(Copyright (c) 2010 Cynthia Shenette) "But mom, juice boxes are so kindergarten." So said my son a while back. Who knew? I wondered why he kept bringing juice boxes home in his lunch box every day rather than drinking them. Apparently, when you're in second grade, squishy pack drinks are way more cool. Sometimes I have trouble trying to keep up with what's in and what's out snack wise, AND keep it healthy. "Flavor Blasted" Pepperidge Farm Goldfish, in. Regular Pepperidge Farm Goldfish, out. Sweets, in. Yogurt, out. Fruit, definitely out. How can I compete? "Mom, did you know Johnny has a Cosmic Brownie for morning snack. A Cosmic Brownie," he adds for emphasis. At 10:20 in the morning? I don't think so. "But mom, they're cosmic." Yeah, right. They might be cosmic but they're not gonna happen, and certainly not at 10:20 in the morning.
Believe me, I feel his pain. You see, I was a lunch box trader. There, I said it. You probably knew a kid like me--the pathetic kid with the apple. Yup, that was me. I was the kid sitting at that table in the gymacafatorium with my bruised apple rolling around at the bottom of my metal Peanuts lunch box. Squished tuna sandwich wrapped in wax paper. No mayo. Frozen milk bought at school. No soda for this kid. Mom was a woman ahead of her time. She wanted me to be healthy. I just wanted a Twinkie. Oh, how I envied those kids with the Twinkies. Why couldn't I have a Twinkie like everyone else?
Years later, when I was in my twenties, I finally confessed to my Mom about the trading thing. She was shocked. Shocked. "Some kid was perfectly happy to get that apple," she said. Frankly, I could never figure out why anybody wanted my apple. Actually, I still can't. Even today, given the choice of a Twinkie or an apple, I'd go with the Twinkie in a heartbeat if I didn't know any better. Today we have cholesterol. Ah, those innocent days of youth.
I hate to admit it, but yes, I've become my mother. Once I became a mom I knew it was just a matter of time. I hear stuff coming out of my mouth that my mother use to say. And despite that, NO, my son will NOT be taking a Cosmic Brownie for morning snack. I don't care if everyone does it. NO Cosmic Brownie. End of story.
What was in your lunch box? Were you the apple, or were you the Twinkie? I really want to know...
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