About a year and a half ago, we went on a kick where we tried to cut food from the kids’ diet that had artificial coloring in it. Why and details are here. Well, we noticed that our kids — even though we cut it out here at home — had lots of access to that kind of food or candy when away from home. They might get treats at a friend’s house, or part of their school lunch might have that food, or birthday parties, or snacks in church, and the list goes on and on. We realized that we couldn’t control that, nor should we try to impose our ideas on everyone else. So we told the kids that if they brought all that candy home and put it in a bucket, as soon as that bucket filled up we’d reward them.
Leah, our sweetheart, has been awesome. She will never eat that candy when it’s presented to her. She always brought it home and dumped it in the bucket. Abby was pretty good, but she’d sneak a snack in at a friend’s house pretty frequently. Lauren, well, she’s young. Our bucket — probably 2.5 gallons or so — was filled by Halloween. It was a sight to behold. Our kids were so stinkin’ excited to fill that bucket and I was immensely proud of them for their decisions. This wasn’t a “do this or you’re going to hell” decision we were asking them, but rather something we thought we’d try. After a year and a half, our kids don’t even really try to eat foods with artificial coloring. They’ve built a habit to question what’s in the food and will turn it down when they learn it’s loaded with the junk.
About two months ago we had an email from Groupon announcing an entertainment package for $25 that included 2 hours of bowling at Fat Cats, a large pizza from the adjacent Pizza Factory, five large breadsticks, and two pitchers of soda.. We jumped at the chance and used it as the reward for the girls. They loved it! For some reason, our girls have this thing with bowling and Abby has been asking to go bowling since she was born, basically.
So, slight change of topic, but not entirely…
We’ve already had Christmas lists delivered to us from our girls. Abby is the lynch pin behind most this dreaming, but it was cute nonetheless. Especially when you see what they asked for.
50 Zhu Zhu pets, another dress, Barbie house, Barbie bouncer, Sleeping Beauty tea set, gum, 8 Zhu Zhu’s, an eyeball, and a person.
Weird, I know. But she’s young, like I previously said.
Barbie set with huge Barbie house, Zhu Zhu bike, a bigger bike like Abby’s (aha! we already got her that and she’s lovin’ it!), doll house, gum, princess poly pocket, Barbie house, laptop, 8 more Zhu Zhus, a Stick-a-Billo, binoculars, and an iPod.
Not sure why she essentially asked for three doll houses, but since it’s a recurring theme, perhaps I should pay attention. But seriously, an iPod? I didn’t get one until last year and I only got one because Jen got her sister’s hand-me-down, freeing up Jen’s original iPod Nano. Kids these days…
Gum, Red#40 candy (see why this wasn’t entirely a change of topic???), iPod, iTouch, a baby brother, a phone, a new pretty dress, a TV, and a computer.
Uh huh. All she’s getting from this list is the baby brother, whom she’ll quickly get sick of after he pees on her. Well, today Abby delivered an updated Christmas list. It said:
A big Fur Real that looks exactly like Trixie (her other Fur Real), gum, a paint art set, a laptop, a TV in my room, a Barbie that can go in the bathtub, same art thing I gave Alyssa (a friend for her birthday), a puppy, a baby brother, and a piano in my room.
Okay, a few observations here: what is their fascination with gum? Have I really tainted them that much? A laptop. Hah. I didn’t get one of those until two years ago. A TV in her room. Hah. I didn’t get that until I got married. And we never use it anymore. It’s a bad idea to let kids have TVs in their room. Why don’t you just say, “Hey, kid, leave this healthy social interaction with your family, go to your room, turn on a TV, and melt your mind away. Oh, and see if you can find something inappropriate that would help your mind wander…”. Not gonna happen. Regarding the piano, we’re lucky to have a piano at all. It’s the same piano my Dad learned on — oh, about 55 years ago. The piano was old then. Puppy won’t happen because Jen doesn’t like pets. I guess she figures with all the defecating and urination the kids do in inappropriate places is enough for her. Where’s her sense of adventure?
We’ve obviously got some expectation management to do with our kids. Gum? I can probably handle that. iPods to go around? Don’t think so.