What a great morning we were having last week. Things were going so well with J, Baby G, G & MK that I thought we should have a treat and go out to lunch. You moms who have kiddos with special needs know how hard it is to get out. The only place I would consider taking my crew for lunch is Fuddruckers because it’s laid back, they have games for the kids, & they have gluten-free hamburger buns!
The kids were so excited to be “out” to lunch! I must say that I got caught up in the excitement and let the kids grab their cups from me. They have the new soda machines, the ones where there are a million choices…. I got to the machine in time to put half water in G & J’s cups but let them make their choice for drink. J picked MinuteMaid “strawberry lemonade.” I put –strawberry lemonade- in quotes, because there’s no strawberry or lemon in it at all! 0% juice – high fructose corn syrup, chemicals, and red dye. Following my request, “please don’t suck it down until after you eat your food,” J drank his entire drink. We’re still working on obedience! I’m sure the drink tasted like candy to him as he never gets anything like that. So, needless to say, he didn’t get much lunch eaten. He bounced from table to games and back.
After about an hour in the restaurant, we loaded in the van to go home. As I’m pulling out, I confirm that all seat belts are buckled. Thankfully G & J have been buckling their own seatbelts for a year now. No, J is not buckled. Determined not to get miffed, I calmly ask J to buckle his seatbelt once again. He’s looking at the seatbelt and says to me in an unsure voice, “I can’t. I’m old.” I don’t think much of this statement at first, and firmly tell him: You are 5 years old. You have been buckling your own seatbelt for over a year. Please buckle. Then he starts to get frantic and yells, “I can’t! I’m old!” He was unable to connect the clip with the buckle. His brain could not process the simple task that he had doing for a long time. After several outbursts of the same words “I can’t! I’m old!” his big sister got up to buckle him. And, then it hit me. The drink had made him unable to function. What was he feeling in that moment to tell me that he’s old?? He must have been frightened. How many times have I fussed at him when it was me who gave him something to cause his brain to malfunction? Never again will I let my children drink the poison.
Then my heart and mind naturally go to other kids….the kids whose moms and dads are still buying Capri-sun, Hi-C, and the like. They don’t know the impact the corn-syrup, chemicals, and dyes are having on their children’s brains. Some kids get “juice” boxes with their lunch every day. Even if the reaction is not as intense as my J’s – the impact is certainly a reduction in the child’s potential.