I started out such a good parent. No sugar, no corn syrup, no trans fats, no medicines when unnecessary, no scents in the laundry detergent, no nothing fake or bad or bad karma even. I do not want my children to repeat my mistakes and end up fat and addicted like me. Addicted to trans fats that is. Oh, and anything deep fried or dipped in chocolate or filled with chocolate or peanut butter or slathered in butter or syrup or honey or....well hell I could go on forever.
In any case. I sure as heck didn't want my kids to end up like me, in high school, downing a whole medium pepperoni pizza when my parents were out of the house for the evening, or me while pregnant, eating anything not nailed down. Seemed simple enough: don't expose them to the really good tasting bad stuff and they won't realize how good it tastes, right? I mean I'm in charge of what they eat, everything that is bought for this house, and every bite that enters their mouths, so how hard could it be to spare them the gorey details of gooey centers and greasy fried foods?
To be fair I held out a long time. It all started when we were approaching their first birthday party. Twelve months of good behavior! I wasn't even tempted to stray at this point. I was even researching healthy muffin or cupcake recipes, thinking they wouldn't know they were missing chocolate or frosting, and the grown ups would still get to eat the 'real thing.' But then I got the comments from the nanny: "a little sugar wouldn't hurt them would it?" The accusatory questions: "you're not going to let them have cake on their birthday? Really?" Like it was some sort of crime to deny my babies cake on their birthday. This bad food thing has gotten dangerously ingrained in our society hasn't it? I mean, what is a birthday party without cake, New Years without champagne, valentines day without chocolate, christmas and thanksgiving without pumpkin pie and gravy and cool whip, or a 4th of July party without barbecue or fried chicken or Halloween without candy? Well I couldn't tell you and I never promised to be a perfectly holistic mom did I?
I think we all have an idea of what kind of mom we are going to be long before we give birth and it tends to include lots of grand ideas about feeding, discipline, patience, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, exercise, cursing in front of the children, arguing in front of the children, crying in front of the children and something about keeping an overall gentle and all forgiving demeanor in the face of all infant and toddler behaviors, don't we? I know I thought I'd never screw up but then I had triplets. Let's be real shall we? Its hard enough having one kid reject a different food every day but try three on three different schedules of non-eating. It's like playing whack-a-mole and rarely actually hitting a mole.
So as we inched closer and closer to the birthday party the guilt started eating at me. What a hypocrite I am keeping them from eating cake on their birthday. Sugar is a natural substance, so what's the harm. So, along with all my other failures as a mother, I gave in. We still had a rather healthy 'cake' with agave nectar instead of sugar in the cake and a fruity flavor instead of devils chocolate or something, but we frosted them suckers with some sugar laden cream cheese frosting and had the time of our lives watching them dig in. I think they liked it. And you know what? The world didn't end. They have actually rejected pudding and vanilla cupcakes since then. Should I feel bad about trying cake and pudding? I don't think so. Because I dread the day they give up yogurt, the healthiest thing they eat, because I have no idea what I'm going to do after that to get fruit and protein into those stubborn little buggers.
The fact is, I know they're smarter than me and they are slowly wearing me down to doritos. You just wait and see.