My name is Shauna and I'm a coke addict. Diet coke with lime, that is.
It's always been my little indulgence. When you're Mormon your options for legal vices are limited, and while diet coke is by no means endorsed by the LDS faith, they won't kick me out of sacrament meeting for having a little carbonated caffeine on my breath.
But I recognize that it's become a problem and I need to stop, for the children. Kaleb has demonstrated a predisposition for caffeine that's a little disturbing, so for the sake of all involved I need to be a better example.
Every now and then I get a 44-ouncer (for those of you not involved in a soda addiction, that's a 44-ounce cup, or would that be a mug... -- ok, ok, so it's a 44 ounce tub of diet coke) on our way home from the grocery store (how I love those drive-thru gas stations). Just last week while bringing in the last load from the van, I caught Kaleb guzzling my soda from atop a chair in the kitchen, his mouth barely reaching the tip of my big gulp straw.
"What? Did you see me?"
My kids either think they're invisible or I'm stupid. I don't want to know which.
"Yes, I saw you. Get down and stop drinking mommy's soda."
"Is soda bad for kids?" he asked.
"Yes, it's bad for kids."
"Is soda good for mommies?" he asked. Okay, now this is where your parental ore is really tested. I could have said, "Yes, soda is good for mommies, in fact it's medicinal. It's what prevents mommy, on bad days, from taking off for Costa Rica while you're on timeout." But I didn't. I told the truth. "No, soda is not good for mommies. Mommy probably should probably try to stop drinking soda."
Kaleb nodded his head with solemnity. "Yes, you should stop drinking soda."
Now that would be the end of this story if my "do-as-I-say-but-not-as-I-do" parental approach had worked. But it didn't and so our story gets worse.
I've found a valid chore that Kaleb both loves to do and does well. Unfortunately, it's soda related. He's the can smasher. He gets his little blue moon boots on and goes out the back door and smashes cans for a good 45 minutes. It's noisy, aggressive, destructive, and exhausting -- what more could a mother ask for?
Well, the other day Kaleb was out smashing cans. He got about 15 minutes into it before I realized that it had grown silent. When I opened the door I caught Kaleb with his head turned back, trying to eek out a few drops from a half-smashed soda can. The kid looked like a sad urchin thirsting to death. But he wasn't thirsting to death, he was trying to get a lick of mommy's soda.
So I need to stop drinking soda and I need to stop soon, before my son begins collecting aluminum cans for the sole purpose of getting his caffeine fix. And while I've yet to find a support group for my addiction, I'm sure there will be an over-the-counter caffeine patch available any day now.