Something sweet happened today. I gave Noah, not one, but two mini-mouthwatering Reese's pieces butter cups. That's right - I did. I just peeled back the wrapper, extended my arm and watched him devour the entire cup in one gulp.
The instant his lips pressed closed, I wondered if I would regret this moment and corrupt his taste buds. When he looked at me with his new found love, he probably wondered, "who are you and please don't tell my mother."
Chocolate is not an everyday love affair in our home. When they were accidentally discovered on my desk [Aaron surprised me with a bag for our movie-night together and I stashed what I couldn't finish. The things we do for love...] I felt compelled - no obligated - to share this explosion of yumminess with them.
The irony - isn't there always one with parenting? - is that I have always stood my ground on not buying or feeding my kids junk. My intention is to awaken their sweet tooth's with fresh fruits like strawberries, pineapples, mangos and oranges... just how nature intended it. But the truth is - we don't live in the Garden of Eden - anymore. Instead, we're raising our kids in a time where a good marketing campaign is more influential than a Sunday sermon.
My efforts to direct Ava and Noah on the path to make good healthy food choices almost always get trumped by food so devilishly wrapped in shiny paper. In fact, trips to Mom & Dad's usually end in conflict over such sinful indulgences. If I'm lucky and catch them in the act, I'll confiscate the drugs from their tightly-squeezed fists, distract them with something from across the room, and then give my parents the stink eye - for 5 seconds.
I've come to realize that I was fighting a battle with no clear mission. After lots of trial and error, dealing with stomach aches and diaper changes by the hour - I ruled out chocolate for good. But then I can't forget about those moments of insane joy over powdered sugar on pancakes in the morning, cold fruit pops by the pool or chocolate milk after a long nap. I am realizing that children, like us - will have to learn how to balance a good thing.
And sweets can be a good thing. In addition to being a staple for bribery - they are in fact, what make many childhood moments. I remember summers growing up where my sister and I shared many sweet moments together... Like hearing the ice-cream truck from our 5th story window and trampling over each other to get downstairs first.... or raiding Dad's pockets the second he stepped in the door from work in search of the softest, most chewiest brownies in the world...[To this day, I can still taste those brownies.]
Enjoying something sweet with someone you love is like having a delicious fleeting moment of childhood. And I do want Ava & Noah to have oh so much of that. But of course - in moderation... and mommy-approved.
After the second piece, I put the bag away and smiled. I was expecting him to fling himself backwards in defiance - but he simply smiled back - as if thanking me for this gooey chocolate bliss we just shared together.
Our Sweet List
Homemade fluffy pancakes made with fresh sweet potato puree. We use organic potatoes and maple syrup to sweeten the deal for us.
Homemade frozen fruit-pops. I started making these at home to end Ava & Noah's constant craving for a brain freeze. Use fresh raspberries, strawberries and blueberries, blend it with low-fat milk [I don't add any sugar] and freeze them inside plastic molds.
Cookies - we're crazy about Soft Baked Snickerdoodle Cookies we discovered thanks to my nephew Humzah. These yummy cookies are nut and gluten free! And occasionally, when we are in the twisty-milk-dipping mood, we'll have Late July Organic Vanilla Bean with Green Tea Sandwich Cookies. This family-owned company [who also makes Cape Cod potato chips] gets the idea of childhood summers and family-style snacking.
Tell us about your sweet [but good] childhood indulgences...