2010-10-09 / Editorials & Letters

Lighten up: Fighting the junk food battle

By Dawn Weber

Recently, I baffled my boy - with baked goods.

He’s a genius. We’re so proud.

“What are those things on that plate?” he said.

“Those are cookies, bud,” I said.

“Where’s the box?” he said.

“There is no box,” I said. “I made them, then I put them on a plate.”

“Wow! You never made cookies before!” he said.

“Yes I most certainly have!” I said.

“Not since I’ve been born,” he said.

The kid is right. Martha Stewart I ain’t.

But when I do, occasionally, make cookies, we keep them in a special place, a magical place, to the right of the stove and the left of the sink. A place where salt is King and sugar, his Queen.

My son named this hallowed spot many years ago, after yet another unsuccessful attempt at feeding those two a healthy lunch, at which they picked, I nagged and nothing nutritious was consumed. I had gone into the bedroom when I heard:

“SCAR-AAPE...SCRATTCCHHH... SCOOOTTT...”

Uh-oh. Sounded like trouble. Kid-sized trouble. I listened:

“SCOOOTTT...SCAR- AAPE...SCRATTCHHH...”

Curious, I peaked into the kitchen to find a chair pushed to the cupboards. Halfway-on, halfway off the counter, legs akimbo, was my son’s diapered rear-end.

“What are you doing?” I said.

He froze, mid-sneak, and craned his wee head around.

“Going there,” he said, pointing to the built-in bread-box.

“Where?” I said.

“Um, the Counter of the Junk Food?”he said.

Scooping up his 2.5-year-old Pampered behind, I took him to the other corner of the kitchen and introduced him to the refrigerator.

“This is where the ‘real food’ is,” I told him.

I showed him the apples, the strawberries, the blueberries. I presented to him the cheese, the yogurt, the carrots and the celery.

Yeah, I know - it’s hilarious. I’m naïve, er, optimistic like that.

He made faces, wriggled free and toddled away. He was having none of it.

The Counter of the Junk Food also ranks as the only approved meal location for my daughter. At work, I get phone calls like this:

“Mom! We have no food!” she says, panicked.

“What do you mean we have no food?” I tell her. “I just went to the store! There are cheese sticks, bananas, grapes...”

“Blech! That is not real food,”she says.

“I think God would disagree,” I say. “What food are you talking about?”

“We need Oreos, salt n’ vinegar chips, Doritos, Slim Jims...” she says.

“Okay, THAT is not ‘real food,’” I say. “Anyway, keep looking - I’m sure there is some junk somewhere you’d like.”

“There is not!” she says. “I’ve looked all through here! There’s nothing to eat!”

Poor children. It’s a dang travesty - it’s a downright shame!

Contact the authorities. As you can see, I’m starving my kids. With produce.

Dawn Weber is a Brownsville wife and working mother of two pre-teens. She blogs at http:// www.lightenupweber.blogspot. com

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