I give my kids chocolate milk for breakfast. I really do. And every time I squirt the Hershey’s into their pristine, delicious white milk, I feel a twinge of guilt. But I don’t care. I do it anyway. Here’s why:
1) My kids were bottle lovers. They adore routine more than anything else and have since they were born. When we took the bottles away (at two, not one, like we should have), it was as if we’d purposefully ended the world. Those first weeks were tough, and all the “you’re such big girls now” in the world weren’t helping. So they stopped drinking milk entirely, in protest. Chocolate saved me.
“Hey, how about not milk, but chocolate milk?”
Skeptical eyes. “…Okay.”
And it was done.
2) It’s not like that squirt of chocolate is going to do more damage than the Froot Loops they’re chomping on.
3) I figure it’s like I gave them Cocoa Puffs with milk in it for breakfast. Same thing, right?
4) I had sugary crap cereal as a kid and it’s still my favorite food. I flatter myself by thinking I turned out just fine.
5) This is only what we call “first breakfast.” We have a second breakfast of apple sauce, yogurt, grits or oatmeal, every day.
6) It’s not like the pre-mixed stuff. My chocolate milk is actually rather greyish. I’ve tried slowly weaning back to white milk by microscopic increments. They can totally tell when it goes from just-barely-slightly chocolate to white.
7) To me, there’s no difference between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. so chocolate milk doesn’t suddenly become more acceptable in the afternoon.
8) I still cut their juice in half with water. (Although this is pure rationalization now. What does juice management have to do with chocolate milk for breakfast? Nothing. I think I’m done.)
Anyway, I make a lot of parenting mistakes, but if chocolate milk keeps my kids quiet while I do my morning tasks, I don’t consider giving it to them one of those mistakes. You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. Right?
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