Thursday, October 27, 2011

Hell-oween Candy

I don't give a sh*t right now about Wall Street or the protests or Libya or menopause or the size of my stomach. You know what I do care about? How Halloween candy is about to ruin my life.

I really care about that right now.

To make a long story short, Halloween candy and I have never gotten along. When I was a kid, there was never enough, my brother always had more, my sister's always lasted longer, and I felt like I got hosed by ending up with all the nasty candy corn. So, I guess it's not entirely a surprise to me that I experiencing some drama around Halloween candy (hereinafter "HC") now that I have children.

I don't want to be the wacky, black-and-white thinking mom that refuses to let my kids participate in any activity where they might come in contact with sugar. I don't want to suck all the joy out of life just because I, myself, had a little struggle with candy and weight all my freaking life. I also don't want to watch Sadie (or Simon once he gets past pureed sweet potatoes and avocados) to maim their bodies or minds or afternoons because they ate too much candy. On an empty stomach.

And that's sort of what happened when Sadie was first introduced to HC this week. She didn't eat a big breakfast on Wednesday, because she was busy being sure that Simon didn't touch a single thing in the house she might ever want to play with. Then, she was walking around in my leopard skin flats (not real leopard skin-- and don't judge; there was a moment in 2009 when those shoes were really fashion forward). When she got ready to go to her regular Wednesday appointment for story time with her friend Rhys, Sadie was game for dusting off her chicken costume and festively joining the other costumed kids.

The only way to describe what happened next is to picture nuclear meltdown at my house 2 hours later when Sadie came home with 2 kit-kat bars down the hatch and she was hungry for more. Lots more. She couldn't talk about anything besides HC. She wanted that kit-kat with a fervor she reserves for the iPad and Elmo. It was lunch time so I pulled out all my culinary tricks: chicken nuggets? Mac 'n cheese? Pumpkin risotto? Truffle oil on a corn cake?


It was all about the HC. HC this and HC that. I made Sadie lunch anyway and set it on the table, explaining that there would be no more HC until she ate her lunch. She sat down for .8 seconds and then declared she was done and ready for her HC. It was the single-mindedness of it. The tenacity. She was like a little Bernie Madoff.

I was scared.

I told her if she ate some of her lunch we would go upstairs with her bottle before her nap (not really a bottle, but a sippy cup full of warm milk, because that's how Princess of the Universe likes it) we would eat her candy together and read a book. My theory was that she needed to have her candy with company (me) and that she would be so filled up by my loving and stimulating maternal presence that she would forget all about the candy.

Right. And, then we ate biscuits on the moon.

I felt really dejected. We don't use sugar as a reward around here. She's getting potty trained through stickers and happy dances done by her parents. She's never had an M&M. She thinks yogurt is ice cream and is happy to have a fig for dessert. What the hell happened with that Kit-Kat? If it was a dark chocolate snickers I could understand, but a Kit-Kat? That's practically just a graham cracker.

Needless to say, when I ended up having to capitulate (because I am afraid of conflict even with my children) and eat the Kit-Kat with her (I didn't really eat any), it went so far downhill from there, I can't even tell you. It was time to hug her and put her down for a nap and she turned 1000 shades of Exorcist child on me. Screaming. Oh, the screaming. She was kicking her crib and then hurting her foot which made her cry more. I would pick her up and rock her and get her calmish and then it would start again when I would mention our primary purpose for the whole excursion upstairs was for her to get her nap. She has really never screamed like that. I would say she was downright apoplectic.

It was only October 26. We haven't even started the bona fide Halloween festivities. How can I keep her from getting sidetracked by the HC? (What if she fails out of highschool because she's a sugar addict? Me-- always in the moment.) I have asked around and haven't really heard anyone else with a good plan for dealing with kids around the HC. One person said 1 piece of candy per day. I like that idea, I just don't want to fight the battle of MORE MORE MORE everyday with her. I don't want to create taboos around food, but I think her reaction to the Kit-Kats was an indication that she needs my intervention. The hell I am going through that again.

She did end up sleeping for 3.5 hours after her cardio temper tantrum. We didn't deal with any HC today so I am one day closer to November, that sweet, sweet candy-free month. I am open for ideas. It's a little too late to convince her that broccoli is a kind of HC. But, I just may try that tomorrow.

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