This past week, my kids ingested frozen custard, boardwalk pizza, and about five hot dogs, or "lips and butts" as my husband likes to call them.
And as far as I can tell, they're perfectly fine.
Granted, those goodies aren't generally part of their regular diet. We buy our fair share of healthy foods, cereals that can't double as candy, and hormone-free meats and dairy, often times organic if we can find it and afford it.
But we're also not obsessed.
Believe me, I get the whole "sugar is the devil's spawn" thing, and I realize processed foods are laced with chemicals that could be used to fuel a car, but for the most part, we all ate them at one time or another.
If you're my husband, you ate them a lot.
But save my minor crying fests and bitch sessions, and his penchant for bad golf shirts, we're two fairly well functioning citizens who pay taxes, take shits, and contribute to society.
We even graduated from college!
My own mother made her own yogurt, bread, and granola, allowed only one hour of Sesame Street a day, and had me in at least five different activities by the time I was seven.
Sugar was completely and utterly off limits. I still remember having to eat my own treats at a birthday party because she wouldn't let me have a piece of cake.
My husband, on the other hand, spent much of his early months in a playpen, had parents that never read to him (surprised?), and ate God only knows what all day long.
And he scored a good 200 points higher on the SATs than me.
And so while he was off living a pretty typical existence, well as typical as can be had with his crazy parents, I was over at my neighbor's house chowing down on processed cheese and hot dogs, sneaking sugar in my closet, and watching game shows at my friends house.
So much for my pristine system, right?
My kids have ice cream and candy. They also eat fruit and veggies. They drink watered down juice, soda on a rare occasion, and sometimes even a sip of my husband's coffee. They also drink water and milk.
We do the best that we can to offer them balance, and believe in almost everything in moderation, based on their age, their behavior, and on certain days, the size of the moon.
I often wonder if it's really about the food. Or the television. Or if it has to do more with the parent's fear. And need to control.
I'm not saying that you should let your kids eat hot dogs for every meal, have a soda iv inserted, or spend all day watching television.
But what I am saying that sometimes we're so worried about doing what's best for them, that we actually end up doing the complete opposite.