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Food, Glorious Food!

I've wrangled with the "freshman fifteen" at least twice, once was back in college and more recently towards the end of my first year of breastfeeding. Following the stretch of an everything nauseous pregnancy with my son Max, that last round of weight gain was indeed more savory than the first. Nevertheless, I've justified both contests as necessary sacrifices and with the return of balanced meals and long walks with Max in his stroller, I actually thought I'd finally tamed the "Beastly Bulge."  That was before I entered the gates of Toddlerville, where refined carbohydrates are plenty and treadmills sit just over the horizon.

In our new habitat, food is not just abundant but well worth the discussion for any budding linguist.  Every piece of sugar has immense caloric value and is stock-full of what seems like infinite vocabulary words.  This yummy nutritional fact is an especially tasty treat for Mommy to introduce Max to our very dense English lexicon.  The super bright colors of the rainbow are not only found in assorted fruit varieties, but also available in chocolate shelled jewels where the wild animals of the safari thrive in cinnamon as well as vanilla flavored kingdoms.  Cookies and cupcakes and ice cream, oh my!

Most distinct to Toddlerville however, is not the marvelous mounds of sweets but that their consumption is offset by a super-fast toddler metabolism.  In the land of never ever go hungry, snacking between meals is not just encouraged but favorable due to the petite-sized stomachs and appetites of the natives. Only in a fantasy could you find the values of the Food Pyramid inverted to satisfy the sweet tooth of a child's palate.

As I struggle with the reality of my slowed mommy metabolism, I recall the plots of Fairy Tales written about the ever craved ingredient where its ravenous consumption has severe consequences.  Goldilocks invades the home of three bears and Hansel and Gretel enter the witch's house to satiate their hunger.  However, it is to their close demise that the important lessons of moderation and temptation are learned. Neurological studies show that our keen sense of smell and taste is linked to memory.  We are conditioned early on to enjoy the sweetness of our childhoods and the words that describe its associations with both good and evil are safely secured in our fondest memories.

Sugar is both friend and foe.  In order to maintain a healthy weight, I had to learn how not to eat and as I teach Max the importance of proper nourishment, I am also giving him the language to enrich his travels.  However, I've had to accept that I'm just a visitor in Candyland, not a resident or a casted regular but a conscientious observer for whom the rules of the Real World still apply.