I’m dead serious. That’s exactly what he told me. My first thought was that someone put him up to this. I knew he hadn’t gotten it from a t.v. show because our family isn’t watching television for all of 2010. And I know all his little friends well enough to be sure that they weren’t instigating this kind of behavior, but I was too curious so I did a little digging around.
“So, bud, why do you want to go without treats for the week? Is someone else doing it? Is that why you want to do it, too?” I asked nonchalantly.
He shook his head and casually continued drawing. “No, I just want to do it so I can be healthier.”
I stared at him with a look of utter confusion, then stammered out an unconvincing, “Okay.”
I mean, what 7-year-old prohibits himself from eating treats for no reason whatsoever! I guess mine does. But as I was walking away from the table where Cade sat, I felt really sorry for him. I started imagining this scenario where the rest of our family sat outside taking long tasty licks from our ice cream cones with big cheesy grins on our faces, while Cade sat, sad yet determined, in the corner eating a carrot stick.
I couldn’t let him journey this road alone so I turned around and said, “Hey, bud, would you like it if Mama gave up treats, too? How about I do it with you?”
His eyes lit up, “You’re gonna do it, too? Alright!”
He was so excited, and inside I knew it was the right thing to do. I felt like a good mama, taking on this hardship with my son. I’m sure for some of you out there, giving up sweets is no real sacrifice. Not me. I’ve got serious issues with sweets, and after I got over all the “Super Mama” euphoria, I started feeling really panicky inside. I started thinking about the “regulars” that I wouldn’t be able to eat: the dark chocolate covered pretzels waiting patiently in the pantry, the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream in the freezer, the leftover berry tart calling my name from the fridge…
Is it an addiction? Yes. My husband tries to convince me that it isn’t, but that’s only because he’s addicted, too. And the problem is, I can’t fail at this. My son is watching. I’m “Mama”, the one who’s always right, who always knows where to find his missing baseball glove, who knows what 12,456 + 6,314 is (mental math in the thousands always astounds him), who can make smiley-face oatmeal, and read really big words. I’ve got to do this.
Today is day four. So far, I’ve survived, but Tuesday night I had to make a big ole batch of granola because the bedtime munchies were gettin’ me down. That’s when I tend grab for a sweet treat, you know, the usual suspects: a bowl of ice cream, couple of cookies, or those darn chocolate covered pretzels dipped in peanut butter. Okay, my mind is wandering into enemy territory so I’ve got to stop. And I’ve got an uphill climb ahead of me: a bridal shower on Saturday and a dinner party on Sunday. Whoa. I better go make another batch of granola. Wish me luck.