Score One for Mom: Houseguests Bearing Sugar — A Follow-Up

It’s been a month. Any luck kicking sugary drinks to the curb when visitors or family members show up with the sticky stuff? Any crafty strategies you want to share?

I’ll go first.

My son’s birthday was a few weeks ago. We were vacationing at the beach with family. That’s two sugar triggers working against me: vacation and birthday.

“Birthdays are just one day. Indulge!” “It’s vacation. Anything goes.” Sound familiar?

It was a low-key little birthday lunch for a dozen immediate family members — half of whom were kids. I had lots of offers leading up to the party to “pick up anything at the store,” “help out in the kitchen,” “set up the table.” Fortunately, I thought ahead and brought some things from home, including a fruity unsugared carbonated canned drink that my son loves.

I set one at each place setting and served lunch. Most of the kids (and adults) popped the can open and gave it a try. All said it was awesome. One lone youngster — definitely not mine — took one look and said, “I don’t like soda.” This was great for the other kids to hear. And, no, I didn’t pay her to say it. After a few minutes, even she tried the bubbly stuff and drank it down. “Yum” — direct quote. Parents asked me where to buy it. Success.

Now, a failure. Said son got very sick last week — hospital sick. After a few days of monitoring, he was discharged with directions to stay hydrated. “Lots of water, juice, milk, popsicles…,” was the dictate. Leave it to a 7-year-old to never forget a word of any conversation he’s ever heard. So when we got home, guess who asked for a kaleidoscope of juices and frozen treats to be stocked in “his” refrigerator. He didn’t stop there. “Pick up some ginger ale, too, Mom,” as I headed out the door for the market. He “deserved” them, he informed me, because he’d been so sick.

My turn. I informed him that chain-drinking cranberry juice has never saved anyone from uncertain peril. Etc. Etc. Nevertheless, when I came home from the store, I found him curled up on the couch with a chocolate milk. “It has protein?” shrugged my husband.

We pick our battles. We live and learn. We cut ourselves some slack. Which I did, and I will. In the meantime, I’m always looking for coups like the “unsweetened” birthday party. Share yours here.

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