Sunday, December 26, 2010

Hazards of Overindulgence

Christmas was wonderful! Having been at church Christmas Eve, we didn't get everyone in bed until around 11. Christmas morning, we came downstairs at around 9, and I let the kids open their stockings and check out the goodies. I held them off on opening the rest of the gifts until Beth arrived to join in. I know it may seem mean, but not only does the little bit of wait time in between gifts help them learn self-control and patience, it also gives them unfettered time to enjoy each gift a little more thoroughly before rushing on to the next "prize." Beth arrived just before 11, so they didn't really have to wait all that long, if you factor in time for breakfast.

We enjoyed fellowship time while cooking dinner, and the boys played pleasantly with their new goodies.
One thing I paid less-than-needed attention to was candy consumption. That turned out to be greatly to my misfortune - well and to that of two of the four children! By the end of the day, and after a string of stinky diapers, I became aware of how little truly healthy food Buttercup had eaten, having napped through the main meal. After Beth left, we were all sitting around the fire, enjoying new books and new games. All was quiet. Bruiser was sitting looking at a new book with Buttercup looking over his shoulder - a very sweet scene - until Bruiser suddenly broke down in a rather heavy fit of tears.

It was a sudden and rather unexpected breach in the solitude and quiet of the evening! He brought his book to me, wailing something incomprehensible. Well, as I examined what had happened to his new book, and tried to puzzle out why it looked like it had been thrown up on, he rushed to the bathroom to lose the remainder of the contents of his stomach. That certainly explained the book.

I set the book aside, to work on it later, and went to help him. As I worked with Bruiser, he wailed at me, "I think I ate too much caaaandy!"

Oh dear. That is the problem of overindulgence. I thought it was only a "boy" thing - as all of my boys have been through this hard lesson at least once. But in talking to a neighbor this morning, she revealed that her oldest daughter, a year older than Maestro, has been through this process a few times. My hope and my prayer is that Bruiser will take the lesson to heart and not be so hot to take that piece of candy or extra sweet piece just because it's there.

It did get me to thinking: how often do I enjoy something a little too much? I can make myself sound high-end by saying that I don't smoke or drink to excess; I don't watch a lot of TV, though I do have a few shows I like to watch on the Internet, etc., etc. But when I'm honest, I do eat too many sweets myself, when under stress and pressure. I do watch a show when I should be finishing up laundry or getting the house picked up at night. What damage do I do to myself when I don't pay attention to my own jobs or my own health? What lesson is set for my boys? How best to show them an example of self-discipline and -control? It seems Nature is helping me do just that!


  1. Don't we all just have to learn that lesson the hard way? Sometimes we have to learn it more than once to get it to stick!

  2. Gah! Please no! I don't want him to learn it more than once - ugh. On the flip side, I offered him a bit of his remaining candy from the offending bag a while later and he said "not that bag, Mom - that's the stuff that made me sick!" (Although in hindsight I do believe he may have had a virus after all... =\


I look forward to hearing your thoughts!


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