every Saturday, she would make one cake, and let us all have it for dessert after dinner. There would usually be leftovers, which we were supposed to eat the next day. But quite often, the leftovers would have mysteriously disappeared by the next day. I would quietly go down just before lunch, spoon some cake into a bowl, eat it up really quickly, and wash the bowl and put it in the sink. I even timed myself, because I knew the exact time my mom would be coming down.
    Sneakers are definitely NOT footwear.
    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!
    Ashley, aka TheEverydayMuser

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