but snacks. snacks are one of those things that quickly jump from my thankful category to the frustrating (with much overlap) category. i have often witnessed how a simple and seemingly innocent afternoon snack destroys any remote possibility that a food from the elusive and problematic vegetable category could make it into a child's
this is such a slippery slope though. and as anyone with a five-year old can testify to, if you do something once, that is the way it needs to be done from now on or for eternity, whatever is longest. our snacks got bigger and more regular and absolutely necessary. i used to give merritt snacks on the way to pick stimson up from school. then stimson would want his after i got him, but then merritt would see his and want more. so then i had to wait until we got to school to give it to both of them, but stimson didn't want merritt's leftover avocado-bean mushdish so i had to disguise and separate the snacks. but then merritt caught on that stimson ate his snack with his hands and it was crunchy. you can't eat avocado-bean mush with your hands and it is definitely not crunchy. so she was less than happy (picture more rolling). i had to figure out something they could both eat. so now they eat the same things at the same time from the same size cup. we started out eating it on the bus on our way home from school. then it was on the way to the bus. then it was in the parking lot at school before we even started our trip home. but now it has become such a necessary part of life that I can't even make it out of the school before we start eating our snacks. i wish i could say stimson is excited to see me after school and that merritt is excited to see stimson, but really all the anticipation and excitement is to see what is in the two little cups that accompany me everywhere i go.
all of this is frustrating and endearing. both. (that wonderful satisfaction that comes with giving your kids what they want). now that snacks have become a life or death situation, i still have a problem with my own eating habits. i get hungry during the day. and i try to throw a quick fistful of something into my mouth before anyone under the age of six notices. but it doesn't always work. i can quietly and stealthily sneak into the pantry without even turning the light on and somehow they know i am in there. one second later, there they are, using their best manners to beg for a bit of whatever i am chewing. whatever. they know if i am eating it in the corner, in the dark, by myself, it must be good. you would think i am describing a secret drinking problem but no, this is really all about pistachios and dried mangoes. what would they do if they knew what i really eat after they go to bed each night. those beautiful and holy 18-and-over "snacks": ice cream, cookies, and chocolate. and those beauties i eat out in the open with the lights on. no brown bag required. and for that, i am thankful.