Friday, December 22, 2006

A Tale of Two Addicts

Many choices in life are not exactly black and white (at least to those of us who dislike painting in broad strokes) and can be colored depending on how you start out wanting to feel about a particular decision to begin with- also known as bias. For instance, if the choice is one you yourself made, you obviously start out with a bias toward wanting it to seem correct, or at least acceptable.
All this is a roundabout way of getting to the real story of how I let Adelay eat quite a fair amount of red and green M and M's this morning. And how I have colored the story in my own mind to a version of a holiday cheer-filled mother wanting to let her child experience the magic and wonder of Christmas, rather than the bare facts, which are as follows:
A mom is simultaneously checking her email and throwing back handfuls of M and M's with reckless abandon when her innocent, sugar-free baby crawls up, intensely curious as to the source of that frantic crunching at the desk. The mom guiltily shoves the glass candy bowl away and then picks up the yelling child, trying fruitlessly to distract her with empty cups and remote controls. The child is having none of it, and is relentlessly squirmy in her pursuit of the candy dish. The mom, her emails only half read and her coffee undrunk, eventually "rethinks" (read: gives up on) her previous judgement that M and M's would constitute both a choking hazard and a massive sugar overload, and allows her daughter to enjoy her first real encounter with the world of Mars candy corporation.
It turns out M and M's are not a choking hazard, at least not for a kid as genetically predisposed to love chocolate as Adelay. And let me tell you something else: Those suckers do so melt in your hands, at least if your hands are small and grasping, and you are overheated due to your delirious frenzy of joy at this finally realized dream of colorful chocolate pellets.
So what do you think? Is fourteen months too young to be enjoying M and M's? What about lavishly frosted Christmas sugar cookies? 'Cause in the span of twenty-four hours I have allowed both without much of a fight.
I know, I know. Why don't I just throw her in a roomful of marshmallows and let her eat herself into a coma, right? I had such noble intentions of limiting sugar, but after that first slice of birthday cake, it was really downhill, and it's not Adelay's fault, either. I'm a big softie, that's the problem. It's just that she gets so happy, with her wide open bird mouth and little grunts of delight and "uh-uh-uh" noises if you forget to hand her more cookie. It's so cute and adorable and I selfishly want to hand her cookie bits all day long just to watch her enjoying them. Spooning rice cereal into her blank face just doesn't have the same entertainment value.
I really need to strengthen my resolve on this issue, though, because I truly don't want to have one of those kids that you have to bribe with a piece of candy to do anything at all short of breathe in and out. And there's the whole health issue, too, obviously. So, that's my early New Year's Resolution: Stop being a sugar pusher.
The first step, unfortunately, is going to involve eating less of it myself, darn it all. A prime example would be this morning: Addy wouldn't have even thought about the M and M's if she hadn't heard me smacking away with such obvious gusto. Grrr. Oh for the good old days, when people told children to "do as I say and not as I do."

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