02 August 2009

Call it a sugar rush, if you will

The legs of maternity’s journey are comprised almost entirely of guilt trips—or so it sometimes seems. From your first forkful during pregnancy (is that the Best Bite for Baby?) to the last factoid of education under your watch, there’s always someone who is more than happy to tell you how irrevocably your ignorant, incompetent parenting is ruining your children forevermore. If you can manage to tune out that tragic chorus, your hyperactive conscience will gladly fill in the doomsday gaps.

At least that’s how my crazier days feel. Crazy or no, the joy of a guilt-free moment breaks upon me in a rush of giddy relief, and gives me hope for more sensibility to come.

A simple realization prompted the glee of this moment. Most days, we pull off a fairly admirable application of the food pyramid, if I do say so myself. BoyOne didn’t have any processed sugar (no graham crackers, no nothing) till his first birthday cake; and then (excepting what was administered behind my back by well-meaning parishioners), he had practically none till his second birthday. BoyThree, by contrast, has participated in most family feasting since an undisclosed, far more tender age.

Undergirded by a chocolate fudge foundation, of course

Here comes the giddy rush: While I wouldn’t change what we did with BoyOne’s diet, I have no regrets about BoyThree’s rather more adventurous nutritional habits. Woo-hoo!

Oh mothers one and all, if only we could grant ourselves (and each other) this grace more often, and in matters more serious than Baby’s First Twinkie. (Not that twinkies aren’t serious. And not that BoyThree has had a twinkie yet. That I know of.)


lisa said...

Yes, I think this even applies to nursing. My first midwife warned me if BabyOne had anything other than straight up mother's milk she would wean - overnight - end of story. So I nursed and nursed and nursed myself silly for nine months before thinking, "Gee, my baby looks - hungry - for something - solid?? I wonder why?"

With BabyTwo we're at six months and he's had blueberries and other delectable snacks like cherry pie licked straight off mama's fingers - and you know what, it's warmed my heart. I too am from a healthier-than-typical home, but this freedom has been, well...freeing :)

Melrose said...

oh wow, so I'm not a terrible mother for grinning when I see the delight with which my 15 mo old inhales a dum dum? He just looks so cute gripping that stick for dear life like at any moment someone will take it away :)

I too did not allow food coloring, sugar, etc until after ds 1's 2nd birthday...and really not until he was nearly 3. Well, ds 2 eats nonstop. He weaned early and if I do not keep sustinence in his body at all times he becomes a crying mess. This has turned into many feasts with graham crackers, pb sandwich crackers, goldfish etc in between the more healthful snacks of yogurt, raisins, apples, etc. He also has had his fair share of cookies and brownies.

Finally, a wonderful person once told me that her wonderful pediatrician said it's not what kids eat in a day (because their appetite varies so much), but what they eat in a week. She said to look at the week as a whole and see if the kids had at least a FEW servings of veggies? Did they have plenty of fruit, protein, and whole grains? (I suppose brownies count if they're made with wheat flour ;) That seems to help take the pressure off of each day...whatever helps right? ;)

Melrose said...

this reminds me of LR Jensen's "Its ok" post...still love that.

Marie said...

Coming from a not-so-health conscious family growing up, I've tried to make healthy changes for my children, and have started explaining my reasoning for say, mixing the whole grain and sugar cereals=) My 3 year old catches on enough that I have to save my "naughty" snacks for rest time! That being said, we have our share of candy from parades, halloween, birthdays, Easter, etc, and I don't worry about it. I've heard from some women that they are disgusted by the "little pigs" (children raised in super-strict healthy homes where nothing processed is served) that come over to their house and play with their children and inhale all of the cookies on the cookie plate. So, when I make cookies I home, I pat myself on the back and think, "Well, at least my children won't embarrass me by eating other families out of house and home...I hope=)"

Thanks for this post, Reb. Mary=)

MooreMama said...

Quick! Someone tell me - Is whipped cream BAD?

Because I'm been using it to bribe Little One to walk.

(No, Gauntlets, it's not frozen OR from a spray can...)

Gauntlets said...

I love leaving guilt at the top of the food pyramid, after the chocolate and fatty fats. :D

MM: You're doing the right thing. Save some for me, would you? ;)

Liz said...

What I wouldn't give to be able to feed my food-allergy daugther mac and cheese.

Go, get ye to the Hershey's chocolate bottle and pass your kids a round of chocolate milk. Do it once in a while because you can.

Reb. Mary said...

Liz: I don't know how you parents of food-allergy kids pull off mealtime! Thanks for the reminder that "to twinkie or not to twinkie" is actually a very privileged choice in many way.
p.s. Any chance your daughter will outgrow some of that, or too soon to tell?

Luzia said...

In lighthearted defense of my own years with babes, (but full respect for each parents own choices) I will just throw out there that I breastfed longer than I will admit to, and the babes thrived, the eldest now on the dean's list at college. They were healthy, happy, contented ( not starving) breastfed babies/toddlers. Woo hoo! Happy mommy... Happy babies. The only thing I was NOT happy about was everybody telling me what I ought to be doing, in their expert opinion, and I remember it WELL. Hey, God designed us well enough to live through most daily parental choices! :-D