Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The No-Added Sugar Challenge - Another Epic Fail

In my newspaper, The Hamilton Spectator, there has been a series of articles about healthy eating.  The most recent one I read asked us to try to go without any added sugar for seven days.  This includes every possible kind of sugar and other things such as honey and maple syrup.

I thought I would see how I would do.  I was feeling pretty smug about it, to be honest with you.  I've been trying to eat very healthy foods lately.  I eat salads or vegetable soup pretty much daily.  I drink my coffee and tea black.

I still have treats, but I try to make sure they're not too bad.  I'll have maple syrup over fibre 1 cereal, or dark chocolate.  But I felt like I could try to avoid these things for at least a few days.  I've been really enjoying a snack of frozen fruit with walnut pieces on it, so I thought I could substitute that.  'No problem!'  I thought nonchalantly.

Anyway, I went to work feeling virtuous.  I sailed by the candy Easter eggs in the staff room and easily ignored the chocolates in the board room.  ('Pure sugar!' I thought to myself with disdain.)

I had an apple for my snack.  I had vegetable soup, nuts and a banana for lunch.  I was doing so well!  This was easy!

Then I had a Mento.  And it was all over.

I hadn't even lasted a day!  Not even 12 hours!

One small Mento and all my self-righteousness went down the drain, where it belongs.

Monday, April 23, 2012

50 Things Your Kids Should Do Before They're 12

My friend told me about this.  It's a bucket list for kids.  I'm not sure why the things are supposed to be done before they're twelve.  And I don't know what everything means.  What is sledging?  And how do you play conkers?

I don't know.  I do know that my kids have done most things on this list, which makes me feel like maybe I'm doing something right.  That's always nice, isn't it?   It's so easy to feel like you're making multiple mistakes with your kids.  My one son said an extremely inappropriate saying at the dinner table tonight in front of his friend.  This seems to be a fairly regular occurrence, so in many ways I feel like an 'epic fail' (as the kids would say) as a parent.  But at least I've introduced my kids to nature and luckily they've fallen in love with it.  They might never have perfect manners (who does?), but hey - they love a good hike! 


Monday, April 9, 2012

Who's In The House?

There is a popular song out right now called 'Party Rocker in the House'.  The truth is that I don't even know if that is the right name.  I'm completely out of it.  I'm old.  I'm a parent.  What do you want?  That is what my kids call it, anyway. 

Well, the boys were having a great time coming up with other, extremely appropriate (aren't they always?) words to go with the song.  Their favourite was 'Party Pooper in the House'.  That struck them as very, very funny.  They are boys, after all.  These are the kids who think the word 'butter' is hilarious.  Any male probably doesn't need an explanation.  But for you girls out there, yes, it's because it has 'butt' in it.  All you have to do is say 'butter' and they roll around on the floor laughing.  Try it sometime.  Don't get them started on 'assembly', please. 

After seeing my boys laughing so hard, I told my husband that I'd just had an interesting glimpse into the male psyche.  He replied, "What male psyche?"

Anyway, my daughter wanted to get in on the action.  So she made up a song entitled, aptly enough, 'Princess Is In the House Tonight' and the words were, 'we're all going to be best friends forever and ever and all be happy together'.

Boys.  Girls.

Amazing.  Different!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Who's Stupid Enough To Fall Into a Giant Hole?

At my children's school, there is a little bit of forest around the playground with some trees and bushes.  And I do mean a little bit; it's a very small area.  However, the children have been told they aren't allowed to play in this area during school hours.  The rationale is that the children can't be seen so it's not safe.  I understand - I do.  But I think it's too bad that the kids can't play there.  The bushes and trees make a great fort with trails through it, and there are branches and stumps and things that inspire fun imaginative play.

However.  Safety comes first, I guess.

Then the boys started digging in the sand of the baseball diamond.  They had a great time.  They dug a huge hole in the sand and they played various scenarios with it.  I think you can see this coming, but now I hear that the school is going to hire a landscaper and change the sand into sod so no one can dig in it.

My son was upset when he found out about it.  He said with annoyance, "I mean, come on!  Who is stupid enough to fall into a giant hole?"

Unfortunately there are people out there who are stupid enough to fall into a giant hole.  You know who you are.  I mean, I'm not going to lie to you, it could be me.  But I would feel REALLY embarrassed for being so stupid!

And I understand the safety concerns that the school and the board would need to address.

But I also think that if we continue to sanitize the outdoors, why would kids want to play in it?  If we want them to be captivated by the outdoors and not be addicted to video games, we need to make them realize the outdoors is fun.

We need to relax the rules.  We need to let the kids explore!

Why not think outside the box?  We could have an area with a little fence around it in which children could dig holes.  We could have a monitor watch the kids in the itsy bitsy tree/bush area. 

Let's let the kids have a little fun, people!