Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Candy Idolatry

In church, we talk about idols a lot. Money and self are two biggies. But candy? I'm pretty sure there aren't any temples dedicated to the Sugar God that archeologists are digging up. For 3-year old Nourit, though, her Sugar Temple is iced with butter cream, and coated with sprinkles. It boasts candy-coated chocolate eggs, and bright little chewy bunnies. The path leading up to the shrine is lined with chocolate chips and M&M's. Daily offerings of cake and ice-cream make their appearance on the shrine. Her first word of each day is 'candy', and the last words of each day are, "Tomorrow, after breakfast, can I have...."

When did we go wrong? This child, who barely had any sugar or salt before she was 2 is, at 3, a sugar fiend. Is it all the result of poop incentives? Or is it something more insidious, like idolatry?

I know it sounds laughable. A 3 year old, with idols? She is beginning to know right from wrong, though, and perhaps with that cognizance comes the ability to erect idols in place of the authority of God. If you sat in on her prayers, you'd hear copious amounts of gratitude for the candy in her life. She tries to wheel and deal. "If I poop three times, can I have 3 M&M's?" She needs to have it close. "I'm just going to sit next to the candy in my basket for awhile." She tries out a variety of scenarios. "After breakfast, I'll eat the chocolate egg, and then after lunch I'll eat the chewy bunny." Then 3 minutes later, "After breakfast, I'll eat the chewy bunny and Daddy can eat the chocolate egg, then after lunch I'll eat the rest of the chocolate eggs and Daddy can have a chewy bunny." Good thing she doesn't know how to count quite yet. She'd have noticed that about 2/3rds of her Easter candy disappeared mysteriously during naptime yesterday.

Of course, we're the parents. We can determine what she eats and what she doesn't, and normally, we're pretty balanced. Since Christmas, though, there has been a string of birthday parties, dinners out, holidays (Christmas, New Year's, Valentine's Day and now, Easter), and generous neighbors, all bringing irresistable treats with them. (And since mama has a huge sweet tooth, it's hard to tell the offspring that she can't have a crumb from the piece of cake I'm shoving into my mouth as fast as possible.) I know how good it feels to eat something sweet. I also know how rotten someone can turn when they don't have their "fix." So, time to crack down (no pun intended) and stop this sugar train in it's tracks.


Hilary said...

Oh Liz...we are living a parallel life on this front. WOW. I empathize completely. I was quizzing other moms yesterday (who I feel are along the same lines as I am about kids and food). How do you balance not starving them of sugar and then having them go bananas later in life because they've been DEPRIVED of sugar with giving them a little sugar...and then having them want MORE MORE MORE!! I'm obviously not doing the right thing here. Let me know if you find something that works!

Sherwin said...

nourit also collected a pile of "candy" in the nursery this week (puzzle pieces).