Lately Sam has been more vocal about her wants for sweets and junk food. The junk food I will blame on her father (and one of her godfathers who stayed with us for 7 weeks) who has a regular stash of Pringles that Sam is now tall enough to reach for and open, in spite of my protests. The sweets….well, okay. It’s both our faults since we both have a sweet tooth (Of course Mom isn’t solely to blame! ;))
I’ve been trying to control Sam’s intake of sweets since she learned about them. She’s still not allowed to eat candies or chocolates. Occasionally she can have a sliver of some cake or bites of a cupcake, maybe a cookie or two depending on the kind (and how much sugar is on it), or a few spoonfuls of ice cream (with sprinkles). Mostly I worry about two things: that she develop cavities early on, and that she acquire diabetes (since it runs in the family). Thankfully that little bit of strictness has paid off and she doesn’t really crave for sweets a lot.
A third reason would be that her sugar highs hit almost instantaneously; and when they do the poor thing doesn’t know what to do with herself!
Take yesterday, for instance. We had our usual after-nap family Sunday outing at BuyBuyBaby and Barnes & Noble; the latter stop at Sam’s request. Naturally the hungry cow that I am went straight for the cafe and ordered a sandwich and a blondie bar with some M&Ms (aka Blondie Blast). I said that I’d share a little of it with Sam since she’d been extra obedient this past weekend, and because I know she likes eating anything colorful (read: anything with M&Ms or sprinkles on them. She says it’s like eating a rainbow). Of course the deal we made was that she had to share my sandwich and then she’d get her “sur-prize” dessert after. Now with me, she knows that a deal is a deal, and so she agreed.
In the middle of our meal, Jamie decides to do her business, and so I leave Sam and the food in Dad’s care. I debriefed him on our deal and left.
Seven minutes later I’m back at the table and the Blondie Blast is out and practically gone. One look at Sam’s smeared face, stuffed mouth and even more colorful smile (“Look Mom! M&M cake!”), it was obvious as to where it went.
“Did you let her eat that all?!” I asked horrified.
Daddy the enabler nodded eagerly and amused. “She really likes it! It’s good!” was his reply. (Thought bubble: Of COURSE it’s good — it’s a blondie bar with m&m’s!!!) He said that the minute she saw it she dropped her pesto with chicken and bread and opted to eat that instead. (Exasperated thought bubble: Now WHO in their right mind wouldn’t do that?!)
Here’s the thing: When Sam likes what she’s eating, there’s no stopping her. She will use both hands and stuff large chunks of food in her mouth and is admittedly, quite a delight to watch. It is a sight Daddy loves to see, which only meant: the deal with mom went out the window and got run over by the cars on the street.
Oh dear Lord. That was at least 250 calories!!! Toddlers their age I’m told should only have 800-1000 calories a day, so an entire Blondie Blast would have covered 30% of what she’d need.
And then it hit. The sugar high.
Sam’s voice went up 3 decibels, and she went on and on and on, speaking gibberish, singing nonsense and squealing at anything that moved. She was also extra hard to catch, as I saw Dad struggling with Jamie in one arm and dragging Sam with the other, looking for me (I had gone book-shopping, heehee). She wanted to go everywhere and nowhere at once, and was whinier than ever when it was time to leave. Sugar highs make it harder for kids to listen to their parents — as if it’s not hard enough on a regular basis!
Thankfully with a lot of water and some milk and a banana in her, the sugar high dropped and exhaustion hit. There were no arguments about going straight into our bedtime routine, and there were no tantrums either. I didn’t offer her any more dinner either. And in retrospect, I didn’t get ANY of the dessert that we were supposed to “share”! Hmph.
The Moral of the Story: Dads can’t be trusted with blondies. 😉