Sunday, November 01, 2009

The Candy War

(Sort of like the Crimean War, but with a lot more bloodshed, agony, and tears)

You know that limit that every reasonable person has within them to put up with things that they do not agree with? Well, I've hit that limit big time today about candy. Oddly enough, none of this has anything to do with Halloween.

My children are given enough candy throughout a normal week to put a gorilla into a sugar coma that would last long enough for his mate to think he was dead and nominate another to father her little gorilla-ings.

Case in point:

Sunday October 11-- children get full sized candy bars from Primary for watching Conference (for those of you who are not LDS, just focus on the idea of a three year old sauntering toward her mother with a full sized snickers bar given to her as a reward for doing something religious)

Every Tuesday and Thursday since September 1st-- Three year old daughter is given two gummi bears, a tootsie roll and two suckers each day from her preschool teacher

Parties at school -- more candy and treats

Birthdays at school -- candy and treats passed out to the kids from the precious birthday boy or girl because Mommy just can't bear the thought that little Johnny could go to school on his birthday without a truckload of sugar to give his friends.

The Sunday after Halloween -- kids are given candy hand over fist as rewards for saying their parts as they practice for the primary program. (Again, readers who are not LDS, focus on the candy...)

What is a conscientious mother to do? Am I the only one here that is aware of childhood obesity and diabetes and other related diseases that are rising at alarming rates? When did childhood become a spouse to candy? I know that for each of these people who are giving the candy it is easy to think that it's just something that happens on occasion, but for the parents of these kids who see the big picture, an "occasion" happens all of the time. Kind of like how it's always happy hour somewhere in the world. Little Johnny's birthday may come only once a year in that family, but what about the other 24 kids in the class? And my kids get treats for each and every one of those occasions.

The irony about all of this is the adults in this country that whine and complain because they just can't seem to give up their favorite foods in order to lose weight. Well, where do you think you learned to love those foods? For me, candy brings back memories, and often the same candy that I loved as a child, I love now mostly for sentimental reasons. This is a HUGE reason for me to want to limit candy for my kids, I don't want them to have health problems that originated because they were given too much candy as a kid! I have always looked at my children like they were a perfect blank slate when they were born, and everything bad that goes into their bodies sullies that slate. It makes me sick to think of their pure healthy little bodies being marred by all of that junk and crap.

Not only that, but it should be my prerogative to give my kids a treat, one that isn't as unhealthy and one that happens on a special occasion, and it pisses me off to no end that I have to curb that because some other unauthorized person stole that right from me by giving my kids candy.

Everyone--- just stop giving my kids candy!!

I want to make T shirts for my kids that say "Please do not feed the children candy."

I will say that I have decided to fight back though, I'm tired of passively hoping that this will resolve itself, so I have taken measures to coax the candy from my kids' hands. The most ingenious of these was inspired by my dentist who has a treasure box full of cheap toys that the kids get to pick from each time they visit, and my kids act like it's Christmas when they go to the dentist. So, I decided to hop on over to Oriental Trading's website and ordered myself 60$ worth of "treasure box" toys for my kids, and they can "buy" them from me with a piece of candy. So far, it's going over like gang busters. The afternoon that the toys arrived, my daughter and son came home from school with suckers, and when I told them they could trade it for a trip to the treasure box, they plopped them over without a moment's hesitation. Yeah, I felt pretty dang smart. I even have my son's friends bringing their candy over to trade! But since I don't care as much about the candy consumption of my neighbor's kids, I told my son that he can buy toys for his friends with his candy, not theirs (Hey, don't judge, I'm not made of money here). I think it's a great idea if I do say so myself, but the only problem with it is that they have to save their candy and hand it over instead of eating it instantly which they did today in Primary.

The war is not over though, I'll keep fighting the good fight, and I'm confident that I'll come out victorious in the end!

***by the way, the irony that this post comes right after a candy giveaway post is not lost on me.