FYI – I’m going to let my freak flag fly with this one, so brace yourself. Here it goes:
One of the things I’ve been quite consciously anal about with Boopsie is food. I decided even before she was born that I wanted to make most of her baby food, (in part) because it’s less expensive and (in much larger part) because I wanted to instill really healthy tastes and eating habits.
Much like the sleep campaign, I threw myself into the effort wholeheartedly. I read several books, including Feeding Baby Green (which is great and informed my philosophy) and Super Baby Food (also great with tons of practical advice and ideas), plus several others I borrowed from the library to read about techniques and get ideas.
Making Boopsie’s food has enabled me to feed her all sorts of organic things that don’t come in a jar, like spinach and broccoli and quinoa and silken tofu (which I guess technically did come in a jar/package). It’s been mostly fun to do, and Boopsie has liked almost all of it, except:
- Cauliflower (in a puree with pears) – she gagged trying to get it out of her mouth… I think it’s texture
- Quinoa (mixed with green beans) – just not into it
- Watermelon (fresh, diced) – so-so… again, I think it might be texture
At one point I got really paranoid and decided that the puffs that every baby seems to totally LOVE had no place in her diet. They’re like junk food, I thought. She doesn’t need that crap. They felt like the gateway to all sorts of “junk food.” Well, I caved on that pretty quickly, mostly because they are a great first finger food. And then, of course, she went cuckoo for the puffs. (Again, like every other baby I know.) So I’ve resigned myself to the fact that she’s eating super-processed puffs — her first “edible food-like substance.” *sniff* Okay, fine.
I tell you this because for all of my “no white flour,” organic, home-made food, “no juice until she’s three and then only 1/2 juice 1/2 water mixed” crazy-making, Boopsie had pancakes today. For lunch. PANCAKES. Sweet pancakes made with white flour and sugar. I’ve been stressing about giving her vitamin-fortified, organic puffs, and our day care provider gave her pancakes because Boopsie was crabby and wanted “grown up” food. And I’ve got to tell you, it’s got my undies in a bunch.
Here’s the catch: I myself am not a super-duper healthy eater. Sure, I do pretty well at eating a balanced diet, but I have a very serious weakness for all things sugar — donuts, sugary cereal, candy (especially of the gummy variety), ice cream, etc. Hell, on Saturday I had french toast and four slices of bacon for brunch! But for the last few weeks I’ve really been mentally gearing up to clean up my act, and recruiting Daddy-o to do the same. We’re closing in (so quickly) on the time when all three of us will eat the same thing, so Daddy-o and I can’t really be eating Frosted Flakes for breakfast (yum) anymore. We joined a CSA, I’ve convinced him to do the 100 Days of Real Food challenge this summer and I’m already totally conscious of Boopsie watching me when I eat Cheetos or Lucky Charms. So while I’m busily putting the finishing touches my double-standard about what’s acceptable for me to eat and what’s acceptable for Boopsie to eat, and working pretty hard to keep her in homemade broccoli puree and organic chicken gruel, someone (not me) goes and gives her PANCAKES. For lunch. REALLY?
I have to admit, the “pancake report” had me second-guessing our choice of day care provider while I was jogging tonight. And then it had me second-guessing my own sanity for second-guessing our day care provider. My sane self can say, “It’s just pancakes for god’s sake, not meth!” But my spazzy, over-protective, over-researched, worried-about-obesity-and-cancer mommy self is screaming, “Holy sh&t – what if she had syrup?!?” (I’m too afraid to ask. I just don’t want to know.) I mean, I’ve been plotting how to secretly make Boopsie a “healthy” first birthday cake to dive into without anyone figuring it out and being able to mock me.I’ve been berating myself for letting her try a french fry at Salut (Hey, I wiped the salt off!!).
I’ve been trying to give up Diet Coke. I’ve pretty much stopped buying sugary cereal. I hide my donut consumption from her. Basically, I’m trying to make myself “better” for Boopsie’s sake, hunting for a middle path in my love of sugar and Hostess (albeit a yuppy-earthy-kind-of-spazzy middle path). But now I’m back at the point where they universe is laughing at me. I’m sure I deserve it, but this stings. Parenting is such a lesson (upon lesson upon lesson) in how little control I have in so many things in Boopsie’s life. As much as I am compelled to do everything in my power to give her a healthy, happy, love- and joy-filled life, I’ve got to consciously try to keep myself from project-managing parenting into something unrecognizable…. I’ve got to loosen my grip.
But for tonight? Tonight I say “Screw you, pancakes.” (Unless of course, they’re for me.)