(Still haven’t gotten to Halloween yet. Where am I in real life? Busy.)
It feels to us now like we’re going through withdrawal.
Now, I don’t know if we were sugar addicts, or if we are just cranky people whose occasional sugar habit was masking this fact with spurts of joy. For at the moment, a cupcake sure seems to me like a spurt of joy.
Dr. A and I were snarling back and forth to each other this bright Saturday morning, that yes, I have a headache too, and yes, I also feel like crap, thank-you-very-much. No hangover to blame, I might add. But it passed. Somewhere around the third shot of espresso, and the fourth (which we fought over; I ended up making another pot) we began to feel more ourselves. Of course, the snarling could have to do with Yogi Bear and Boo-Boo coming in to our room at ten to sunrise on a weekend morning, but that’s not unusual. And, as usual, I said a prayer for the eternal repose of the saint among men who invented Saturday morning cartoons. I liked them as a kid, I LOVE them as an adult.
Anyway. You know, this blog is not supposed to be focused solely on the quest to live a life without sugar. That’s just an excuse to get writing. And week one, it felt great. It felt easy. Week two has begun. And the sucrose has started to hit the fan.
Day 10 we had a party to attend. After the cartoons were turned off and the espressi were polished off and the adults were acting like grown-ups again, we picked up our little pumpkins and three actual pumpkins, and toddled next door to a pumpkin carving party. (I wanted a classic Jack O’Lantern, Bear wanted a bat, Boo wanted a B, and Bitsy wanted to eat dirt. Dr. A just wanted a beer, apparently.)
The hosts of this fun little get-together also happened to be at the pool last weekend, when Dr. A and Bear were at a birthday party and he revealed to all my sadistic mission to avoid sweeteners. I had forgotten this, and I was standing with resolve over the second incarnation of my Jack O’Lantern cheeseball (you make what works, I tell you) eyeing some gigantic and delicious-looking sugar cookies, adorably pumpkin-shaped and frosted in orange and green, thinking to myself, “What if I just have one? Really? Is it going to kill me?” when the host offered me a drink by saying, “I don’t know if you’re drinking, but wine is over there.”
My immediate response was, “Well I’m not pregnant, but I’m not drinking.” And off flew my teensy little desire to cheat. It’s amazing what social pressure will do.
The party was fun. It always is. I carved a pumpkin for Boo and for our fam and Dr. A carved a bat for Bear and we had great conversation with the neighbors. And I did enjoy my cheeseball and red pepper strips, and some homemade chili too, but it became harder and harder to keep my resolve around those sweets. I told the big kids they could each have a cookie and a cupcake. Then Bear skirted the rules by asking if she could use candy corn as a cookie topper. I admire her hutzpah. (We frequently call her The Negotiator.) And she was rewarded with permission to take one candy corn for each year of her age: 5.
Why did I consent to obviously unnecessary junk for her? Because I knew she would sneak an untold number if I did not give her an allowed limit. And she indeed stuck to her 5. Also it maintains the illusion of power that Dr. Awesome and I have in our household. Your kids only have to think you’re in charge.
Boo, of course, is three and a half, and there is only so long he can listen to mommy and daddy in the presence of so many cupcakes. And he did try very hard for the majority of the party. I really don’t blame him; after three hours, I was ready to crack. Then somebody brought out a late fruit tray, Thank GOD! and I went to town on the pineapple. Until then I really thought my succumbing to the sweets was inevitable. Shortly thereafter we caught our son licking sprinkles off a table like a starving puppy. And he did try to abscond with a cupcake multiple times after the high from his allowed treats was gone. Daddy Awesome caught him, (second) cupcake in hand. Boo protested and I said, to soothe him, “Let’s put it in the freezer for another day!” Dr. A, holding the cupcake, agreed and ran next door to our house. Now what I really meant by that was “Go home and throw that cupcake out because I doubt he will remember it,” but my husband is just a man, and like many men he mistakenly thinks that what I say is what I mean. So he went home and put it in the freezer, where it remained…for 48 hours. But that is another story. Back to Day 10, which is by now, winding down.
After we got home and got the monsters to bed, we sat on the couch and commiserated. The party had been fun, but not having sugar or drinking had been really, really hard. Unexpectedly so. Everywhere you go online (it seems to me) people who have given up sugar swear something like, “The first three days are the worst! After that it’s a breeze!”
I think the same people probably say that same lie about parenting.