Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Stuff my son says

At the end of a 90-minute long daily bedtime ritual that includes stories, talking about the day, snacks, and cuddles, my mind often starts to wander by the cuddling part to the pile of dishes in the kitchen sink, the laundry in the basement and the next episode of Mad Men that's waiting for me in the living room.

"You have to slow down cuddling, Mom. You're going too fast."

And just like that, everything else can wait.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Hungry for Change

Yes, it's another food documentary... but do yourself and humanity a favour and WATCH IT NOW. I almost fell into the trap myself of opting out of another food-related preach-fest, but it turns out that this one is quality and needs to be seen by every human on the planet before it's too late. I always said that sugar and refined flour were just like crack, heroine, and all the other fluffy white chemicals that swallow your life if you let them. Finally, people might be starting to believe it. I hope.

Actually, what I'm feeling right now is rage and that's what inspired this post. I'm so angry at myself for caring so much what other people think. Why do I feel like I have to lie about the fact that I stay away from processed foods most days of the week? Why do I have to make up excuses at restaurants with friends and family when I don't touch the bread, don't order the pasta and ask for salad instead of potatoes? Why do I feel guilty for not letting my son have a juicebox at the birthday party, at the picnic, at the baseball game? I think I'm finally through with that. That will be such a massive weight off my shoulders.

The fact is, I'm the mom. I'm here to set an example and to protect my children from the things that might harm them in this world. I know how this is going to sound, but I'm going to say it anyway: it's become dead obvious to me that people are out to get my kids. I am not being an alarmist or a psychotic paranoid. It's simply the truth. Food companies don't want to die and they will do whatever is in their power to stay alive. They will hire marketers, and these marketers will make commercials designed to get my kids salivating over the chemical cocktails they are peddling as food. Then they will have the gall to somehow package it as a healthy snack. They will also take advantage of our antiquated food labeling laws and use only the 25-letter scientific name for each ingredient that my kids (and most adults) obviously don't understand. The grocery store will then stock the fake food at just the right height for them to see it, touch it, cry for it, and drool over it again. I won't buy it for them, but when they taste it at a birthday party, they will think it's one of the best things they've ever eaten - and they will think that I must not love them if I am depriving them of something so delicious that other kids are clearly allowed to eat on a regular basis.

Please, parents, stop the insanity. We are the bosses here, not the kids, not General Mills or Kraft or McCain. Dr. Oetker is not a real doctor. Aunt Jemima is not your aunt. Uncle Ben is not your uncle. They don't care about you or your children at all. Granola bars have the word "granola" in them and that may remind you of hippies who hike, but if you picked them up at Loblaws, they are NOT healthy and do not make a good after-daycare snack. Fruit juice - unless you have squeezed it yourself (and even then it's somewhat debatable) - is not a wholesome thing. The stuff in the tetrapacks sometimes can't legally even be called "juice". They have to write "drink" on it instead and in many cases, it's got as much sugar as Pepsi. Yes, it comes from fruit, but are we really still that naive? There is no shame in saying no to these things. It would be so much easier if we were all on board here.

I honestly can't believe that I am about to quote Che Guevara, but it just seems so apt: "The revolution is not an apple that falls when it's ripe - you have to make it fall." Let's grab those apples, people!!!