Kids and Sugar: Unleashing Vivi the Tasmanian Devil

viviicecreamKids and sugar, kids and sugar. I used to load the plain cereal my mom bought with spoons full of sugar when I was a kid. It wasn’t uncommon for me to use four or five spoons full of sugar on each bowl of cereal. And who am I kidding? I still load up any plain cereal my wife buys with the same amount of sugar. There’s something about that sugary milky sweetness that just mixes with my taste buds.

I heard a lot about parents’ fears of kids having too much sugar. Descriptions of the grandparents loading their grandkids up with candy and ice cream and then dropping the grandkids at home where they can bounce off the walls and eventually crash into a melting pile of sobs and desperation have been told over and over again.

Even though I’ve heard all kinds of those types of descriptions from other parents, I never experienced any of that type of behavior with Addie. Maybe that’s because I wasn’t very observant when Addie was a kid, or maybe it’s because Casey was such a good parent that it never happened. I don’t know, but I’ve seen it happen a lot here lately with Addie’s thirty-six inch tall sister.

Vivi loves ice cream. If she sees an ice cream store while we’re driving she’ll shout at the top of her high pitched lungs, “Ice cream is YUMMY!!!!” How do you deny ice cream to a child who presents such a valid and enthusiastic claim? Vivi’s behavior shortly after eating ice cream is even more fun to watch than listening to her shout about ice cream.

The first time I saw Vivi hopped up on sugar was when we went to the Indiana State Fair this year. Vivi shared my ice cream cone and she also picked off of a friend’s sugar coated elephant ear. Vivi literally began jogging around in circles for about thirty minutes, and then she crashed and was out like a light in the car as we drove home.

A week or so later I was suckered into one of Vivi’s, “Ice cream is YUMMY!!!” stunts and I stopped at the local ice cream store and got Vivi and Addie some treats. By the time Vivi was done with her ice cream, she was running back and forth in the ice cream store from wall to wall. Then she ran from one wall to the front door of the store where she locked the front door so that nobody else could have any of that yummy ice cream and then she turned and sprinted in the opposite direction.

As I watched Vivi spin around in circles and bump from table to table, I couldn’t help but picture one of those little windup toys that is wound up so tight it begins making that loud clicking noise and is then let go and vibrates out of control because it has so much energy from over winding the toy. Vivi is like one of those windup toys only I picture her as the Tasmanian Devil from Looney Toons. She has so much pent up energy that it bursts out of control as she lets it loose and bounces and spins from place to place.

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