Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sugar and spice and everything nice, that's what little girls are made of

Apparently yesterday’s afternoon snack at daycare was Froot Loops. I don’t pay a lot of attention to what they serve usually but the cereal bag was still sitting on top of the fridge when I went to gather all the food E hadn’t finished during the day, and of course she saw it immediately.

Mama! I want Froot Loops for the car!

I told her she could have a little paper cup of them IF she got her jacket on first, and then I dashed down the hall to pack up her sister.

L saw the Froot Loops. Dis? Dis?

Me: “E, please give your sister a Froot Loop.”

E: Well, she can have a green one. But not the blue one! Here, L, I’m giving you a green one. Eat it!

L: Woo!

Me: “E, you’re supposed to have your jacket on.”

E: But I just need to eat this purple one and this one and this one and also look! Another blue one!

L: Dis? Uh?

Me: “E, please give L another one.”

E: Because she has her jacket on?

Sure. I mean, that’s as good a reason as any, isn’t it, for feeding a one-year-old a product whose makers would fail a 2nd grade spelling test, that looks rescued from the dye barrels at a highlighter plant, and whose
first ingredient is sugar? Help me. At least I can draw comfort from knowing that since my girls are enrolled in a NAEYC-accredited daycare, all food served here has been approved by a nutritionist to conform to FDA guidelines for the care and feeding of small people. Someone remind me: how many days left until the new administration?

Lesson #1: Don’t ever think “Help me.” Because someone might. An amused teacher appeared out of nowhere and handed to L her very own amazing paper cup of Froot Loops.

L: Woo ooh uh!

E: Mama? Can I have the green ones from L’s cup for eating because I gave her those green ones before?

Me: “Can we please go home now already?”

Lesson #2: Walking! And glow-in-the-dark foodstuffs! It’s just all too much! L loved the rattling sound of her Loops in the cup as she toddled down the sidewalk so she began shaking the cup excitedly until very quickly she realized she’d just tossed Loops all over the sidewalk and the little Dixie rattled no more.

E: Mama? Are those for the birdies now?

L: Waaahhh!!

Me: “Let’s just get in the car, girls.”

E: Mama, I can’t get in because I’m holding my Froot Loops!

Me: “I’ll hold them for you until you get in and get your straps buckled.”

L: suck suck suck.

(She had found her paci in the carseat.)


Me: “Talk like that again, kiddo, and I’m going to pour yours out for the birdies, too.”

E: Okay! Okay!

Finally we were all in the car and I turned over the Precious Cup, save three Loops I removed under her watchful eye for penalty for another mini-whine. Are you eating them, Mama? “No way, Aizey Baines,” I told her. (It’s her favorite phrase. And in case you’re wondering, we have NO IDEA who Aizey Baines is.) “I’m going to leave these for the birdies, too.” My thinking was: 20 minutes hence, why should only human mamas be suffering the ill effects of sugar crash?

This morning, I dropped the girls off at daycare and as I walked out some little glimmers of Day-Glo caught my eye. There were all of L's dropped Froot Loops. Some had been crushed a little by the foot traffic but while I didn’t take a tally I think they were all still there, unclaimed, forlorn on the sidewalk. And as I approached the curb I noticed my own discards, as well.

Lesson #3: Pigeons are smarter than people.
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