Victory, But At What Cost?

Way back in the old days of gestation, when I was more of a vague worry to my parents and hadn’t yet given them anything concrete, my dear sainted Mother, so family legend goes, scarfed ice cream like she was popular media and it was the innocence of Miley Cyrus. She chalks it up to to me-induced cravings, which, if you consider my post natal stance on ice cream (yes. My stance is yes.) would seem at least consistent, if not definitive.

Although, if you take a similar look at my mom’s stance on ice cream since I made my grand entrance, you have to wonder if “craving” is still the right word after 35 years.

But, so anyway, sugar and I have gotten along famously these last 3.5 decades. Chocolate, ice cream, pastry, I’m like an episode of Sex And The City with chest hair and thrift store pants.

With this in mind, the Baby Mama and I made the decision to keep the little dude sugar-free for as long as we could. We had no illusions it would last forever, but if we could get to year 2 maybe his palette would be established to the point that he wouldn’t have the desperate quivering pathological need to end every meal with chocolate that curses his father.

He’s three. He’ll use every dirty trick in the toddler toolbox to wheedle cantaloupe or watermelon, but has never had so much as a chocolate chip.

Until, of course, the other day when we gave him a chocolate chip.

Fraught would be the word. I really had no idea how it would go. Like bacon soap, it could either be utterly sublime, or an unparalleled, three-stooges-level fiasco.

“Here’s a chocolate chip” said the Baby-Mama. He took it. Looked at it. Popped it in. And I swear I saw a curiously pleased look flash briefly across his hilariously expressive face. Flash briefly, I say, before this mild grimace settled in and the chocolate chip, slightly melted was deposited on his plate.

He’s tried one since, and reported to his Mama “You don’t like chocolate.” By which he means, “I don’t like chocolate.” Because pronouns are a process.

But so he doesn’t like chocolate. We won.

And yet…

I can’t help but react (at least part of me) the way I do when anyone else claims to not like chocolate: My son is in Al Qaida.

I mean, how do you not like chocolate? Do you like justice? Do you like clothing on ugly people? There are some things without which society itself would descend into youtube comments and TLC shows.

But it’s what I wanted, right? My son is free from the bitter, delicious, 70% pure cocoa clutches of my sweet brown crutch. He’s going to grow up healthy and free to choose his own addictions.

Ah, parenting. Where even your successes feel like failures.

 

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