Saturday, September 24, 2011

How to Navigate a World Filled with Colors and Junk

So my sister-in-law Heidi called and left me a message and mentioned how frustrated she was that everywhere she went people were offering her kids candy. Candy with the colors, the naughty oils, high fructose corn syrup, the whole nine yards. She wasn't necessarily upset with the people, just the fact that she tries so hard to keep the kids in a good place and she is thwarted at every turn! I was feeling her pain in a distant way thinking "just turn people down when they offer it and give the school alternative treats to give to your boy" when in comes Preston from a friends house and I can smell fruity something on him.

I ask him what he had and he said a fruit leather. The fruit leathers I get are okay but when I asked him to show me the wrapper he grabbed and it ran for the bathroom (like I wouldn't be able to follow him in and see what he threw in the garbage). It was of course a fruit roll up rope. It didn't have an ingredient label but those things are usually nastified to the hilt. I immediately start to fear Mr. Hyde and my monkey wakes up out of sheer terror (sounds like a Stephen King novel doesn't it? If you knew what happened after he had artificial colors you would understand!). Then I have to laugh to myself and shake my head at my arrogance thinking Heidi's problem was somewhat solveable.

And her problem to some degree is. People offer my kids junk all the time and I give them 'the look' and they immediately re-phrase to the kids 'only if it is okay with your Mom' and it is pretty much NEVER okay with Mom. If they want to take my kids for the next couple of hours after digestion they are welcome to it! If they took me up on that - they would never offer any kid anything again. Heidi can also talk to the school and tell them what not to give her kid - like an allergy, which to a degree it is - and provide them with alternative treats. But then there is the rest of the world that doesn't know about your child and the big bad world of chemical colors. I laugh as I write this because part of me thinks big whoop! It is a big whoop though because Preston really does have a reaction to it and it is so hard to stay chill when he is in another realm that I can't reach even at warp speed.

I guess it comes down to do your best and forget the rest eh? I'm teaching him how to read labels and recognize what food is good and bad and that I have very tasty alternatives for him when he trades in his junk for something that doesn't cause problems. I'll win some and lose some but I'll keep at it. As for my action item of using some humor to diffuse situations, he told me last night that he couldn't sleep and Jason told him to lay in bed and count some sheep. He got all worked up and said "I can't do it, besides, that is so stupid." I laughed and said, "it sure is. Why don't you count monkies instead because yours are all awake and jumping around right now." I had to laugh at my ingenuity.

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