Friday, December 24, 2010

I Picked a Hell of a Week To Give Up Recreational Horse Tranquilizers

It happened again last night.

LO decided that sleeping is for suckers, and he would prefer to nurse painfully and without actually eating anything for what feels like hours to the one being nursed.  Anytime I told him mama had had enough and that Mom's Kitchen was closed for the night, he would loudly voice his objections to the management.  This sets off a nightly chain reaction.  LO's cries break the dog, who, as a hound, feels the need to join in on the chorus of cacophony.  After several moments of trying to calm LO while shouting "Obie, enough!" generally the noise breaks me, because I realize that there is much more calming behavior on my part standing smack dab between me and sleep.  At this point, poor J is stuck in a room with a screaming child, a howling greyhound, and a weeping wife.  All we'd need is for the cats to begin one of their Feline WWIII smackdowns for J to suddenly remember an urgent midnight dentist's appointment.  In Kathmandu.

Now, I would normally deal with parenting setbacks such as this with a strict regimen of chocolate with more chocolate.  Unfortunately, I am currently off dairy, which nixes most of the chocolatey goodness that could help me weather the storm of sleeplessness and weeping.  To add insult to dairy injury, I have also decided to give up all sugar and sweets until my birthday--in early February.

Why would I do such a thing?  I suspect J is asking himself this each night as he tries to comfortingly pat my shoulder.  The truth is that I'm a sweetaholic.  I love sweets.  Cookies, cake, ice cream, pie, candy, you name it, I'll eat it.  And not only will I eat it, but I'll compulsively eat it all until it is gone.  (My thinking being that if it's no longer there, it will no longer be able to tempt me.  Try finding a hole in that logic!)  While I have other compulsive habits--like checking my email over and over, for example--the only one that is really going to negatively affect my health is my devotion to sweets.  Considering how hard I work at making my diet balanced otherwise, it's really ridiculous that I so often derail myself with this dessert compulsion.

Earlier this week, I was reading When You Are Engulfed In Flames by David Sedaris.  In it, he describes how he quit smoking, and he mentions that it takes 30 days to break a habit and 45 days to break an addiction.  I have no idea if this is true or not, but it's the kind of statement that feels so true that it might as well be.  I took off my socks and did some quick calculations, realizing that my birthday was approximately 47 days away.  This would be the perfect time for me to break sugar's death grip.  I'm already off dairy, so I'm already unable to mindlessly accept offered treats--why not go whole hog?

So, I have had four sweet free days in a row this week.  Today will be number five.  During this time, I baked an enormous batch of Christmas cookies to send off to various family and friends.  I discovered two things:  1.  You actually get the number of cookies the recipe claims you will make when you are not "tasting" half the dough.   2.  Masochism must be one of my latent traits that I was unaware of.  While you are making a huge batch of cookies which you cannot eat, you would think that taking a big snork of the wonderful aroma would be a BAD idea.  I just shoved a piece of "Dessert Delights" gum in my mouth (delight, my ass!) and kept on sniffing.

As with nearly everything I have been doing the past few months, breaking this habit is almost more for LO than for me.  I want to be healthy and not a compulsive eater.  But I really want to provide LO with a good example.  I want him to be able to enjoy food without it becoming a problem.  I want him to know that it is possible to say no to dessert, or to just have a taste, or to have days without any sugar.  I really don't want my issues to become his issues.

So, I'm trying to break this habit/addiction.  I was completely successful in breaking my cell talking while driving habit, and I hope this one will work just as well.  As much as I might want to dive into the closest non-dairy brownie batter when LO throws me some curve balls, I want to show him that comfort can come from healthy choices.

But, I would really appreciate it if the kid started sleeping.

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