Sugar in the morningMar 29 2012 | 12:48:46 | No Comments

I’m a concerned parent. I care about what my kids eat. I don’t want my kids to develop an unhealthy relationship with food.  I don’t want my kids to become part of the childhood obesity epidemic (unlikely given both their parents have super-high metabolism but still).  We have gotten used to half juice half water (news flash: drinking lots of “healthy” juice — while slightly better than soda — is not too different from mainlining pixy stix!). Undiluted juice now seems unbearably sweet – how did we ever drink it straight?

But kids are kids.  They gravitate toward the sweetest option available every morning.  When the choices are Kix (3g sugar), Chex (2g sugar) and Cheerios (1g sugar), they eat the Kix.  When the choices expand to include Maple & Brown Sugar Quaker Oatmeal (12g sugar), they pick the oatmeal almost every time.

So I’ve taken to removing a heaping spoonful of sugar from the packet every morning.  It’s kind of a pain, so when Quaker changed the recipe and reduced the sugar by 25% I was pretty stoked.  I tried it, it tasted fine.  My kids noticed it was different but did not care one iota.  If anything, I think they liked it better.  I stopped buying the store brand since it still has the old super-sugary formula.

Then came the backlash.  Someone actually made a facebook page pleading with Quaker to change it back.  Stories upon stories poured forth, stories of people disgusted with the new formula, forced to throw out these vile, not-as-sweet packets. Quaker was accused of elitist socialism. And Quaker is forced to acknowledge that it has made a mistake of “new coke” proportions (ironic since new coke actually had more sugar), and they restore their “classic recipe.”

So, I’m back to spooning out chunks of sugar from the packets.  And wondering why they can’t use the shelf space currently filled with “Dinosaur Egg” oatmeal (the eggs are little nuggets of solid sugar) to stock the reduced sugar boxes alongside the classic recipe.

No, let’s ruin our health and bankrupt the country treating early onset diabetes. Let’s drag everyone else in America down into this pit with us.


What a difference a day makesDec 07 2011 | 12:25:19 | No Comments

Monday morning:

Mo wakes up crying because he has (again) peed the bed.  Mom showers him, finds him some new clothes, lets him go back to sleep in guest bed.  Mom off to work.

A minute later, Oscar wakes up crying with a bloody nose, even though we ran the humidifier in their room all night.  For some reason the heat vent in their bedroom blasts 3x harder than any other room in the house, even with the vent closed.

Collect pee sheets from Mo’s bed.  Leave Oscar’s blood-stained sheets in place (hey, it kind of matches the stain on the other side now).  Realize Mo (kindergarten) needs white T-shirts for class project.  Thinking, there’s still time to hit Target on the way to school.  Try to get Mo out of bed. Already past his normal alarm time, but, won’t get up. Mo pulls sheet over head and starts kicking and screaming.  Oscar announces he doesn’t want to go to school today.

Carry Mo downstairs (still kicking and fussing) to eat breakfast.  While waiting for Moses to simmer down, I pack their lunches.  Oscar announces he doesn’t want his leftover mac and cheese for lunch today.  He wants me to make him a sandwich instead.  I tell him there’s no time and he’s going to love the mac and cheese.  He punches his lunchbox in anger and earns a time out.

Moses is still doing a pretty good impression of a zombie having a seizure.  Lots of moaning and body twisting.  Won’t tell me what’s bothering him, much less what he wants for breakfast.  Oscar announces he doesn’t want the jacket I picked out for him.  He wants his blue “Target” jacket with the number ’37’ on the front which is, of course, nowhere to be found. I tell him I don’t know where it is, he has to wear this one or pick something else.  He gets angry, I WANT MY BLUE TARGET JACKET!

So I get angry right back, I DON’T HAVE THAT JACKET, STOP SAYING NO TO EVERYTHING AND STOP ASKING ME FOR THINGS YOU KNOW I DON’T HAVE! And I immediately want to rewind and do that over without the yelling but it’s too late.  He tries to hold back the tears for a couple seconds and then slumps to the floor with a betrayed look and a pair of very leaky eyes.

Fast forward to Target parking lot.  Oscar insists on standing inside the cart, Mo (almost 2 years older than Oscar) wants to be in the child seat.  Fine, everyone’s situated. I whip the cart around (yes, way too fast) to head into the store and Oscar promptly loses his balance and splits his lip open as his face mashes into the side of the cart.  So we zoom into the Target bathroom, me and my bleeding, screaming child, and I’m realizing the parent-of-the-year award has just slipped out of reach.  But, white T-shirts in hand, we make it to school just as the bell rings.

Tuesday morning:

Everyone wakes up happy and ready to face the day.  No tantrums.  No impossible demands.  Breakfast is tackled early and with gusto.  Plenty of time to finish Mo’s homework together, read some books, get in the car early and walk the kids into daycare (Oscar) and up to the schoolyard (Mo).

Praying for less Mondays and more Tuesdays.