Sugar, You’ve Got Me Wanting You

It’s Easter again. And while Christians eagerly await the resurrection of Jesus, I mournfully dread the resurrection of the sugar-infused demon spawn that will be my daughters after they dive headlong into their candy-filled baskets, purportedly brought to them by a magical bunny that has nothing to do with the aforementioned reborn messiah-figure.

While I understand the Spring references to rebirth and fertility (thank you paganism,) I still don’t know why our ancestors landed on marshmallow-filled chocolate bunnies and Red 40-dyed malted eggs. Bunnies eat carrots, right? Actually hasenpfeffer is really tasty too. The problem is my wife does not share my same vision of Easter morning, with the children excitedly finding their beautifully decorated baskets filled with warm rabbit stew and steamed carrots. I thought this was a Good Idea. We agreed to disagree.

So as a result the girls will inevitably be crazy all morning, then crash and be angry and violent towards each other all afternoon, have night terrors, then essentially be hung over the next day, every day until the candy is gone. For anyone encouraging moderation, please repeat yourself because while you were preaching on your ivory tower I was picking up the empty butter wrappers from the floor after my 4-year-old ate all of the butter in the fridge in less than 60 seconds.

Jokes aside, I have some real guilt about letting my children be addicted to sugar like I am. We have in fact been trying to demystify sugar by providing it in moderation (I put a small candy bar in their lunch each day, and bring home treats often.) However I will consider it a success if my 4-year-old does not bite my 6-year-old at any point tomorrow in her sugar-induced hysteria.

Growing up, my parents did not give us much sugar. I’m sure I’ve written about how my mom would pour us a little of her Diet Pepsi in our milk as our dessert. Or maybe I just told my therapist. Either way, though their tactics may have felt cruel, I finally understand that their hearts were in the right place. That being said, if you throw a bag of Reese cups on the floor my brothers and I will instinctively circle it while hissing and growling like lions warding off a pack of hyenas, which demonstrates that their restrictive method might have had the opposite effect.

The curtain was pulled back even further when I recently went grocery shopping for my parents (to keep them socially distanced.) Their list consisted of popsicles, whipped cream, fudge bars, ice cream, ginger beer and a frozen bag of cauliflower and broccoli mix which I feel was included to throw me off their sugary trail of deceit. I almost bought them some Metformin to save myself another trip. I guess the older you get the less guilty you feel about having an unhealthy relationship with sugar. Or maybe they just hid their sugar addiction from us during my childhood, which might be the big take away for me.

I recently gave up sugar for an entire month, proving that it is possible. I lost a bunch of weight, had more energy, and just felt better overall. Then Halloween came, and I woke up the next day with chocolate all over my face, dressed in a poorly fitting tiger costume. And just like that I was back on sugar, regained the weight, feel like crap, have no energy. And I still cannot wait to break into to marshmallow eggs tomorrow (Let’s be honest, I opened them three nights ago.) But what my parents have taught me is that I should still model moderate, healthy behaviors for my daughters. Even if I am a closet sugar junkie.

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