Tuesday, June 17, 2008

HFCS/DVD Nation, what we're feeding our kids

(I'm starting to feel like a really preachy prude, but here is something else that was in the chute. You can give at least part credit to Barbara Kingsolver whose book I'm reading and which I will post in "What We're Reading" shortly.)

There are no two ways around it. This trip was the most sugar-laden episode of Isaac's 3 years and almost 4 months here on earth.

Who knows what he was lapping up in utero with my chocolate pudding pie cravings (you-know-you're-pregnant-when...you keep an ample supply of graham cracker crusts in your house at all times.), but since emerging into this little red state – blue state game we call life in the U.S. he has been spared much of mine and my husband's addiction to the sweet stuff.

I was somewhat prepared to throw my hands up for this special adventure and return to eating beets, broccoli and peas from our garden again once we got back home. As we settled in to our flight three hours behind schedule, I was also relieved that the video monitors were limited to the area high above us in the center aisle so that I wouldn't spend the “in flight entertainment” portion of our journey keeping Isaac from watching incredibly violent movies. Even “Alvin and the Chipmunks” - a video version of which hung directly in front of our seats on the last air travel sojourn, involved scenes of stress and violence that put Isaac on the verge of tears - “Me no like dit mobie!” For the moment, all was well. Then we arrived, and we were back on track for the original issue.

We won't even count his grandmother's Rice Crispie treats and frog eye salad (some sort of jello, marshmallow concoction if you must know). Or her proclaimed “healthy” supply of snacks for our plane ride back including chocolate fudge granola bars. Just joshing – of course we'll count those! “You don't want him to have it, do you?” my mother-in-law would chuckle while offering the cookie jar. I'm so glad flaunting our lifestyle choices for our son amuses you.

Then there is the little moments of earned yum or of stress that sent Mike after bread pudding covered in whipped cream at one dinner, and my cave to chocolate chip cookies another day. The convenience store shopping turned up yogurt (high fructose corn syrup) and wheat crackers (high fructose corn syrup). The choices at our breakfast bar were so scant I agreed to a fruit bar – always bad news (high fructose corn syrup).

But the crowning moment of sugar rushes was when we were finally escaping for home. After driving in circles at 4:30 am trying to follow our hotel's directions to the airport, we arrived at our rental car return. The only person there at that hour was the same man who'd been whipping cars around the lot when we got the thing. He was about the size of the SUV he was standing next to and he addressed my son:

“You're not awake yet, huh?”

Isaac blinks.

“Want some candy?”

I checked – no trench coat. No van parked outside the school playground....What the hell kind of line was that??

“Nooooo!” Isaac squeals with a giggle twisting into me. He too believed it must be a joke.

“Oh, c'mon,” he continues, “I'll share my Mike n Ikes with you.”

“No, thank you,” I tell him this time, still convinced he must be kidding.

“Cookie?” he persists, ignoring me and speaking again directly to Isaac.

“We're not doing candy for breakfast and we're not doing cookies for breakfast,” I say more firmly.

“Aw, why not? He's gonna have Duncan Donuts in the airport anyway. What's the difference?”

This is Duncan Donuts country. The prevalence of Duncan Donuts stores here is second only to discussion of the Celtics and Red Sox as a cultural marker, (and of men like the one I saw in a “YANKEES SUCK” teeshirt, the letters a foot high on his chest - miraculously I managed to hold my tongue; he was with his elderly parents and I thought it best not to cause a scene). We know people who wanted to name their son Duncan but were discouraged by family members who feared that his recess buddies might nickname him Donut, or worse. I think to be incorporated as a town here you must provide habitat for no less than 3 Duncan Donut establishments.

While I was not about to accept Mike n Ikes (even if they do carry the names of my boyZ) from the 5-foot, 300-pound model of healthy choices, to some extent, he did have a point. Under the lean tutelage of his father, Isaac picked out a giant corn muffin at the airport. My bite tasted mostly like cake.

I have a dentist appointment for my dear one in about 3 weeks to fill a small hole in the far back upper right side of his mouth. Our pediatric dentist is very nice and while Isaac does not relish going, I'm hoping for the best. The office does have an unfortunate habit, however, of turning on the enormous video screen in front of the chair to “entertain” the kids while they are worked on. When we were there for our cleaning, just as Isaac sat down it was the part in “Ratatouille” when someone is shooting a gun at the rat – ah, how soothing.

Wish me luck.


Anonymous said...

Stand your ground, Kitty! We've got to have at least one kid in the Public Schools who knows the difference between "Fruit" and "Fruit Roll-ups".

bobbie said...

You go, girl!

Anonymous said...

"Dunkin" Donuts, Kitty. Geeze, if ur gonna slam the place...at least spell it right!

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