Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tuesday Tip: Let them eat cake!

Our sweet Kevin enjoying a sweet treat at an early age
With the confluence of Easter and Passover last weekend, the sugar level of our nation's children must have hit an unprecedented high.  Between the Easter baskets and Passover treats, goodies were everywhere.  In our house, we had three rounds of sugar highs. 

The first occurred on Saturday morning, during our neighborhood egg hunt.  In what has become an annual tradition, my friend Cate magically transforms her yard into an Easter wonderland that is inevitably pillaged by a dozen egg-seeking children on a sugar mission.  These lovely children, all the best of friends, turn into egg-crazed enemies as they scramble to see who can gather the most. Of course, it's not all bad -- in fact, it's really not back at all.  The big kids help the little kids; the grown ups mix and mingle over coffee and a few treats of our own; and on a sunny spring Saturday, it's a Norman Rockwellian kick-off to our Easter weekend.

The second sugar-fueled frenzy occurred at a family affair on Saturday evening.  This time, cousins turned against each other in an effort to find the most yellow eggs -- ah yes, the yellow eggs had the most coveted treasure of all.  Each of them contained that rarest of treats that can only be found once a year -- the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Egg.  This, and this alone, was enough to turn our tiny tots into mighty warriors as they wrestled each other to the ground in search of this seasonal delight.

Last but not least, there was the Easter morning scramble as our kids jumped out of beds, climbed out of cribs, raced down the stairs and squealed with delight upon discovering that the Easter Bunny had indeed made a visit to the Lyons Den, delivering five baskets filled to the brim with more tasty treats -- jelly beans, chocolate eggs, Peeps, and of course, a chocolate bunny. As ten shining eyes looked up at me and one tiny voice asked "Ma, can I have one?  Can I have a jelly bean?"  I said yes. 

I said yes to jelly beans before breakfast.  Just as the day before I'd said yes to lollipops before lunch and M&Ms before dinner.  I figure that if I keep saying yes, maybe next year, the sugar-fueled frenzy will be well, just slightly, less frenzied.  If I keep saying yes, maybe they will learn to enjoy all things in moderation; maybe they will learn it's not necessary to eat their weight in sweet treats during Easter weekend.  Or Halloween.  Or Christmas.  Or birthdays... which leads me to cake, and the moral of this story.  Let them eat candy; let them eat cake.  Let them be kids and enjoy the simple pleasure of a savory sweet.  And ideally, teach them not to mow down their friends and cousins during next year's egg hunt! 

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