My pants are on fire.
My pants are burning into a five-alarm fire that would require multiple municipalities to respond to the thrashing, burning shredded embers that used to be my pants for the sheer number of lies I've told my child today.
I lie. I lie repeatedly to my daughter. Isn't that part of parenting though? Certain lies are acceptable. It's perfectly acceptable for me to stretch the truth regarding the virtues of brussel sprouts because the end benefits of my daughter choking down some brussel sprouts will certainly benefit her in the long term, right? Right?
I've been lying about candy. In fact, I've been doubting candy's very existence for about a year and half now. When Bean and I go into a store and she is eye-level to M &Ms, Snickers and Twix bars, I've told her that the brightly colored, hand-sized packages are just decorations that live in the store. Kind of like Christmas ornaments. Yup. Lollipops are wands. Fairy wands that you can wave around, but don't go in your mouth. Jellybeans are big kid medicine. Cotton Candy is just something fun to touch. Oh, the list goes on and on.
I'm not against sugar. I'm a former pastry sous chef. On any given day, there is at least one backup 5# bag of sugar in my cabinet, in addition to the full 5# OXO storage container. Clearly, I like sugar. What I don't like is the overwhelming sentiment that it's okay/encouraged to give toddlers candy. I have enough trouble getting my kid to eat a balanced meal. What I don't need is another birthday party offering lollipops, sugar dots, M&M's when she walks in the door. Candy is delicious and if given the option, I might gorge myself on Snickers bars all day wrong but I don't. My dear child, however, will eat those sweets and stuff them into her little mouth mercilessly. And the sugar withdrawal that follows is ugly, like Carrie prom queen ugly.
What I don't get is how we've evolved into to this hyper-vigilant helicopter parenting society of multiple doctors' visits, vaccinations, infant music classes and mandarin at nine months old, and yet we seem to be oblivious to the dangers of candy. I'm not saying candy is gateway drug. I'm just questioning its early introduction into the lives of kids. Why do we care so much about our kids' social and intellectual growth, but ignore the unhealthy habits we are earnestly embracing for our kids?
So I've taken candy out of the equation. For Easter, the Easter Bunny brought her raisins, dried apricots and books. For Valentine's Day, she received a Cinderella doll and Heart-shaped cookie (made by me). For Christmas, she had one, I repeat one tiny candy cane given to her by Santa Claus himself. All other candy canes were intercepted by me. Super Storm Sandy spared me the trouble of coming up with a lie for Halloween, but I'm already plotting my fibs for next year.
I know my window of lying to Bean is closing. She's getting smarter every day. My hope is that by the time she figures out that candy does in fact exist; (and is not an urban legend as her dear mom has been insisting) she will reach for an apple or cheese slice instead.