Our nightly ritual involves asking our daughter what she would like for a bedtime snack. There’s usually a lot of back and forth after our daughter stands in the pantry doorway for several minutes.
“What can I have?” she asks as she continues to stare into the pantry.
“How about an apple?” I suggest.
She turns around to look at me. “No,” she vehemently denies while giving me the stink eye. She spins back to the pantry, and then she bounces immediately over to the freezer. She stands in front of it for several seconds while shivering. “Can I have some ice cream?” she asks, still shivering and staring at me with that you-know-you-can’t-say-no-to-this-face expression. Meanwhile, her hands are just millimeters away from the ice cream carton.
“Uh, no,” I say with my motherly, of-course-you-cannot voice.
She’s shocked. She pulls her hands back to her sides. She turns to give me her pouty-and-I’m-mad look. “Why not?”
“Because it is after nine o’clock at night and you do not need any of that sugar before bed,” I tell her. “Here, just have an apple. Fruit is good for you. I’ll cut it up for you. It’s your favorite, too. It’s green.” I pick up the apple and start to walk to the sink to rinse it off when I hear…
“I don’t want an apple. I want ice cream.”
I turn my head around to say, “Close the freezer door.” Then I proceed to wash off the apple.
“But why can’t I have ice cream?” she asks whiningly. “It’s strawberry. Strawberries are fruit. They’re good for you.” I try not to smack my head. Instead, I grin inwardly. She’s a smart one, this girl.
“No. There’s way too much sugar in there for you to have right now. You need to eat your snack and go to sleep. I don’t need you bouncing off the walls.” I grab for my trusty Pampered Chef apple slicer.
“Don’t apples have sugar in them, too?” Touché. Who taught my child that fruit has sugar in it? Oh, that would have been me.
“Yes, but apples have good sugar and not all the fat and bad sugar in it like ice cream,” I say proudly.
“Then why do we have ice cream?” she asks me. She looks so innocent.
“Ice cream is okay to eat every once in a while. You shouldn’t eat it all the time, and you especially shouldn’t have it for a bedtime snack,” I reply to her thinking that I’m such a good, healthy-choice mom.
“But daddy eats ice cream all the time,” she retorts. I pause. Crickets.
I look at her and say indignantly, “Right, but he’s your daddy and you’re my daughter.” I’m so smart.
“Maybe you should tell daddy to eat more apples instead of so much ice cream,” and she walks away while I’m holding her apple.
“Daddy!” I hear her yell in the living room. “You need to eat more apples and stop eating ice cream because it has too many bad sugars in it!” Great.
Note to self: Let the husband discuss good and bad choices with the daughter in the future.