The other day I decided to make root beer floats for dessert after dinner. I made them once before, a long time ago when The Narrator was a bit too young to have them. Now that he’s six though, we’re giving him the ability to try such things.
“What’s in it?” He asked.
“Root beer and vanilla ice cream.”
“BEER!?! Nooooo thank you!”
“No bud, it’s not real beer. It’s just called that.”
“What is it?”
“Root beer? It’s soda.”
His reaction to soda was more vehement than it had been for ‘beer.’ He slapped his hands over his mouth and shook his head, his vocal response muffled.
Eventually we pried his hands off, and the reason for his response out of him. Now, the bottle of soda we have in the house currently for the floats is a rarity. We simply don’t buy it. I purchased it specifically because I’d planned on making the floats one night. When its gone, we won’t have more in the house for months. We’ve actually dumped out bottles that have been left over from family gatherings where people bring it and leave it for one reason or another.
(Please take care of our garbage. Thanks.) Our kids are juice and (happily) water drinkers. We are not the poster-children for healthy eating, but some things are common sense this day and age. I wouldn’t ply my kids with soda any more than I would coffee. At their young age, it isn’t necessary.
But apparently, when he’s in school, he’s being taught that soda is straight up evil and should never under any circumstances be consumed or Michelle Obama’s spirit army which stands guard over you with a baleful eye on your diet will descend upon your soul and consume it and all you love.
The kid was genuinely afraid of having root beer.
It took us fifteen minutes to convince him that if Mommy and Daddy say it is okay to have a little bit of it as a treat a handful of times a year, that is okay.
Dubiously, he tasted it. Lo and Behold, it was a successful test and he lapped it up quite contentedly.
I’m all for teaching our kids about healthy eating habits, because…well….look at us as a society. In a world where I can get a half-dozen quarter-pound hamburgers without getting out of my car, or a milkshake larger than the fresh water cisterns of some third-world villages simply by commanding some adolescent to get me one through a box hanging on a wall, this sort of thing is necessary.
That being said, Maybe a bit of tutelage regarding moderation wouldn’t be a bad thing either.
The least they could do is stop making my kid scared to have dessert.