July 13, 2010

Giving Candy to the Baby

I don't remember my kids eating any sugar until they were three.

My husband remembers things differently.

"Every time I turned around they were licking someone's ice cream cone!" he told me.

Except for ice cream cones, my older kids didn't eat any sugar until they were three.

Regardless, my fourth child isn't even two yet and there is no denying that there is a different set of rules in place.

There are lots of kids Cameron's age in my new neighborhood. Without exception, all of his regular playmates are only children.

Needless to say, the parents of these toddlers are appropriately horrified when my son toddles outside with a Slurpee cup or ice cream sandwich.

More often than not, I find myself trying to justify my actions by saying things like "There's only an inch of Slurpee in there" or "I cut the ice cream sandwich in half."

The other mothers typically respond by shielding their kids' eyes or removing them from the bad influence.

I understand because I was that mom the first time around.

"Things will change when you have your second," I always tell them.


They then smile politely and assure me with an impressive amount of confidence that their next child will be held to same rigorous dietary standards as their first.

I had the same aspirations when I was pregnant with Cameron.

It's worked out really well for me.

48 comments

kristina said...

I'm always amused by first time parents. Not only are they able to maintain their high standards (of nutrition, cleanliness etc), they freak out over everything!

togetherforgood said...

Oh my word the baby is so spoiled. She does and eats things I would have NEVER allowed my first or even my second to do or eat. I suppose she'll be okay.

Laura, Ben, and family said...

I was careful with my oldest.

My second had the occasional treat or ice cream cone.

My third sees mountain dew and starts in with the puppy dog eyes trying to snitch a taste. I swear she can smell sugar ... she walks in a room and knows you're hiding it from her.

If there's ever a fourth, I fear for the poor kid.

Niki said...

I am a first-time mom here to shatter your blanket statements. My 7-month old's binky has been dipped in homemade strawberry jam (LOADS of sugar), whipped cream atop my IHOP mound of sugar, and most recently has had a swig of orange cream soda, and loves to get licks of his Bonka's tootsie pops. Before you choke on a fly with that gasping, he is breastfed and is given his vegetables before fruits. Everything in moderation, people.

Amy said...

I love this. My oldest child had nothing but milk, water and the occasional drink of juice until she was well over 2. My youngest (of 6 kids) now screams at me to "dink it!" if she sees soda ANYWHERE. It's unfortunate how so many of my good intentions were forgotten the more children I had. *sigh*

Jen said...

Now that my oldest is now 20 and my 6th has turned 6, I get so annoyed by parents who tell me things like:

1. No child under the age of 12 should be out past 7pm

2. No child should ever watch tv because it's a babysitter and a good mother always plays with her children, especially after SHE (Mom) has had her nap

3. A good mother makes sure that everyone in her child's nursery class has a valentine that is signed by the 3 yr old, not the child's name in the mother's handwriting

4. A good mother understands what her child says, never screaming or becoming impatient.

5. Everything should be sanitized, nutritious and educational

I always think, "consider the source and they'll begin to understand one day". Then when they are having a hard time and complain to me, I can look them straight in the eye and say I was leading them by example but they did otherwise.

We have a number of mothers at church who are like this and I stay away from them like the plague so my arm doesn't accidentally spring forth and hit them in the head.

Amy said...

Oh-and I figure I can't expect their nutrition to be any better then mine. You know, that whole example thing? And mine could use some help, for sure!

Mal said...

Our first is almost 11 months. So far she's had little spoonfuls of homemade ice cream, bits of muffin, little forkfuls of pie--she'll be handling a full cupcake in a little over a month, and be asking for more! I mean, we keep it in small amounts and stop after a few bites, but let's be real, my husband and I LOVE sweets, and worse, I LOVE to make them! So the girl's doomed to have a sweet tooth and I'm already resigned to that.

Jennifer said...

i love to watch first time moms, with food, at playgrounds, everywhere. Because I know I was the same way. And with three kids now, I know that they too will loosen up on some things and ENJOY their kids more with time, like I have. Moderation, fun experiences and common sense... if only that was what the parenting books and grandmas would tell us that first time around!

christy ross said...

my kids are only 18 months apart. And there is already a clear difference with what the 15 month old gets to eat that his older sister never even knew existed at that age!

Brittany Alyse Voss said...

What ever you do---DON'T tell your new neighbors WHO YOU ARE!!

We want to hear all the antics you will relate to us without them knowing! If they find out you publish their tales they will stop speaking to you for sure!!

the emily said...

What in the world? What's wrong with sugar? I mean, not a sole-sugar diet, but a treat now and then? Sheesh, relax neighborhood moms. My 4-month-old has yet to taste anything but breastmilk...and Frosty's from Wendy's.

Heather said...

I was a total slacker even with my first. (No worries he only weights 220 now.)
By the time I had the 5th she was eating a Snickers while twirling knives.

