Before I was a mom, I knew just what kind of mom I was going to be. I'd watched many others moms ….family, friends, and even strangers…. and by the time I was pregnant with our first baby, I had neatly and methodically categorized (in my mind) how I would raise each one of our (almost) perfect kids. And I wouldn't make the mistakes that I saw other moms make. And I would practice all the wisdom from the many different parenting books I'd read. And, by all means necessary, I would make sure that my kids partook of a very healthy diet with very little sugar (the central antagonist in so many parent books).
I remember when Sadie was only one. We were at a large family gathering in Utah. Everyone was eating ice-cream and she was very interested with the home made vanilla everyone else seemed to be enjoying. My aunt seemed to notice too, "Terra, give her a little taste!". I responded with the full vigor and commitment I had made after reading all those parent books, "Introducing sugar too early into a babies diet can prevent them from wanting to try many healthy foods." Text book delivery. I'm sure I had it memorized. My aunt responded (along with a few comments from others), "It's fine!". I held strong. Sadie would not be having any processed sugar at the tender age of one.
I'm not sure how long that lasted. By the time Drew came along a few years later, I was feeling a little more tired and a little less committed. I'm sure he had tried some ice-cream well before his first twelfth month rolled around. By the time our fourth child arrived, and in my mom delirium, I once gave Sadie full full go to share a sucker with Gentry( age six months) just so she would stop crying.
It's funny how I see the world now, after being a mom for nineteen years. It's also funny to see what I have held on too after all these years….like this one. I still refuse to buy "sugary" cereal unless we're on vacation or as a treat. You know…Frosted Flakes, Lucky Charms, Captain Crunch (my personal favorite)…I will not buy them, Sam I am. Until. I noticed something about my teenagers last week. We had just returned from a vacation and a few of the aforementioned cereals had returned with us. And suddenly, my teenagers who usually shun breakfast, were eating breakfast every morning. And then I picked up a "healthy" box of frosted mini wheat to compare labels, only to discover that it actually had one more gram of sugar than Lucky Charms. Me to me, "Are you freaking kidding me?!" And yes, it may have a few more grams of fiber, but whatever. And me to my kids, "Hey guys, guess what? I'm going to start buying Lucky Charms!" This was met with puzzled faces, "Really?!" So much for consistency. But hey, I did hold out for nineteen years. And suddenly, I remembered another little tidbit from one of those parent books so many years ago…It's better for kids to have something vs. nothing for breakfast even if it isn't completely health. So ya, it's fine. And who knows what I'll give up on tomorrow? Maybe it'll be , "Go brush your teeth." In the end, I think my kids will still be okay. So far so good…. despite with their sometimes crazy, just "doing the best I can" mom. Aren't we all just doing the best we can? And tomorrow we''ll get up an do it again.