Monday, March 19, 2012

Moments of Stellar Parenting

Two year-olds do this thing where they really seem to be listening, taking it all in, just "getting you". And then they pull the old switcheroo. “I know you want ice cream, honey,” I say. “But first we have to have breakfast, which by the way is the most important meal of the day. After we have breakfast, we’ll watch another Dora or two, hit the park, come home, have lunch and then it is highly possible we’ll enjoy a delicious ice cream cone –or delicioso! As Dora would say."

“I want ice cream, mommy. Do you want ice cream?” Stinker hasn’t heard a word I’ve said. Maybe I should’ve paused the TV.

“I love ice cream. Only mommy can’t have any for awhile because right now she can only fit into sweatpants and even in the sweatpants arena she’s pretty much down to one pair. It’s not good. But I’ll be fine with a sugar-free tapioca.” Stinker looks at me and nods like we’re totally on the same page.

“Ice cream is yummy. I wannit” Now he’s messing with me.

“I know you do, Stink. Later okay?” The problem is, Stinker will be three in June and he still only weighs twenty two freaking pounds. I actually want nothing more than to give him the darn ice cream. It’s always a victory when he eats something fattening, even though I know intellectually that his caloric intake isn’t having much of an effect on increasing his weight or height and the focus really needs to be on is overall health. Still I’m his mom, and I like to see him eat.

“I want ice cream!” Stinker moans. And then comes the lip quiver and the tears.

Oh he’s good.

“Stink. It is morning. Here are some choices of foods that are perfect for the morning…" I’m thinking. My skills are down because I haven’t had any coffee yet this morning. Coffee is my biggest mental defense weapon against weak parenting but I’d been too lazy to set the dishwasher on last night and am all out of coffee mugs so this kind of serves me right.

I open the fridge to forage around for “healthy choices.”

“How about a yogurt?” I ask knowing full well that he lost interest in yogurt right around the time I bought a 24-pack of his favorite brand at Wal-Mart.

“NO!” And now there are more sobs and he’s laying on the floor crying. You’d think I announced I was giving him up for adoption.

“All right. All right. Simmer down.” Then I make the mistake of opening the freezer to look and see if I have any sausage left  (He's recently discovered his love of the stuff). The ice cream is peeking out from behind the mini pancakes. The box is so bright and cheery there may as well be a spotlight on it.

“ICE CREAM!” Stinker shrieks like a chimp at the zoo. I try to distract him by discussing some non-food related activities we are looking forward to today.

“You want to go to the park later today?”


“You know what we need to do? We need to get you and Bubba a new pair of shoes. That will be fun.” I get a piercing no followed by more tears. Has this dude ever seen an episode of Sex And the City? How can the idea of shoe shopping make him cry?

“Listen. You and your brother need to have some breakfast or we can’t do anything okay? Now Noah already had some toast, what can I get you?”

“I want ice,” Stinker says pointing to the ice dispenser on the refrigerator door. The kid loves to chew ice which is fantastic since we all know that ice is packed with nutrition and calories. I start thinking about breakfast foods. Are they all sort of dessert related anyway? I mean, waffles? French toast? Pancakes? Any breakfast cereal a kid would eat? Pastries? For goodness sake donuts are practically unlawful in states where people give a crud about things like clogged arteries. What difference does it make really if I give him some ice cream for breakfast? In the grand scheme of things does it make me a bad parent? Am I setting up terrible habits by giving in? Will he never want to eat healthy food if he knows he can have the alternative? I look at the ingredients: milk, skim milk, sugar, butter…it’s all natural…and heck, milk is the first thing mentioned.

“Forget ice, Hun. How about a nice big bowl of ice cream?” He wins. He wore me down. Judge all you want but my child will at least get some calories in his little peanut of a body this morning and I’m okay with that.

“NO! I want ice cubes.” And with that, I’m going back to bed.

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