Thank God for Little Bags of Shut the Heck Up (Parenting with Fruit Snacks)


Teach Them Well and Let Them Lead The Way  

I couldn’t agree more with those lyrics from the late Whitney Houston.  Creating a person is one of the greatest things of all.   As with anything though, eventually the new wears off.  Once all of the awe and splendor of creating human life finally begins to fade into the background you realize that there is a whole lot more to this thing than just keeping them alive long enough for them to be able to actually sleep with a pillow or blanket without risk of SIDS.  The fun part begins when they begin to walk and talk and are basically your very own DNA Play-Doh that you get to shape however you like.

At 20 months old, our youngest daughter is a lot like one of those smart phone apps you say something to and it repeats you in a cute funny voice.  She is learning new words and phrases everyday and it is obvious that no member of our family is passing up the chance to leave a few thumbprints in her molding process.  Last week while driving a squeaky little voice from the back seat piped up and said “WATCH IT DADDY!” followed by an eruption of giggles from her big sister.  Our oldest has come to the conclusion that teaching her little sister new phrases is the funniest thing ever, especially when they are phrases that she doesn’t have the guts to say out loud herself.  Her mom teaches her to say sweet things like “love the baby” and “I am one years old.”  It may not have been until last night though, as she wandered through the house yelling “BACON IS AWESOME” that I realized how sweet this new little game could be.

Yesterday I watched her drag the stool from the bathroom into her room and proceed to climb up onto her changing table and then climb back down.  This newly discovered talent also explains the bowl of apples in the kitchen full of mysterious little bite marks.  When you reach that point of realizing you did your job keeping them alive this long and now it is time to really turn them into someone cool, it is totally sweet.


Armed with Snacks 

Sometimes it is like watching Gizmo turn into a Gremlin.  From adorably cute to little monster in 3.6 seconds.  Most of the time we realize it is part of the gig and take it all in stride.  Other times the cries of our children have the ability to reduce us to begging pleading shadows of our former self.  Often, our transformation can be just as rapid as theirs.

Sunday morning I found myself trying to rationalize with my one year old, “Yes sweetie, your daddy is very handy but even he cannot fix a broken banana or put it back into the peal so please for the love of everything holy just stop crying.”  Yeah, it was like that.  There are times though, when the humane and sensitive options of soothing are exhausted, that parents are forced to go to the silver bullet in the battle against their little weretoddlers.  That’s right.  Fruit snacks.

They may be disgusting little gummy sugar wads but there is no doubt that they have been blessed by some great shaman or created by a wizard.  When readying ourselves for a day out in public with our little ones, I am often reminded of that scene in Rambo when he straps weapons onto his arms and legs and then rises tying the red band around his head.  Usually, I leave with pockets full of goldfish and Cheerios and emergency fruit snacks strapped to my ankle (stuffed in my sock).  I am locked and loaded and ready for battle the grocery store.  It may sound like taking the easy way out but I have found that sometimes, a stern tone or empty threat simply do not have enough fire power and the only way to shut their mouths is to give them something to chew.  Every now and then, I feel like just tearing the bag open with my teeth and lobbing them in her general direction like a little grenade of shut up.  The bonus with that tactic is that it takes extra time for her to wander around finding all of the gelatinous nubs of artificial flavor and strengthens her immune system since she will be eating from the floor.  Kids are one of the best things to ever happen to me but fruit snacks as a silencer is totally weak.


About Simon

I am a husband and a dad of two little girls. I am a lone Y chromosome and am already planning my escape strategy to deal with the estrogen flood that is on its way. People say there is a lot of joy to be found in the simple things and I have found they can provide a healthy dose of anti-awesome as well. I am, in general, a pretty optimistic guy and needed a bit of a creative outlet; so here it is. Thanks for stopping by. View all posts by Simon

43 responses to “Thank God for Little Bags of Shut the Heck Up (Parenting with Fruit Snacks)

  • The Guat

    “a little grenade of shut up” Ha! You crack me up! You need to copyright that … it is too funny. We use Goldfishes 🙂

  • cakeinthehouse

    “…little grenade of shut up”. Awesome!!!

