Mi'ita burst out of bed this morning saying, "It's April 8th!" My husband and I stared at her.
"Why is that a big deal?" he ventured.
"I get my candy today! And we get to go out for ice cream!"
Ahhhh. Remember when we got back from Vietnam and Thailand I said that we had been out to eat three meals a day and had ice cream and soda pop daily. I told Mi'ita that we would have nothing bad to eat for one month solid, kind of like a late (and shorter) Lent. We got back March 8th. I also told Mi'ita that if she exercised an hour a day every single day all month we would go out for a triple banana split sundae with all the toppings.
Yesterday Mi'ita actually exercised three hours--horseback riding, ballet, and swimming, and she got almost all her work done, too (she has to do double writing today because we missed that.) Although we did miss a couple days of exercise this month, she doubled up enough days that we are going out for our triple banana split sundae with all the toppings. God help us. Or her, that is. I'm not going to have one!
So how did this month go? Were we able to eat healthy for a month?
Nope. The United States is set up for failure in that regard. I laud Michelle Obama for her efforts to get our children healthy, but we are going to have to do some major structural and societal shifts to make it happen.
Our downfalls? Well...Mi'ita was invited to two birthday parties this month. I could have just said that she couldn't go, but I didn't. Could a kid go to a birthday party and not eat cake and ice cream? Nope. She ate. I didn't--adults have more leeway. Both times she came home with a sack of candy to boot. I confiscated the candy, promising she could have it on April 8th. One stash she found and ate on the sly. The other stash made it.
And Easter. Ever heard of Easter without jelly beans or chocolate bunnies? She actually had one, and was cranky about it. Our bunny hid cash inside of those eggs. She made a haul, too, with $30.86 that she hasn't spent yet but is dying to. I called the Easter Bunny and so no candy whatsoever, but he (she?) had pity on her and brought four eggs with peeps in them. Four peeps! Nothing else, though. But...she had friends over, two sets, that both brought their candy to share. I confiscated three bags of jellybeans for April 8th, but I know some candy got down her throat.
Three major sugar events in one month! We're doomed, all of us, and we will have to roll to hell because we'll be too fat to walk.
Was that it? Nope. There were the few days that we were on the road and had to eat out, probably 3 or 4 times this month. My husband has a hankering for desserts, too. He was mostly supportive, but figured that after dinner Jiffy muffins don't count. They may not be candy, but highly refined they are. And we had a new neighbor move in next door. To be neighborly, we made snickerdoodles to welcome him in. And some burned. So we ate them.
Snickerdoodles, Jiffy muffins, pizza, jellybeans, pinata candy, cake, ice cream, and M&M geography on occasion. And we were trying hard. Our children's lives revolve around getting candy.
That said, we ate very healthy for almost every meal. Salads, eggplant curry, lean elk meat, omelets without cheese, lots of fruits and vegetables. We actually went into the doctor last week (Mi'ita's eyes were bothering her) and she had lost weight. She was down 7 pounds from our pre-trip weight, and the same weight she was a year ago. Losing weight? I don't like the idea of children losing weight, really. If they have a weight problem, mostly they are encouraged to cease the weight gain until their height catches up to their weight unless they are severely obese, and Mi'ita is not. But we weren't trying to lose weight, and she still looks good and has lots of kid energy, so I guess it's fine.
So, today's April 8th. I gave her all her confiscated candy after breakfast. Three bags of jellybeans; two huge chocolate hearts; and a bag of gummy worms, cockroach clusters, sugar quills, and such. After lunch we'll go out for ice cream--a triple banana split sundae with all the toppings.
Should I make her eat them over several days or dole them out somehow? I'm experimenting. I think she will either get sick of it and stop naturally or get sick, literally. Maybe she'll learn something about eating too much candy. You hear all the time about how too much candy makes you sick, but it may not sink in until you get the full effects yourself.
Hang on! It's going to be a wild ride!