Riding carousels cannot be done with more verve than by a three year old. Faust park has an old restored one with a fab playground next to it, and historical buildings and barns to walk around. So to say that my daughter who loves horses like a nerd to a hardrive was in heaven!! Besides touring several old barns and her informing us of the usage of stalls and equipment there was something important that occurred to me.
I, the curmeudgeony-rigid-uptight-controlling-on-my-high-horse-about-sugar-eating-mother, determined that I may be a smidginy...just a bit....too concerned about sugar eating. Let me stereotype myself here very quickly so you can get right to the point of judging me and throwing me in the corner so a few of you can determine if I fit your image for your type of mommy drive-by. Anything I can do to make it easy for you to tear me down....anyhoo :) I am the mostly raw-veggy-eating-ex-vegetarian-only-grassfed-meats-when-it-happens-grow-my-own-organic-vegetable-gardening-ho-wholegrain-shmollbrain-backyard-chickenor-kombucha-growing-fool-hippy-dippy-yuppy-yippie-buffalo-piss-and bark-shampoo-user-kind of momma. Ok yes I have birkenstocks and yes I like my BMW thank you very much. I do not pass judegement on what you are doing I swear. If you want to birth in a hospital with IV of drugs, feed your kids artificial whoknowswhat, drive through mcdonalds more than you park in your own garage because of kids bikes, throw out every diaper that your kid's tushy saw.....fine by me! I do not care! I try to get through my day as a mommy and I know most of you are as well. I choose my way for me and my family and do not think that everyone should do it my way. I am just saying that I am not judging!! I was just stating from where I am coming.
So what was it that occurred to me?
I feel embarrassed now that I say this out loud. I have almost never let my kid have a treat on special outings.......ouch stop throwing things at me! I know. I am mean, mean, mean. The world is not coming to an end because she gets a little treat.
Now we do have some sugar on shabbat and occasionally during the weekend we may have something else however we avoid sugar during the week. Not rigidly but follow that guideline. It is not that she never gets sugar it is just that I, the mommy, never treat her with a cookie at the grocery store, an ice cream after the park, or jelly beans at the movie. She has never had ice cream from an ice cream truck. And for the love of god that is the quintessential childhood experience! In all fairness one has never come to our house because we live at the end of a private drive so we are hidden. She does not run like a bat out of hell to get to the magic bells of the truck. She knows nought. I have been all to happy of her lack of awareness what the sound meant. Smug I know.
We left the park and I got this notion about the lack of treats out of the blue and talked about it the whole way to whole foods. The worst harangument ensued. I yelled at me, I bitched at me, I nagged me, I counter-argued myself, I was the devil's advocate for my argument. All this in the presence of my friend who is also the sugar nazi. I thought surely she would take my side...which side? The side of no-sugar eating. But no, apparently she occasionally treats her daughter. Oh my.
The most rigid mom and dad I know are these two. Which means that I am even more rigid about sugar than them!!!!! DIng Ding Ding Ding! Light bulb.
I vowed right there that I could not and should not do that. My child should be allowed to have a treat when there is a special day like the zoo, carousel day, or after a long hike which she so willingly troops through!
I vow to treat my daughter with sugar. Not fruit sugar. Not the succannat health crap but real american sugar. The kind that required hexane to suck out the sweet molecules from the corn that turns to syrup. Oh yeah baby my kid might even get a little hopped up on some good ol' fashioned artificial color stuff that will put hair on her chest.
Why? Because in moderation (does this sound like a corn syrup propaganda commercial yet?) it is ok. Smile.
The reality is that my saying no all the time to some yummy looking goody has in some ways gotten to easy. A quick dismissive no which means end of story. I am so good at talking and being fair with her on so many other levels. I am almost never dismissive. But I have been with sugar. Which should in itself be the obvious sign of imbalance. Now this is not so much about sugar as it is an ideal that I am rigidly striving. I am trying to teach her to be gentle with herself. I want her to be sure of herself. Confidence in a sea of life's turmoil. Know how to make the right choices and arm her with the ability to do so. Gentle dialogue starts by teaching it now. It is so hard to get caught up in hatred for one's body, or what one has, or how one behaves just short of perfect, or how one feels. There seems to be too much harshness in our personal dialogues. I so much want to create peace and the ability to reason reasonably. To teach her to correct herself when she heads of course and to let go and be wild at the right time. A balanced dialogue. There is a season for everything and the wise person can discern what season it is.
