Happy Easter everyone! Ah Easter, the most dreaded time of year for any parent, because you’re all asking yourself the same question, “Do I let my child eat any chocolate this year. And if so, how much?” It’s always especially difficult for those of you who have very young children, who are yet to be introduced to chocolate. Take me for example. Stormaggedon is not yet two, and already I’ve had a lot of people try to convince me “Oh, but it’s Easter, a little chocolate won’t hurt.” If you’re like me, you’ve probably wavered quite a bit in your parenting stance on the no chocolate rule. Questioning yourself, “Should I let him eat one small egg? Just give him a taste. Everyone else says it’s fine. Everyone else is pushing me to do it. Am I being worse than Hitler?” The self doubt it endless.
So here’s the thing. Stormy is currently going through a phase. A phase called the “I don’t want to eat dinner!” phase. This phase includes attempting to get out of his high chair, realising that this is more difficult than it seems so attempts to throw himself out of it backwards, then screams and cries when he can’t move, then tosses all food and utensils in every direction including over himself and the walls until Mummy gives up and just gives him a tin of baked beans whilst everyone sits on the floor and he plays with the pots and pans banging the lids together, all the while Mummy attempts to hide the streaming tears coming down her face. DO YOU THINK I WANT TO INTRODUCE CHOCOLATE TO THAT!? Hell no! I know what will happen the second that sweet sweet gold touches his lips. It’ll be goodbye to eating ANYTHING ever again and hello to only wanting chocolate for the rest of his life. And that’s exactly it, Stormy has the rest of his life to eat chocolate, he doesn’t need to have it right now just because it’s Easter.
So if you’ve also has a few self doubting moments today, here are a few tips to help you through the Chocolate Season*.
1. Arm yourself with a spray bottle filled with water and some lemon juice. If anyone attempts to give your child an Easter egg just give them a light spray in the face. They’ll soon get the message. You might lose a few friends this way, but then that’ll mean fewer people trying to give you child chocolate.
2. If you child does manage to get their hands on some chocolate, try lying to them, “Oh no, this one’s broken, we’ll have to take this one back”, “Yuck, someone’s already licked that one, you don’t want to eat that”, “These eggs aren’t for eating, they have baby birds inside them”, “These are mummy and daddy chocolates, here are your chocolates” (hand them a bowel of fruit. Will probably only work on children under 3).
3. Try taking off the foil wrappers from regular Easter eggs and then covering hard boiled eggs (with the shell already peeled off). That way when they unwrap them they won’t know the difference and eat the perfectly healthy egg. (Maniacal laugh)
4. (And this one is actually serious) Stand your ground. If you’ve made a decision then stick to it. Just keep saying no. People will understand. And remember that you’re the parent, you get to make the decisions for your child.
So there you have it. Have a happy Easter everyone. And don’t pig out too much on your kids’ chocolate.
NB: Stormy did in fact have a wonderful time today and even got to have his own Easter egg hunt. It was a lot of fun just getting him to find the eggs. In the end they were placed in a bowl and I put the bowl away. But we did make the decision, he can actually eat one next Easter.
*Disclaimer: Please remember all these suggestions are meant to be lighthearted and tongue in cheek. Please don’t send me complaints.