Add Valentine’s Day to the list of holidays and occasions where my kids are bombed with candy.
In my day, when the whole school shared one sharp and rusty jungle gym and some tractor tires filled with malaria, we handed out folded paper Valentines. End of story.
On Halloween, we went trick-or-treating and once in first grade, we wore our costumes to school, but the teachers complained so loudly, we never did it again. On Christmas, we brought a teacher gift. Mine was always fruitcake because my mother harbored a secret hatred of the women who were with her children all day. (Sorry I outed you, Mom.)
Nowadays, my kids get a sack full of candy for every f#&king holiday on the calendar! Even if the school suggests “healthy snacks” (as they always do – they’re perfunctory like that), they come home with little bags of flavor-blasted, double-stuffed junk.
I’m not sure what’s considered “healthy” about gummies. Is it because they come from Germany? So does renewable energy, but I’m sure if kids brought turbines home, the school board would get an EARFUL.
I like candy as much as anyone (maybe more – you can read all about it in my book, Candy!? You Bet Your Pancre-as!), and I’m sensitive to “all the other kids” and everything. Who am I to deprive them of this hard-earned loot? After all, I’ve spent time in both schools. I know the misery they go through. What’s a little sugar to dull the pain? So, we hold on to the candy, and I dole it out a little at a time. Because I’m a moderate, flexible kind of person who does not believe in all-or-nothing.
My kids are firm believers in ALL. Thus beginneth the negotiation:
Them: Can I have…?
Me: No, it’s almost dinnertime.
Them: Can we open…?
Me: No, you haven’t even had breakfast!
Them: This is not candy, it’s FRUTE my FOOT!
Me: It’s nowhere near fruit, and you can’t have it.
To their credit, they are very accepting of my decisions. It’s the frequency of the requests that wear on me. I think they both have promising careers in superpacs. “Just $ign this Card for the President! ;)”
My family and many others could avoid the whole debacle if there weren’t a monthly candy drive at school. I recently read on another mom blog (I will not name, because I don’t want all three of you flaming her), that in order to ensure an RSVP to a child’s birthday party, parents should put the invitation in a goody bag!
I can’t believe every family wants their kid coming home with containers of candy every time they step out the door, so can we just call a truce on the loot? Do you really value this bag of sugar, oils, and artificial colors? Is it a bonding experience to listen to your kids hound you every ten minutes for more?
I know it won’t happen overnight, but until then, I will be the parent doling out pencils.
The winter is long. My book is only 99 cents. Even if you don’t have a toddler, it’s got some great ideas. Even better, a new book for ages 5-10 is on the way! Hooray!!