Indoctrination. It’s working!
When I was a child, my mother — an only slightly-recovered hippie — was a health nut. At least I thought she was a health nut. I spent my childhood thinking, “When I have kids, I will let them drink Kool Aid and put Twinkies in their lunch boxes!” I was tired of peanut butter and honey on whole wheat bread, sliced apples, and plain potato chips in my school lunch. I envied other kids’ white bread and jelly, sweetened applesauce cups, and the lovely, perfectly-formed, hermetically-sealed chocolate cupcakes with a swirl of white icing adorning the top. I was certain she was skewed in her perspectives and couldn’t wait until I could make my own decisions about what I ate.
Given my own experiences, I have been quite surprised about my own children’s apparent buy-in to my own health nuttiness, which has MORE than raised any bar my mom ever set.
Here are a few things from just this past week:
I tend to worry that when my children see commercials for junk food on TV, they’ll be swayed. It turns out that concern is misplaced, at least with my six-year-old, Audrey. Upon seeing a McDonald’s commercial the other day, she remarked, “The box for a Happy Meal is more nutritious than the food inside!!” This made me laugh! And, NO, I have never said anything like that. As far as I know, this is her own analysis.
- My 15-year-old, Ethan, went home with a friend after church on Sunday. Upon his return, he reported to me, “Guess where we went for lunch after church? Taco Bell. Jacob became very exasperated with me because I didn’t understand the menu and he had to explain the whole thing to me.” We couldn’t remember the last time Ethan had been to Taco Bell, which in his own mind, ironically enough, is even an even more nefarious food-offender than McDonald’s. “I had a Burrito Supreme. It wasn’t very good. It was about 30% water.” Well, at least it hydrated him…
- I published this tidbit on my Facebook page; forgive the repeat, if you’ve heard it already. My four-year-old, Fiala, ran a fever for about 48 hours. No other symptoms. I saved a (gluten-free) cake pop from a little friend’s Saturday birthday party. I took Audrey, but Fiala missed out, though the mother of the birthday girl sent us home laden with a goodie bag. Fi keeps asking to have the cake pop, which she calls a “lolly cake”. At the best of times, her body has a hard time handling sugar, so I told her she has to wait until well after her fever is gone. “Why do you have a fever?” I asked her. “Because my germ-fighters are working HARD!!” she said. “And what makes germ-fighters weak?” I asked. “Sugar!!!” she replied with no hesitation at all. I was proud of her for remembering all my indoctrination, even if she still wants the cake pop.