A week or so ago, I read an article at MomSpark about Lucky Charms — the cereal, not the amulets. Amy was discussing their nutritional value and all after having received a free box to try from General Mills. Happily, I did not need to petition General Mills for my own box. I simply had to grab the almost empty one from my cabinet. I’ve chosen to ignore the (I’m sure) exorbitant amount of sugar present and go with the good-for-you whole grain and host of other vitamins that are showcased on the side of the box corresponding to great percentages of DVs. Yep, the Charms have long been a favorite in my house. And, frankly, I like sugar.
After reading, I decided to take a closer look at my box and enjoy a nice pat on the back at my nutritional accumen while scarfing some pink diamonds and green clover. As I scanned the handy nutritional panel, one phrase stopped me in my tracks. There it was in the bright blue “Nutritional Highlights” box, like some kind of universal cosmic disclaimer.
Did you catch it there? Like me, I’m sure you tried to deny it’s existence or at the very least ignore it. But, still it’s right there in the last line:
“Sugar does not have a daily value.”
GenMills and the USDA clearly don’t reside in the deep South. Granted, in my corner of the kitchen table, sugar may have a slightly different meaning than the chrystaline white stuff we generally load up our iced tea with. For the unindoctrinated, “sugar” is synonymous with “kisses” down here. Circle that one in your Southern for Dummies Handbook. “Sugar” is something you get off your children–usually accompanied by an “I’m gonna get me some,” as if there were a finite amount laying right there on their plump cheeks for the taking. “Sugar” is also something it’s polite to request–as in, “Gimme some sugar,” or sometimes while referring to yourself in third person like “Give Mama some sugar,” as if there were an endless supply of the good stuff just waiting to be doled out.
For boys, I’ve noticed, sugar giving is one of those situations where spitting is optional. Now, in defiance of my Southern roots, if it’s up to me, spitting is hardly ever an option. So, to include it as some sort of souped up, tricked out sugar accessory is a pretty big step for me. That said, given the option, my little guys tend to vote with the slobbery sugar side of the issue. I don’t know if that’s a Southern version of high fructose corn syrup, or what.
Yep, I’m guilty as charged. I tend to try to “get me” and “gimme” some sugar off Little Drummer Boy, Squiggle and Baby Girl as much as Mommyly possible. I suppose that’s what prompted LDB to invent the “Hug Store” and the “Kiss Store” to allow himself some legitimate control over the distribution of sugar, thereby getting Mommy off his back, or cheek as the case may be. So, I am now subject to random sugar rations as the mood and trips to the Kiss Store strike. Woe is Mommy.
It was during one such rationing that I got into a discussion with LDB about wisdom, which of course, should naturally be a part of any honest dialogue on the giving and getting of sugar. Since the early Fall, Little Drummer Boy has been involved in his first little extra-curricular activity (yes, his preschool life does have a curriculum, be it ever so fluid). He’s been a part of the AWANA program at the church where he goes to daycare. If you don’t know much about the program, check it out here. I highly recommend it as a fun way for children as young as 2 or 3 to begin learning Bible verses. LDB has really enjoyed it, and we’ve been amazed at how quickly he can learn the verses and retain them. Look into this and take advantage of the sponge years to fill your baby’s mind with some truth! That was for free. Now, back to sugar. And wisdom.
So, I breezed by the breakfast table as LDB and Hub were finishing work on one of his AWANA verses. I can’t quite remember the status of the plates, but I’m sure there was probably some remnant of poptart and a pile of Lucky Charms–heavy on the charms, not so much lucky. Little Drummer Boy recited the verse for me:
“Jesus grew in wisdom” [Hark! 252 fans]
Mommy: “Good job! Mommy wants you to grow in wisdom, too.”
LDB: Quizzical look.
Mommy: “Wisdom is learning to do good things, the best things.” (Ok, maybe not the most astute explanation in the world, but give me a break. I was thinking on my feet while hopped up on purple horseshoes.)
LDB: “Yes, good things.”
Mommy: “Good things are like using our kind words, sharing, taking care of Squiggle…”
LDB: “Well… (pause here for effect) I think a good thing is… (additional pause for effect)
Well, I’ll be. It seems he has grown in wisdom just like Mommy wanted–at least where kisses are concerned.
Sugar has no daily value? Harumph. I beg to differ, people.