Apprently Twix bars are like crack.
My son was begging and slobbering all over me for a dollar to slide in to the vending machine. "Just one dollar mom. I'll pay you back, I swear. I'll do chores for it. I won't have a snack later. Pleeeeze mom. I just want a Twix bar. Pleeeeze."
"No," says I.
"I hate you." The smacks on my arms. The stamping feet. The rage in his sparkling and innocent blue eyes made me fear thirteen (just a short four years away). He crossed his arms and turned his back on me.
Moments later, I turn to see him checking for change in the bottoms of the machines. He's finding his drug money wherever he can get it, still hoping for that Twix.
I tried hard to stay an observer, to mentally record his behavior. You see, my friend Mary recently gave me a book called "Little Sugar Addicts" which discusses the addictive nature of sugar... especially in children who are genetically predisposed to addiction.
Hmmmm, I thought I'd try a little experiment. I gave him a dollar. His eyes lit up, eyebrows raised, and through a smile he thanked me just like a loving nine year old son should. He went to the machine and came bouncing back to the table with the Twix bar in hand.
I swear, within thirty seconds it was peeled and gobbled down, fingers licked. He looked at me and said, "I'm still hungry. Mom, can I get another one?" Face happy, eyes aglow! My angel.
Still, my answer had to be, "No." We had a plethora of healthy snacks in the cooler. He turned heel and stomped away from me. About thirty minutes later (which he spent wandering around the foyer, waiting for his friends to finish lunch), it was time to go to the pool.
That's when the tirade began... because all of a sudden my little fish-boy didn't like to get wet and absolutely refused to go to the pool. I am standing there with all the bags and coolers, four other kids that want to get to the water, one kid screaming at me, and about five million heads turning to cast shame in my meager direction.
What could I do? Well, I took the other kids to the locker room and made sure to tell Chailyn exactly where we were going, so he could tell the security guard when he came around to find an unsupervised child crying on the loveseat.
He followed us about twenty paces behind, pouting and dragging. I knew he would. When we got to the pool he was distracted enough to be okay, but still oversensetive and whiny. I recongnized the pattern, nothing new.
But what was new for me was that someone else had already recognized this pattern, written it down in a book, and given us moms of possible sugar addicts a course for weaving the pattern into a more tangible peice of art. After seeing it first hand, I am thirsty to learn more about the biochemistry of nutrition... and I'm hungry for a Twix.