Thursday, May 25, 2006

Strangers With Candy


When did candy become such an important part of my children's lives? Surely I wouldn't have let this happen willingly, so what went wrong and where did all of this candy come from?

When I was growing up we had candy exactly four times a year. On Halloween, Christmas, Valentines Day and Easter. We hoarded the loot until the next occasion was upon us, treating each piece like gold. Of course, there was the occasional trip to the store with our saved pennies burning a hole in our pockets, and doting Grandparents who would slip us a stick of Juicy Fruit when our folks weren't looking, but not like it is with my kids.

I am not going to even try to pretend that I don't contribute to this phenomenon, but I would like to figure out how I became this way. It seems like it is getting worse with each child. I hardly take Katie anywhere without a lollipop hidden in my purse (how else am I going to keep her quiet?). But I really don't like it at all, I am ashamed of it and yet the more I think of it, to my generation, it seems to be of no great significance. People don't seem to think that there is anything wrong with candy, candy and more candy! Teachers hand it out at school for good behavior, bank tellers give it to you when Mommy makes a deposit (or even a withdrawl), baristas always have a big 'ol can of Dum Dums at the ready, even the barber has lollipops!

I can't figure it out and I am right there doing it too. I am the Mom at baseball handing out "yogurt covered fruit snacks" to all the kids. Come on, the yogurt does not negate the fact that they are . . . CANDY! Hello, high fructose corn syrup? I pack lots of "easy" goodies for trips to the park like pre-washed apple slices, string cheese, individually wrapped goldfish and, oh yeah, lollipops aka CANDY! Why? I know, I should slice my own apples too, but I am also a bit partial to convenience.

My friend brought her daughter over to play last week and brought goodie bags for our two year old girls, with, you guessed it, CANDY! Why? What is wrong with us thirty-somethings (gosh, that makes me think of that tv show and now I feel old) that we are so consumed with candy, and the goodie bag thing? Oh, don't even get me started on that one! I am totally a slave to those too, but I loathe them at the same time. Why does this paradox continue if we are so aware of what we are doing? It is not like I enjoy the candy either. Believe me I have a sweet tooth, but more for the cakes, cookies, ice cream and pie type not hard sugar on a stick!

I want to be able to let my kids enjoy the "treat" part of having a treat, but I am afraid that if I don't put a stop to the frivolousness of it soon, they will have no idea what a treat really is. Or, they will require a much more extravagant treat than I am willing to provide.

9 comments:

Becky said...

i feel your pain. hannah gets cookies everyday. we buy her cookies every week at the store and she has about 3 cookies every day. and i make no apologies about that. i dont even care. because i never was allowed to have cookies every day growing up. and its a nice treat for her. dont feel bad! times are diff not. as long as our kids arent overweight or have health problems its not a big deal to have some candy every week!

Amy said...

I worry about my kids' teeth! The dentist made a candy comment last time we were there and I wanted to crawl under the exam chair! Candy is everywhere. We still have bags from Easter egg hunts, birthday party pinatas, etc. Don't get me going on the grocery store. Checkout lines make me nuts. But of course, to get three threw the line without causing a scene, "you can pick out one thing". So I feed the beast so to speak! When I was younger there were no candy lines at the store. I guess those would be always packed with moms, huh? So I'm with ya girl. :) Amy - who is waiting for her hubby to come home so she can go to the store sans kids!

LindaJ said...

I feel your pain sista. We are the slave to the candy....Hey, I bought a 6 pound bag of gummy bears at Costco. Comment #1 is right...It's not like our kids are over weight or not active....And the cavities I chalk up to genetics.
I NEVER got to have candy, sugar cereal, Kool aid, pop, or "treats" and look at me.....My name is Linda and I'm a sugarholic.


Great post

Mamacita Tina said...

I didn't realize it, but it seems everything in our pantry has high fructose corn syrup. Scary. We've tried to keep sweets at bay, but it somehow sneaks into the house via Grandparents, kindly neighbors, the barber (I love how hairy the lollipop gets when my toddler keeps dropping it into his lap). I think it's ok to have the stuff, just eat in moderation in combination with nutritious foods.

mom said...

Hey, wait a minute. You feel like giving your kids stuff because YOU didn't get any? This has way more to do with your own issues than with making healthy decisions for your kids. Listen up. I was a skinny kid. I didn't get a lot of candy, either. Now I'm not. I fight to control my weight... and a lot of it has to do with maintaining willpower, and not being into instant gratification. Yes, I'm the Grandma. And I made plenty of mistakes with my kids. But come on. Like Carrie said, when does a treat lose its impact? And where does it stop? Moderation. What a nice word. Wish I had practiced it more in my 30's.......

Sorry for ranting. I recently became a label convert. That "high-fructose corn syrup".......... yikes.

You have time to make the changes. My generation may be too late. But we are trying......... I just want all of you to do a better job than we did! What Grandma wouldn't?

Mommy off the Record said...

You know what's really sad? That high fructose corn syrup is in like EVERYTHING we eat. The other day, I saw it in hummus. Hummus, for God's sake, is like a total health food. Why would you put sugar in it??

carrie said...

I almost cried when I found out how much sugar was in Heinz ketchup (my second favorite food after Diet Coke)!

Angry Dad said...

Wow, this hit home! Because my eldest son is "special", and makes friends easily because part of his "specialness" means he's highly social, for some stupid reason this seems to make people who get to know home think that they should give him lollies. It annoys me no end, because the last thing you really want to give an intellectually disabled child is heaps of sugar!!!
But I have no idea what the answer is except Just Say No. Worked with Drugs didn't it?! Didn't it!

RC said...

i had white chocolate m&ms today (limited edition) yummy! now that was a treat.

--RC of strangeculture.blogspot.com