ThereAreWayTooManyJennifersOnHere said...

I was sooo careful with my first to make sure that she was exclusively breastfed until 6 months, and only fed carefully supervised hypoallergenic food on a carefully supervised scheduled after that.

And then I had my second.

I was sooo careful with my first to protect her from the vicious influence of the evil television. Every time it was on I carefully turned her away from it, or blocked it from her view in some way.

And then I had my second.

Ditto schedules, clothing, etc. The only thing I've managed to keep anywhere near consistent is cuddle time. :) Mmmmmm - cuddle time.

Megan said...

I'm also the Mother of four, who is holding her tongue everytime she's with a first time Mom...we've all been there, I know they just don't know any better, but, it's still completely annoying...don't they remember how dumb they were when they brought the baby home??? What makes them think they are experts now????

You do what keeps the peace...oh, and make sure you start potty training with the trees outside....my neighbor, of one daughter, was thoroughly horrified...it was quite humorous!

Allison said...

My oldest had Cheerios in her Easter Basket where other kids would have had jelly beans. I fed her what they told me to, when they told me to ("they" being the nice people at the pediatrician's office, of course). We had her trained to think that Nutri-grain bars were cookies.

The second got the Cheerios in her first Easter Basket (when she was 8 months old), but had jelly beans the next year. I allowed her suckers from the bank as a special treat, but never gave her that kind of junk myself.

As for the third...well, her first bite of solid food was chocolate pudding at three months old, and it was all downhill from there. Screw the Cheerios.

Dazee Dreamer said...

Its kind of amazing that us older generation kids even lived to tell about the horrifying days of eating anything, having cow's milk in our bottle from the get go, and giving solid food when they started getting so big that milk just wasn't satisfying anymore. Of course, I'm a little bit more on the nutty side, so maybe there is something to it. :) Great post.

Jennifer said...

I love that first photo! You are soooo right and the other moms will see eventually. My oldest STILL prefers water to drink because we never gave him soda or juice or anything but water or milk. My youngest has been stealing our sodas/sweet tea/slushies since she could pull up at the table and wrap her sticky little fingers around our cups.

Anonymous said...

I am too laid back to be one of 'those' moms. My first had a pacificer - if it fell on the ground - I wiped it on my pants and stuffed it back in her mouth.

My mom dipped her pacificer in whatever was yummy - her diet coke, the whip cream of her brandy coffees (I am sure she got some brady at 8 months.) I never cared - the big picture is she ate healthly 98%.. 95%.. Ummm.. 92% of the time so we are good.

However, my sister and her DH are "those" types parents. My mother would NEVER do any of the things with her child like she did with mine because she knows she would flip.

I love it though.. watch my sister and her DH say - I will never do "this" or "that".. and now that he is 2... they are starting to do "this" and "that". SUCKERS!

craftyashley said...

I. Am. Doomed. Thanks for the heads up.

TORI said...

I couldn't agree more. My first had the cleanest diet ever, my second - well, mostly ok, my third - sure, eat that, it won't kill you. LOL

Gina said...

I will admit to NOT being careful with my first. I laughed at first time parents even while I was going my first time around. And now I can proudly say that I have kept the same average standards all the way through.

Here's to mediocrity!

Aurezalia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mama loquita said...

I think it is official: by the third kid things get completely shaken up. I NEVER thought I would feed any of my toddlers any sweets, juice, chips and cookies. My boys never got any dessert unless they finished all their dinner. My daughter, however, gets dessert stuffed in her mouth so I can finish MY DINNER. My husband says the rules have changed because she is a girl (she's got him wrapped around her little sticky fingers), I say it is because I want to eat dinner already, my patience has thinned out considerably and I just about had it with the regimented structured schedule I put my boys through! I could go on and on talking about naps, baths, clean clothes, making their baby food, using a bib, etc!!!!!!!!!

KB said...

I just about lost my mind when my father wanted to give my firstborn ice cream at the tender age of 10 months.

Her sister, however, had ice cream as her first "solid" food... at 5 months old, when she leaned over and took a big bite of mine. (subtle... yet effective!)

I think we gave their brother ice cream the day he was born. :)

Tarcoulis said...

Well, I am proud to say that neither my girls nor any of their three little guests had any sugary cake frosting at their last birthday party. All five of them scraped off every morsel of frosting and fed it to the 1 year old baby! She was great entertainment afterward.

Karen Mortensen said...

You seem fine to me. As long as he eats other stuff.

Breezi@ Not Your Average Fairytale said...

My 2nd child was addicted to Cherry Coke before she entered nursery at church.
At least the main ingredient in Cherry Coke is water. That must make it okay.. right?

Emily Heizer Photography said...

This was excellent. hee hee lol Losers. They will learn. lol

btw... THEY sound more like the meanest moms!

jenj22 said...

Can I get an AMEN!!

Anonymous said...

