Tuesday afternoon the boys and I went out for a little ice cream. It was a reward for supposed 'smiles' in taking their graduation pictures earlier that day.
It was a sweet little date. We sat outside enjoying the balmy spring weather and a especially eye-catching view of the beautiful Nissan plant off in the distance. We had good conversation, discussing important things like how cars are made, and how the ice cream lady had given them more sprinkles than actual ice cream (did they tip her when I was not looking?). We were having a good time, just a mother and her sons, out for a little treat. I tried to live in the moment, and hoped we'd have many more like it this coming summer. I was feeling happy, content, and the boys were truly enjoying themselves.
And then came the statement. Its one I've been waiting for, expecting for some time, I guess. It was Hayden who said it, as he shoveled in spoonfuls of sprinkles....
"Mom, you don't give us treats in our lunches like everybody else gets." He stated very matter-of-factly.
"Oh really? I don't?" I'd thought maybe they hadn't noticed. After all, I do include an elaborate napkin drawing in every lunch. "What kind of treats does everybody else get?"
"Cookies and brownies!" Cash exclaimed, without a hint of exaggeration.
I'd thought maybe fruit roll-ups or gummy treats maybe, but full on sweets? Wow, I really had let them down, what with my piddly bug drawings and plain popcorn.
When it comes to food, I often try to stay within the school of thought of what they don't know, can't hurt them. For instance, we'd never expanded our cereal pantry beyond Cheerios or Special K, until just a few months ago, when my sister introduced them to Cap'n Crunch's Crunchberries and my 4-year streak of walking down the cereal aisle in peace abruptly ended. I applied the same tactic to lunches, thinking I'd wait to add something sweet in nature to their lunch until they asked for it. And silly little me, I thought I might even make it to first grade before that demand came into play.
I'm not quite sure what logic I based that decision on either, its not like we don't eat treats at home, I mean this whole conversation happened over three scoops of ice cream for pete's sake - so why not put them in their lunch?
We discussed what treats we might like, granola bars, fruit snacks? Maybe. The cookies we made last night? For sure. Together we concluded on our next grocery trip we'd try and pick out something kid approved and mommy-endorsed.
So there I was, sitting there, in my ice cream parlor chair, having just had my first "but everybody else is doing it" moment with two 4 year olds. What's next, shoes? Video games? Tattoos?
I don't even want to know....
I'll just stick with the suggestion of surplus sucrose for now.