  • klrs09

    Loved both sides of your post today! You’re so right about kids being so much fun once they learn to walk and talk (especially when they talk back — it’s that learning to advocate for themselves that’s really interesting). Yes, I remember the days of snack-bribery; what we do to survive.
    Thanks as always for adding a smile to my day.

    • Simon

      Wow, thanks so much for the great compliment. it really is cool to watch them turn into themselves. My wife stocked up on fruit snacks buy one get one free yesterday so hopefully we can make it July.

  • Anne Alias

    Ha this made me laugh so much

  • rinkungfu

    I’m teaching my daughter to sing “shake your booty” whenever we shake the ketchup bottle…although a favourite of hers for a while now has been “Mummy’s Knickers” after she got to wear her own pair for the first time,

  • skippingstones

    Funny! I love that she is boosting her immune system by eating from the floor. That’s like a win-win-win.

  • WSW

    You know, Simon, if you substituted my husband’s name for yours and replaced fruits snacks with vodka, you could just as easily be describing most of my married life. Disturbing, amusing or both? Glad you dropped by my site so that I could find yours! Thanks, Cristy.

  • Audrey

    The “bacon is awesome” quote has to be my favorite! That’s a must-teach for little ones now! Great post, had my laughing just imagining you lobbing fruit snacks through the grocery store aisles.

    The boyfriend and I are watching some friends kids starting today through Saturday while the parents are out of town and we’re SCARED! Now I know to arm myself with Goldfish, thanks! 🙂

  • crubin

    One of the pleasures of children getting older is you no longer have to hoard dozens of snacks with you wherever you go. But I remember those days well. 🙂

    It’s also fun to watch their own personalities shine through, where you think, “Wow, that’s not like me at all.” Pretty cool.

  • Carol

    I think it’s called survival of the fittest. Although I often used to feel I wasn’t actually the fittest when mine were toddlers.

  • Sid Dunnebacke

    Heh. I’m a bit ashamed to say that the ‘fruit’ snacks thing is still in full force at our house. My daughters are now nine and eleven, and they’re still playin’ me.

    • Simon

      I too am recognizing the Pavlovian linkage that they are creating. We think they are so young and innocent until one day we realize the tables have turned. Thanks for reading Sid.

  • themiddlegeneration

    Ah, gummy treats. So good tasting and chewy. We can almost justify them with the 100% fruit juice and jaw/gum strength they provide. Nothing like a calm kid when you are shopping- just pay for it with the sugar high afterwards.That’s when you let them jump up and down on the bed for a half hour, hoping it doesn’t end w/ a trip to the er. Yikes!

  • Don

    What I find so amazing is when they suddenly discover that language is not just repeating phrases, but that it actually has power to cause things to happen. Then the fun really starts.

  • Jennifer

    when my eldest two were toddlers I used to go shopping (ie, bill paying) with a friend and she would sit outside with them and feed them red frogs to keep them quiet. Worked a treat. Great post as usual. 🙂

  • Andrew

    My girlfriend can attest to your theory. They work like a charm on me.

  • lauriebest

    Sometimes it’s just a case of ‘us versus them’ and whatever works is how you roll! Stay strong.

  • Lisa Smith Molinari

    One of the cutest things I recall from my son’s toddlerhood was when he started to say “Bless You” to himself after he sneezed, but he said “Splash You” instead. It was quite descriptive! Great post — your writing taps into my own memory bank and makes me think about fun things I thought I’d forgotten. (Yea, and I still haven’t forgiven you for the sippy cup post….)

    • Simon

      Thanks so much Lisa. Your comments always make me feel like a real writer haha. Glad to bring back memories except for the dippy cup. My bad.

  • Michelle Gillies

    I love this line “… basically your very own DNA Play-Doh that you get to shape however you like.” Perfect discription.

  • cristycarringtonlewis

    Gotta love a kid who likes bacon!

    P.S. Your post is still not showing up in my reader. I contacted wordpress again (4th or 5th time now) because I had this problem with your blog a few days ago. They said that they fixed it, but now it’s happening again. You should probably send them an email. 🙂

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