I agree with this! Finton is my second and eats any and everything his big sister eats now! :)

Deanna said...

YEP! I was at lunch with the mom of an only child. As we were talking I lean over and let my toddler (kid #3) have a sip of my coke. She is horrified and starts reprimanding me etc. Whatever. *rolling my eyes* If it enables me to carry on a conversation and have a lunch out, it is no biggie.

We are now distant friends and no longer meet for lunch.

Krista said...

Oh, don't I know it! My first didn't have sugar until he was 20 (he's 10 now) and isn't obsessed by it at all. However, my 5 year old tells people his favorite food is "SHOO-GAR".

curegirl0421 said...

Thank goodness, my mother raised me right... my first kid (and only - she's 14 now) breast fed for 3 months (I had to go back to work), ate NON-ORGANIC PRE-PACKAGED JARRED FOOD that I did not make myself (this was appalling to many of my fellow FTM's), and loved her some Push-ups - you know, the unnaturally orange "ice-cream"?

I also used the 5-second rule with the binky. And weaned her off it with french fries - it was the only thing that would work!

She's now 5'10, gorgeous, smart and funny, so I'm pretty sure it was okay.

Gwyn said...

As my friends and I are mostly on our first babies, i had my second cuz she came unexpectedly close to my first, and I have to laugh at the difference between parents of one child and parents for multiple children . . .

Jen Higgins said...

I didn't give my oldest kids sweets real early, but it wasn't do to paranoia --- I just wasn't in a hurry to share! I never could snow number 3, though... "I do too yike coconut, mom!"
The "baby" (#4)will eat pretty much anything, but fortunately that includes veggies and such as well as junk...

Sierra said...

Hahaha! It is so true! My first never had a lollipop until she was 3, my fourth is nine months old and already has a thing for popsicles and ice cream.

Beth said...

Between my husband and my two teenaged step-daughters always sharing snacks, candy, cookies, etc. with my daughter, I gave up on the no sugar rule when she was about one year old. MUCH less stressful for me.

jellybean said...

Too funny! Hasn't every mother (of at least 2 children) been there?!

becca said...

LOL!! I was that mom once too! Now I know better having 3 kids. LOL. LOVE that photo! How do you always manage to arrange the perfect photo for your blog post? Lucky girl!

MissA said...

so true...so, so true.

can't wait to hear about your Orlando experience. i lasted just 6 months there before escaping, err, moving, to Charlotte.

Anonymous said...

My best friend doesn't have kids and is total food freak. She's so horrified by what my daughter eats (a cupcake once in a while, a tootsie pop after lunch, nothing really to get that worked up over) that when she comes to stay she wakes up before me so she can make them breakfast, jumps off the couch to get them lunch, etc. She also talked to me about ways I can get her to eat more healthy without having to bribe her with desserts. It was annoying at first but now it just makes me laugh...every time she makes a comment or she's in the kitchen whipping up a vegan dinner for a 2 year old I think, "Just wait..."

Madeline said...

My 4th daughter does things I NEVER would have let my oldest do. She climbs extraordinarily high, wears very mismatched clothes, eats a whole lotta crap, and watches TV stations other than PBS.

Sarah said...

All 3 were breast-fed, big babies at birth, solids carefully introduced, and I thought I'd done REALLY well with first because he would eat salad, all veg/meat by choice as a toddler, great on the charts, etc.
#2 humbled me a bit as she was on the run early and I felt I was always waiting on her to eat, although she would (and yes, she had more no-no's than baby#1 did!)
#3 (my biggest baby, at 8#14oz) quickly fell off the charts, and by 14 months was BELOW the percentiles in weight...you don't need all of the story, but suffice it to say, after all of the testing, found out he was completely healthy, and I was ORDERED by the nutritionist to ignore well-meaning comments from people who tried to tell me he'd "eat when he was hungry" blah blah blah. Did you know there were kids you had to feed brownie bites, french fries, and his favorite "sugar milk" (Carnation)? At 9 he's been hanging tough at the 5th percentile for weight:)

Jo's girl said...

amen to that! having older kids around automatically means your younger children will not only get candy sooner than you'd like but markers, crayons, scissors, and anything else that is not age appropriate.
it's just the nature of the game.
but they can also do things earlier than the other kids, like swimming with out floaties. my friends son not quite 4 has taken up to do what big sis (age 6) does and good on him for it.

Audrey Hammer said...

My fourth child's diet consists of chocolate milk and popcorn. That's how my standards have degraded. I fear for the fifth one, a baby.

Anonymous said...

I am the second oldest in a family of 8. My older brother and I (we are 12 months apart) weren't allowed sugar until my fifth b-day.

My youngest sister turned 2 three years ago. Sadly, we were short two candy bags because my mother and father gave the candy to my then two year old sister.

I think when you have two kids that are nearing 21 and two kids still in preschool, you use whatever means necessary.

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