by Stefanie Wilder-Taylor
I’ve been systematically pilfering Elby’s candy since we got home with her loot on Saturday night. Being that it’s now Friday, I’m sick to my stomach. I want to throw the rest of it out but then she’ll ask where it is and I’ll be outed as a thief. I certainly can’t have that. But, I’m not sure what to do. Just while I was writing those last three sentences I consumed a mini Baby Ruth, a mini Nestle Crunch, a red strawberry flavored hard candy, a vanilla tootsie roll and two small boxes of Dots. It’s all I can do to not go get more. I know candy isn’t healthy, you don’t need to nag me. Why the hell do you think there’s so much candy left over in Elby’s pumpkin? It’s because I don’t allow her to eat much of it. She’s only given two small pieces a night after she eats her “grow food” (a cloying term she picked up at school – but it’s stuck). She seems happy with this arrangement but I’m unable to enforce any such limits on myself.
I try to comfort myself in the knowledge that eating candy is certainly not as bad as say, drinking. At least you can’t get pulled over for driving under the influence of twelve Snicker bars, although it can affect your judgment. Ever try not giving someone the finger for cutting you off while hopped up on Pixie Stix? The bottom line is that large amounts of sugar are unhealthy and I’m a walking, talking hypocrite. I’m supposed to be all Captain Grow Food guiding my three children’s eating habits into healthy adulthood free of diabetes, obesity and other problems. If only candy weren’t so damn delicious!
I know better, people. I’m well versed in which foods are healthy choices and which foods are tough on our kids’ bodies. You’d have to have started parenting last week to not know that too much milk is unhealthy, strawberries should always be bought organic, light tuna has less mercury than chunk white, nonfat yogurt is packed with sugar and carrots have a high Glycemic index. Even though I do know which foods are unhealthy, it doesn’t make it that much easier to eat healthy all the time. Processed food calls to me from the shelves of my major grocery chain at every visit. Sugary cereals, processed lunch meats and frozen dinners crawling with sodium call to me like old friends from the freezer section. I’d be lying if I told you I don’t buy these foods for myself especially when I’m tired. And I’m always tired.