Monkey Boy called out from the family room, “Momma, I didn’t get my daily Pop Tart.”
“Daily Pop Tart?” I questioned. “Since when is that a thing?”
“Since you bought Pop Tarts at the store. So, can I have my daily Pop Tart?”
Okay, okay, I did buy Pop Tarts at the store the other day. It was unusual. It was most likely both a hero and villain move on my part.
The Girl had agreed to go grocery shopping with me for veggies and fruit so that I could make this amazing summer salad to take to a friend’s house that evening for dinner. When we were heading to the check stand, the Girl commented that she was hungry. I stopped in the aisle just in front of the check stand and spread my arms wide, “What do you want?”
“Really?” she asked with surprise.
I started naming off the healthy stuff that I usually stock in the house for snacks, that is most often eaten only by me and B, but she turned and walked down the cereal aisle and stopped right in front of the Pop Tarts.
She looked at me. I nodded…with the caveat that we both agreed that Pop Tarts were nothing more than a junk food, and could be eater infrequently as a dessert and not breakfast. She nodded and chose the chocolate ones. Then she just ripped right into the package as soon as we got in the car.
Then she just ripped right into the package as soon as we got in the car.
Both the Girl and Monkey Boy know how I feel about Pop Tarts. It’s not that I don’t know what Pop Tarts taste like. I grew up with Pop Tarts and flavored instant oatmeal and packaged cereal, none of which I eat today. I am not denying that to children these foods may have a certain allure, especially Pop Tarts: a sugary filling sealed inside two layers of thin and rectangular frosted toaster pastry crust. At least the Girl chose the chocolate pastries and not the Pop Tarts limited edition Jolly Rancher Frosted Watermelon that promises to “kick-start your taste buds with crazy deliciousness! Jolly Rancher Watermelon delivers sweet, summery flavor any time of the year.”
We’ve had the conversation before, the one about Pop Tarts, I mean. Once last fall, the Girl and I were walking down the cereal aisle at the grocery store so that I could get some oatmeal, the old-fashioned kind without any additives or preservatives. The Girl immediately eyed all sugary cereals and the Pop Tarts.
“Mom, we should get some Pop Tarts,” she stated.
“We can make Pop Tarts,” I replied. I had found a recipe online that looked promising.
“No!” she cried out. “You’re just going to make bread with jam.”
“Is there something wrong with that?”
Big sigh, “It’s just not the same.”
“That’s the point.” I tucked the Pop Tarts recipe away back in my mind for another time, perhaps.
A few days later, I stopped to pick up something for lunch on the way home from the office. As I was paying at the register, the sales associate asked me if I want to buy some Pop Tarts.
“No, thank you,” I said.
“They’re only a dollar a package. I’ve got a case of 24 if you want it.”
“No, really. But thank you.”
“Your kids would love ‘em.”
“Yeah, I know.”
And just because I didn’t buy them, didn’t mean that they kids weren’t looking for ways to procure their coveted toaster pastry treats on their own.
And just because I didn’t buy them, didn’t mean that they kids weren’t looking for ways to procure their coveted toaster pastry treats on their own. The Girl told me there’s a vending machine at school that sells Pop Tarts, and that most of the time it’s sold out.
“I just don’t get there fast enough,” she said.
Then one morning, Monkey Boy told me that he bought breakfast at school the day before. I asked him, “You had breakfast at home before we left. Were you still hungry? How did you have enough time to eat breakfast? I dropped you off at 8:30. Were you late for class?”
“No. You’re allowed to take breakfast to class.”
I opened my iPad and checked the activity on his school account. “You did buy breakfast. You have 15 cents left in your account. You spent $2.45. What did you get?”
He laughed out loud, “Pop Tarts and Chocolate Milk.”
I went grocery shopping today. My trip wasn’t too bad. I went alone. I did not have Money Boy or the Girl with me. No one complained about the items I chose. I didn’t have to chase anyone around the store. I didn’t have to return any unwanted items, and I didn’t have to say, “No,” or “Don’t touch that,” a hundred times. And I didn’t have to explain to the Girl why I don’t buy Pop Tarts, again. I agree that Pop Tarts can be enjoyable...but have you looked at the ingredient list? So, yeah, shopping was good today.
-katgroshong comment, October 9, 2017