Today was not as hard as I thought it would be, although there have been definitely challenging moments. Right now, for instance, I am fantasizing about mixing straight cocoa powder with butter for an after dinner snack. No sugar in that, right?
Today I did notice that I felt a little more lively and radiant—a little more patient, and a lot less anxious than usual. However, that could also be just because I spent an hour writing last night. You know, and the high of doing something new and “exciting,” like depriving your family of edible love. Oh! I did tell the kids “no lollipops today” at Trader Joe’s, and nobody had a tantrum! For 4 p.m. on a Friday afternoon, that was huge.
The kids. My lovelies. Let me clarify a little more my position on their role in all this. As I illustrated previously with my admission of sneaky syrup and clandestine pudding cups, my kids don’t have all the “typical” experiences of treats that three- and five-year-olds have in this country. But that’s not a bad thing. And although I am very careful with the food they are given at home, and take to school, I’m not trying to RUIN their childhoods. They’ll get their Halloween candy. Do they need it? No. Did I have it? Absolutely. Right now they are slowly, one per day, finishing off those (amazing, I think it was my best batch ever) peanut butter cookies. And I’ll be relieved when those are out of the house, no longer calling to me with their crispy edges and sultry peanut buttery smell, appealing both to my appetite and my vanity. Did I mention they were my best batch ever?
But why don’t I just throw them away? Will the kids even know? No, probably not. But I’ll know. And I can’t waste food. Somewhere out there a starving child is crying, thinking about peanut butter cookies. So I take the “finish it slowly and don’t replace it” approach to the junk food in the house.
(Except for the bag of Starburst jelly beans my husband brought home last Easter. That stuff is nasty, and I threw it out.)
But I digress. Back to the kids. At home there will be no sugar. And, as a matter of fact, no snacking. I have discovered that by withholding snacks, Boo will actually taste most of his dinner. They get a morning snack at school anyway, so I don’t think DCFS can technically get involved. I will be heading to Costco to get a giant package of Halloween-themed mini pretzel bags to give away, and a giant package of Brawny for when my house is egged. But I do plan to let them eat their candy fairly joyously on All Saints Day, and then a piece or two a day (depending on what I need to bribe them for) until it’s gone. I also intend to let them have one dessert or treat at each party we attend, which at this point is about two a week on the weekend.
I think my husband thought he might benefit from this “party” rule too. I assured him it was only for those in our house who have yet to attain the Age of Reason, and are therefore unreasonable monsters. Last night he reviewed my blog for me and he came away rather pensive. “Hmm… I think it’s… good,” he said.
“Well, it’s just strange reading about all the things I’m going to be giving up…”
I blinked. It appeared it was beginning to occur to him that he didn’t really know what I had gotten him into.
“And honey, I just realized, the parish picnic is this weekend,” he added. The tone of his voice clearly said, “so we should put this off another week.” The air was thick with implications of free beer and brownies.
“So? It’s not like you can’t eat anything.” Desperate stare. “And it’s not supposed to be about the food!”
Well, is it?