Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Small Victory in the Potato Chip War

Much to our horror, thanks to birthday parties and fun events, Aias is horribly obsessed with chips of all kind.  He can spot a bag or bowl of chips from across a crowded gymnasium or grocery store.  Even just seeing a Lays potato chip truck gets him craving them, begging for them, and driving us nuts.  The worst part is, he can't seem to handle moderation... if he has a single chip, he literally whines about them for days, refusing to eat anything else. Needless to say, it's a problem.

In the past, I hate to admit, we've often given in to his requests.  We've usually done it when we were in a line, or a place where you really don't want a toddler flipping out, and when we know that just handing the kid a bag of chips will buy us 30 minutes of good behaviour.   Because of our digressions, he doesn't take no very well.  In the past few weeks we've decided to outright say no to chips unless we are at a gathering, and to absolutely NOT purchase them under any circumstance.  This hasn't stopped him from asking of course.

Today we stopped by the dollar store to grab some of those LED lights you can put into jack-o-lanterns.  It was supposed to be a quick trip, and it was, for the most part. I did my best to navigate the stroller around the store in such a way that we would be able to avoid chips.  Unfortunately, chips were everywhere. 

"Chips! Chips to eat!" Aias begged. "Please, please, please, chips to eat?"

I explained that we weren't getting chips today, and offered other snacks instead (string cheese, raisins, apple slices, seaweed strips, etc).  He didn't want any of those things, of course. In fact, offering them just made him seem to want chips even more.

"CHIPS! CHIPS! CHIPS TO EAT PLEASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSEEEEEE!" he screamed.

The heat was on. I needed to keep saying no.  The power was all mine in this situation, the worst he could do was cry and scream, and he was already doing that.  He is only 2, and doesn't have the money to buy chips himself, so I didn't need to worry about that.

"I'm sorry Aias, I know you would really like chips.  We aren't having chips today, though, so if you are hungry you can have a look through the lunch box and pick any snack from it you like."

"CHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIPSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!"

"I know you want chips really badly, but we aren't having chips today. I'm sorry."

"CHIPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! EATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT! PLEASEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!"

At this point I had a bit of an audience.  Luckily he was in the stroller and wasn't trying to flee and take the chips.  As we left the store, he continued to scream.  After about 4 (very, very, long) minutes, he stopped.

"Cheese?" he asked.

"Yes of course." I replied.

PHEW.  Crisis averted.

I hate moments like that.  It feels awful to say no to your kid.  It also feels awful to hear them scream and cry, and be unhappy.  At the same time, it's 100% my responsibility to make sure he's healthy, and I know from experience that buying him the chips would have given me a pretty quiet walk home, but it would have meant he wouldn't eat lunch, he'd be lacking proper nutrients, he'd be in a crappy mood as a result, etc, etc.  Now it's nap time, everyone is asleep, and I'm really happy to say that he ate a (somewhat) normal lunch that he definitely wouldn't have eaten if he'd had those chips.




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