The kids caught me by surprise.
It was the week between Christmas and New Year’s. We were sitting home one evening, when my daughter said something that sent chills down my spine.
It had been such a calm evening up to that point. Now, my heart began to race. I could feel myself about to go into withdrawals, even as I had a Reese’s mini right next to me. I tried to maintain my composure.
Must. Not. Panic.
But then . . .
“Yeah, dad. Please, can we?” my son chimed in.
Has the world turned upside down? Since when do kids (KIDS) want to throw out the chocolate? Since when have kids been on the side of health and good nutrition? I mean, I always thought it was supposed to be us grouchy old parents who put our foot down and stomped out chocolate, dancing (for more info, see Footloose, a movie I still haven’t seen all the way through, yet), and virtually all activities deemed as FUN.
So how could this be happening?!
There was only one thought that crossed my mind: you’ll have to kill me first.
Sure, there might be room for some compromise. I might be willing to give up broccoli. I might possibly even be willing to negotiate on parting ways with green beans, beets, and perhaps even asparagus.
But chocolate? NEVER!
Ok guys, here’s what you don’t understand, chocolate is my sedative. It’s my Xanax. And it’s my vodka – all rolled into one. (Well, ok. Maybe not my vodka – we’ll keep that separate.)
It’s like when the Beatles sang “Let it Be” – When times of trouble come to me, let me eat my chocolate. Ok, I’m paraphrasing, but not much.
I wanted to lash out and blame someone. Maybe Mrs. Obama. After all, she’s the one who’s taking away all important food groups in the cafeteria, like sugar, starch, and cheeseburgers. Or something like that.
But I guess really I don’t have anyone to blame. I knew I should have followed my first instinct and put Nestlé’s Quik Chocolate Milk in their bottles when they were babies. Then we could have avoided this entire ugly episode in our lives.
As I sat there, finding it hard to breath, trying to hold off the same feeling of panic that I’m sure our great ancestors felt when they came face-to-face with a Tyrannosaurus Rex, I was reminded of that cheesy song by Tim McGraw. Remember it? You know the one where he says you can take anything, just don’t take the girl? Well, it was kind of like that for me.
But here in real life, single-dad-trying-to-survive mode, there was no happy ending in sight.
So I calmly tried to explain to the kids about my allergy. You know how some people are allergic to chocolate. Well, I’m allergic to NOT having chocolate.
Ok, I didn’t really do that. But I did explain (state, reinforce, put my foot down, bluntly say NOT HAPPENING IN MY LIFETIME) how dad needs his chocolate to keep the family ship sailing smoothly.
They were very understanding, until . . .
“Well, can we get rid of the cookies . . . “