Coming Off The Sugar High


Little kids, little problems. Big kids, big problems. I remember the early days of motherhood when this was new information to me.

However, I didn’t think I’d experience addiction issues with my child – if at all – until she became a teenager. Instead, this past week she has bounced from party to party, including three yesterday. “Slash” couldn’t keep her eyes open or her head up, under the influence of the parties’ libations. She still insisted we drag her to the last party. She had to take a disco nap just to go. But once we got there, we were barely able to get her out of there over an hour after we had initially planned to leave.

Then today, when I wouldn’t let her party in the house, she asked who else was having a party today so she could go get her fix there. That’s it. I put my foot down. No more parties. And she is going into Detox this week whether she likes it or not.

Worst of all, I knew she’d hit bottom this morning when she picked up a quarter and asked me to peel it for her! I explained that it wasn’t chocolate. It was a real quarter. I refused to feed her chocolate craving, no matter how loud she screamed. She’d already lied and manipulated me twice that morning to get the goods behind my back. She was becoming more brazen by the minute and even stealing in front of us!

Yes, my 3-year-old has become a sugar addict in one short week. Although Hanukkah is over, I’m quite worried for her immediate future.

Normally I count on the safe confines of Slash’s Montessori school, where they specifically tell parents NOT to pack treats in their lunch and give the kids fruits and vegetables for snack time. However, she’s on school vacation this week. Where normally one day off of school would probably result in a mommy and me lunch of pizza and ice cream, her past 8 nights of sufganiyot, sugar cookies, sprinkles and frosting, make five days of pizza and ice cream downright abusive. To think that I normally spend the time and energy to worry that when the other parents buy the class snack for the week they don’t buy the whole wheat and organic pretzels and crackers…

I’m usually the cool parent. When Slash sees a girl with Crayola red hair and a nose ring, she informs me that Daddy told her one is not allowed to do that. I tell her I had that color hair in high school and Daddy and I don’t necessarily agree on matters of self-expression. (I wouldn’t have let her accept the nickname of Slash at birth if I was against having a punk baby, kid, or teenager!)

But when it comes to managing her addiction, this morning’s manipulation notwithstanding, I like to think I can crack the whip. If I have to clean out the whole house so that there isn’t any temptation left, I’ll do it. In the meantime, tomorrow morning we’re starting our day with a baby spinach, flax meal, almond milk, almonds, frozen fruit, vegan-dha infused smoothie. L’chaim!

Natasha Rosenstock NadelNatasha Rosenstock Nadel is a writer living in Potomac, MD with her daughter and husband. She's currently teaching creative writing to elementary school girls and working on a book of her previously published columns.

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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