Izzy (and Mama) Eat: The Gourmand Grows up...

Tales of Empty Nesting ...The Next Chapter

Monday, August 27, 2007

Sweet Toothless?

It all happened so smoothly and quietly. One minute we were settling down at the table. The next minute I watched, incredulously, as the little lump sat immobile, sucking away at another lump.. A LUMP OF SUGAR.. which her darling mama held up to her toothless mouth. A 13 month old developing a sweet tooth, with hardly a tooth in sight!

This was a sight I had never expected to see, but then again A. has thrown me for a loop on other food occasions. She, as many of us, has her own unique brand of crunchy/meets junk food eating behaviours. I learned this on a supermarket excursion when her eldest was pleading for some candy that she had apparently sampled before. I wouldn't have pegged A. to be the candy-eating/feeding sort, especially since she is always attempting to substitute a bit too much whole-wheat flour to certain baked goods, in hopes of creating a healthier dessert.

But I digress. Back to the scene of the crime..There I sat, stunned at the sight and when I expressed my disbelief I was silenced with the standard line from parents with two, which is something to the effect of, "You wouldn't understand..."

Perhaps there is something to that. I do have vague memories of being overly critical of certain parenting techniques before having had a child and being told I didn't understand. I was certainly forced to eat a few of my words (not all, mind you, just a few) on that count. So why not in this case too.

The mania of having two children could very well force a mama to resort to drastic measures. Though I must say the idea of main-lining sugar would not have occurred to me as being one of them.

Did A. learn about this old-fashioned pacifying method from her grandma? I mentioned it to my grandfather (98) and he knew exactly what I was talking about. He laughed and said, "The mothers would wrap the sugar in cheesecloth and let the child hold it to their lips. Sometimes they would even soak it in bourbon!!!" I suggested that this might not be so healthy for the child. In response he said, (which I'm sure A. would much appreciate? "It may not be healthy for the child but it is healthy for the mother. She can get a break from the child's nagging."

Well what do you know? My grandfather and A. share similar child-rearing techniques and meanwhile I am left wondering...

1. Is A. going to be a repeat offender?
2. What else can be used to replace sugar lumps? Are they preferable to rubber nipples?

Might I suggest..a hard, salty pretzel. They used to keep Izzy busy for hours, and of course boobie always came in handy in restaurants. Any other suggestions might be appreciated.


Sarah said...

Hmmm. I suppose it depends on how dire the situation, and what is available at the moment to soothe the child. My weapon of choice is currently the breast, as it always works wonders with my little one (and is conveniently attached). I'm pretty sure I would never use sugar, as it tends to make kids batty, but I might not be averse to something like a sip of beer, which is probably more offensive to the parenting critics!

Anonymous said...

I'm all for the sugar lump. What's the big deal? I mean HONESTLY! It worked, it made A happy, it made L happy. Problem solved. Kudos to you A., for forging ahead and giving her the sugar in front of critical eyes.

Anonymous said...

Impending collapse of Iraq, erosion of civil liberties, economic recession = worth getting this indignant over

Using a sugar cube as a treat = get over it.

I really enjoy reading about your food adventures, but I really, really wish they didn't come with such a dose of heavy-handed elitist snobbery.

Izzy's Mama said...

Sarah: You know I'm with you on the breast issue, booze would be another story!

Izzy's Mama said...

Katharine: We all view the world through different lenses. My initial reaction was shock, followed by interest (figuring there was a historical bent to this practice). HONESTLY I am sure I don't need to spell out why this bothered me so, given my penchant for monitoring everything that goes into my child's mouth as well as the mouths of those around him(the whole point of the blog). I will not bore you with the evils of excess sugar about which I am sure you are aware. Sure it WORKED in the short-term but so do many things that may not be the best long-term solutions.

In writing it was my hope to come up with better ways to achieve the same ends in the future and to amuse but certainly not to offend (and I only exposed A. when she expressly allowed it).:

Izzy's Mama said...

Stephanie: My blog is my forum to dissect any and all food-related issues. Not only do I write to share my food experiences but also to inspire people to reconsider the food choices they make for their children. If you enjoy reading my food adventures I say this: Take what works for you and leave the rest behind!" Call me a food-snob if you wish, you wouldn't be the first.

Anonymous said...

We're talking about raising a "gourmand" here. GOURMAND - You expecting not to find a little food snobbery and elitism? Come on. It's a good read whether or not you agree with prosecution of alledged food crimes.

My take on the whole thing? You work with what you have and make the best of it. If you are carrying around hard pretzels (bavarian dutch style?) and your kid loves them, good for you. If the bowl of sugar cubes is an option ... go for it. The last thing any parent wants or needs is the passing of judgment by others out in the blogosphere. That is, unless it is not about me and I can read about it.

PS - Izzy's Mama, I will never invite you for dinner ... ever. (just kidding L.)

PPS - I will gladly eat at your place.

PPPS - The defense also needs to know if the sugar was local and organic.

Anonymous said...

You do, at least for this loyal reader, need to spell out the evils of sugar (especially such a trivial amount). Paying close attention to what your child eats doesn't obviate the need to justify your opinions about what other children should eat. Double-blind, scientific studies have shown that sugar does not actually make children hyperactive.

Is a lump of sugar a nutritious 10 calories? No. Is the harm (even setting aside the more-than compensating benefit to maternal sanity) more than trivial? No. Is it materially more harmful than a pretzel, which is, nutritionally, a strikingly similar highly refined carbohydrate (sprinkled with salt)? No.

Bean's Mum said...

I'm impressed that this issue has gone all the way to J. Healy. I'll be sure to stir up some additional gastronomic controversy on our next outing and see if we can get some freeholders or perhaps Corzine involved.

PS: Probably not local or organic sugar but was it kosher?

PPS: We need to rename this entire blog issue "A Lump For the Lump."

Izzy's Mama said...

Bean's Mum: I too, was taken in by J. Healy, who has posted previously on my blog. Suffice it to say, he is an imposter, albeit an amusing one. Reliable sources say he might be the last one who should be commenting on food issues.