So as I removed the stick out of my ass, we pulled into whole foods and promised some yummy gelato to the girls! I know that I could have taken her to dairy queen and really pushed the limit but cut me some slack I was just starting to heal the harsh dialogue so Whole foods was the gentle medium. It felt nice to give her a treat myself. Now I know the artificial high that the grandparents feel. Reminder to self:do not bitch about grandparents behind back about the sugar issue. stop. they enjoy giving it.stop.
Fast forward to dinner of sushi, steamed broccoli, and tempeh (yes feel free to laugh). Scarlett ratted me out to my mom and David that she got ice cream. Eye-brows were raised. They knew a liberation was underfoot! My mother heartily agreed that I am too picky about sugar. Hanging head in shame.
Just as we were finishing up dinner we crazily heard ice cream bells and then I saw it like a shimmering grove of water trees and water in a dessert, my finger raised up triumphantly and pointed out the window for I was speechless! There coming up the back entrance was an ice cream truck! My inner three-year-old jumped up out of my chair to run for its goodness. To run to another and better time of summer days gone by! I was running to it in honor and righteousness and just plain old yummyness.
But, I was knocked over by the old lady (grandma) screaming ICE CREAM TRUCKKKKKKK!!!!! GO DAVID GO CATCH THEM in the voice of a shipwrecked woman on a desserted island who sees her first ship after twenty years.
David in sheer adrenalin clears over several wine crates and out the door yelling! Chaos ensues as we realize the ice cream truck is backing up to leave the dead-end he thinks he has stumbled upon. He has never made a sale there before why now and why bother? Whatever we did and all that we were knew we could not let him out of the street without our prize. Grandma runs for her money and joins the pursuit with David down the street. I am stampeding out the door when I realize that one little one has no idea what in the hell we are doing and is standing there in our fricking way! Child move!!!!!! DONT YOU KNOW IT IS THE ICE CREAM TRUCK? Run to the truck with intuitive instinct!
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Blank stare. Nothing. I snatched up my barefooted daughter (barely spring here and chilly) without coats and jogs to the side with the pictures of goodies. For I alone stood before the great gods of corn syrup and colors not known to nature. I trembled.
The background music of chariots of fire dyed down. All got very quiet.
Scarlett is asking what we are doing as if our heads sprouted playdo and the three of us who have turned into 7 year-olds who know the ways of the ice cream truck are trying to explain. Those pictures are food and you can pick one. Ok food may be pushing it but it is edible and will not kill you...at least not today.
My daughter chose spongebob!!!!!!!!!!!!!! With gumball eyes. In disbelief that she could actually eat something so artificial and twice in the same way she looked at it as if we were trying to poison her or hide her broccoli secretively.
As we made it back inside to eat our fresh kill we all looked at each other and smiled knowing we had all channeled that inner excitment only children can have about the ice cream truck. Scarlett still in shock kept asking us questions like why did that truck have ice cream? Well because it is fun to run after a truck and buy ice cream. Why did we all yell so loudly? Because we for the love of god could not let him get away and leave. Why did that man sit in the truck with ice cream? Because little kids like to buy ice cream when that music plays. Why did grandma knock us over? Because, Scarlett, when the ice cream truck is around manners are not important. Always dancing around what I know she really wanted to ask.... Why in the hell did I get two things of sugar in one day and are you on crack mother?
I think that by having an ice cream truck show up for the first time in all of these years hours after this discussion God was hitting his point home that yeah I am a dumbass and should take his hint and give the kid sugar!
My inner voice is cringing....spongebob! Oy vey!