Thursday, May 03, 2007

sweet dreams: evolution over one generation?

Shorty after Isaac was born, I was digging through my own baby book for stats revealing genetic links to why our son was already popping tooth after tooth painfully out of his gum line. I was happy to have the book to refer to, since we weren't getting any on Mike's side. His “baby book” consisted of half a piece of paper that listed a random weight and height – the end. The youngest of four, his mom was apparently over it by the time baby Mikey hit the scene. I am also the youngest of four, but what might have saved my infant info from a similar fate was the eight year gap since the last baby in the family, marking my birth – whoopsie that it was – something of a novelty once again.

While flipping around my baby book, I came across a small piece of paper that for all intents and purposes seemed to be a recipe written on a doctor's prescription pad. A closer look sent me dialing my mother at once.

“Mom, I found the 'recipe' for my baby 'formula',” I shot into the phone.

“Oh really,” my mother sighed distractedly, unsuspecting.

“Whole milk and sugar?!? Mom.”

“Oh no,” my mother hummed, “You couldn't take the whole milk. We switched to skim.”


“Yes, dear?”

Let's put aside for a bit the myriad nutritionally misguided and bereft aspects of this diet to focus on one: the sugar.

Caffeine addict I am not. Vegetarian- 100% - no I eat fish if my cousin Larry the chef cooks it. or Free range chicken on the third Mondays of the month. No. Vegetarian. – going on 16 years. But sugar? Well, let's just say that after two weeks of trying to eat healthy alternatives, stuffing carrots and cashews in my face for snacks, I grabbed the front of my husband's shirt in my fist. “I need cookies, see? Cookies, you got it? I NEED cookies!”

Not wanting my boy to take this path of lunacy, plus diabetes prevalent in our family history, formidable dentist bills commonplace, I've done my best to curb (read: hide) my habits and mold my bean's tastebuds into freewheeling lovers of flavors sour and spicy, or natural sugar enhanced.

One Sunday during Isaac's nap, Mike had cooked up a mini-batch of chocolate chip cookies in the toaster oven, when suddenly kiddo was awake - Doh! He pointed at the still-warm treats. “Yeah... yeah,” he nodded. “Oh, give'm a cookie,” I told Mike, resigned.

We all sat down at the table and Isaac proceeded to slowly munch a quarter of a cookie. “Do you like it?” I asked. He nodded rather noncommital.

When he was done his fourth of a cookie, he took up his fork and continued his snack of carrots and beets I had cooked him not long before while Mike and I finished off the cookies beside him.

These days, Isaac gets his cookie fix by asking his dad to make biscuits every day for breakfast so he can cut out the dough in the shape of dinosaurs and Christmas trees.

I'm not simple enough to believe this is the end of sweet temptations, and in fact, I worry that it could just be a fad, those cute things kids do for what feels like a millisecond before dropping them completely. Even if they aren't gone yet, watching, you know someday you'll long for them – things like constantly asking us to draw doors, or announcing proudly whenever asked what cows say “Boo!! Boo!!”, obsessing about nuclear families – if there's a mommy bunny and a baby bunny in the book, for God's sake, where's the daddy?

But for now, in the field of snacks, I'd like to think – I did it!!

1 comment:

inkandpen said...

Wow! Very well done, especially if it sticks. I also have a dreadful sweet tooth (mom...?) and my husband grew up on Little Debbie snacks stuffed into his school lunches-- it's a shared problem. We've discussed whether early training might be able to cause such behavioral changes, as I'd rather have a kid that doesn't want sugar than one who I have to keep away from it. Sounds like you're there!

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