Get this Boy a Bucket

November 30, 2007

Bad news.

I think I have one of those kids who is extra sensitive to refined sugar. Really, that's just a nice way of saying I have one of those kids who acts like the spawn of a depressed Richard Simmons and Rambo at the mere sight of a gum drop. You know--kind of weepy, a little bit off-the-wall, and just plain violent.

I wish I could say that I'm surprised by this behavior, but unfortunately, I'm not. I know just where he gets it from--his mother. When I was a child, two drops of orange soda or one sniff of an Oreo cookie would send me into a tailspin. I'd turn from the funny-looking-girl-with-the bowl-cut-and-the-extra-wide-gap-in-her-teeth to the nasty-little-gremlin-child-with-the bucket-on-her-head in two seconds flat.

Unfortunately, the sugar tirades are one of my clearest childhood memories--the urge to rip my own hair out by the root, the desire to kick the back of the driver seat until it came loose from the floor bolts, and of course, the overwhelming need to karate chop my sister in the kidneys until she screamed for mercy and surrendered whatever Barbie she had in her possession at that moment. Actually, now that I think about it, the whole scene was very, very similar to my PMS symptoms as of late. And let me tell you, Katy still can't handle my lethal karate chops.

I also remember the sweet relief that I gained from my bucket. It was big, it was red, and I'm quite sure that it wasn't designed to be worn on the head. But that sand bucket--oooohhhh that sand bucket--it was the only thing on this planet that could help me gain my composure. When I'd feel a "moment" coming on, I would take that pail, put it on my head, use the handle as my chin strap, admire the red plasticy glow, and listen to the muffled sound of phrases like "what's wrong with her?"

And my poor, sweet mother would drive around town with her bucket-child strapped securely into the backseat. Can you imagine the looks she got? The comments? The whispers? But my mom was the wise one--she knew that it was far better to push a child through the grocery store with a sand pail on her head, than it was to watch that four year old get hauled off to jail for disturbing the peace...or disorderly conduct...or kicking a children's librarian in the shins.

I also remember using the bucket on long car trips. One time, when I was about four or five years old, we were making the four hour road trip to a cottage on Cape Cod. And somehow, I managed to finagle an orange soda out of my father at a road side vending machine. Holy crap people, once we were back on the road, that Ford Escort could barely contain me. It was totally driving down the Mass Pike on its back two wheels as I pinned my sister to the maroon vinyl seat and plucked out her eyelashes one by one. And not a moment too soon, my mother whipped that red bucket out from under the seat, tossed it onto my head, and peace was restored to the Earth.

When we arrived at the beach house that afternoon, my mom opened the back door of the car, gently knocked on my bucket, and was like, "We're here, Amy. Would you like to take that sand pail off of your head and use it at the beach?"

I was like, "No." And I think I stayed in the backseat of the station wagon until bedtime.

I was a lovely child. And now, I'm a lovely adult--who often has the urge to stick my head in the nearest picnic basket, or Fry-Daddy, or cement mixer at the first sign of stress.

Like yesterday for example, after James ate a sugar cookie with multicolored sprinkles from the food court at the mall, I tried to fit my head into my purse. Unfortunately, it was too small.

27 comments:

Jess said...

I think most kids react that way to refined sugar. I know that when I was kid I was barely ever allowed to have sugar (for very good reason) -- this actually led to a very strong urge to have it, of course.

I recall once, at my dad's house, my dad was baking (yes, my dad is the kind of dad who baked -- that requires an explanation too long for here), and I walked through the kitchen and spied an open can of Hershey's powered chocolate. Heaven!

So, I quick grabbed the biggest spoon I could find (a serving spoon) and got me a heaping mound of that chocolately goodness and popped it in my mouth in one scoop. Ack! It was unsweetened chocolate and it literally tasted like sand in my mouth.

As I stood gagging and coughing in the kitchen, my dad walked in. His response? "Well, now you learned, didn't you?"

I have many other sugar-related stories (and faux sugar stories) that include me throwing up Nerds, eating the sugar cubes that were meant to build a school project, and eating a decorative Easter egg that I guess was not meant for consumption, but those are for another day.

Bahston Beans said...

You should totally have orange soda before your races!

Lyssa Ireland Thomas said...

No wonder I love your stories - they remind me of myself! I wish I'd know the sweet bliss of a red bucket! This was absolutely hilarious!

Felicia said...

I've discovered that one of my kids has a problem not only with sugar, but with red dye. When I stopped giving him red, orange, or purple popsicles, Kool-aid, Froot Loops, and I found dye-free Tylenol and Motrin, I had a completely different kid on my hands. Who knew he was actually sweet? Now he's stuck eating only the yellow and green candies.

Anonymous said...

the bucket thing probably wouldn't work for me, I am partly claustrophobic. I get so freaked out when I'm in a small place, even when i am playing under the blanket. I get scared that i am going to suffocate. I think that the reason i am claustrophobic is because when i was little i climbed into the fridge and i couldn't get out. It freaked me out so bad! i was so scared, i was pounding, and i think i was yelling, then my brother came and opened the door for me. i don't think any of my family except for my brother knows that. actually, i don't think that he does know that:)

Anonymous said...

Once my sister was making curry(yum:, and it looked like a chocolate bar, and so I went and took a little bit, let me suggest to you, NEVER EAT THAT STUFF! It was sooo gross.

Rob & Katy said...

mom has a picture of you in a skirted orange polka dot bathing suit with that bucket on your head- i wonder if she has a scanner and can upload it (probably not...). i still hate the smell of mcdonald's orange drink and the memories associated with it... the escort's back seat was just too small- hell, the aerostar van was too small for your orange drink rage.
love ya!

Sue said...

hee hee hee hee hee

AMiller said...

Ok, from your sister's comment, you aren't making this stuff up. That is just too funny. What a great mom you had. I wonder if it would work for James?

P.O.M. said...

I'm voting to see the picture. Your sis said it was out there. You must share :)

Charlotte said...

My parents banned me from popsicles as a child... you are not alone.

Anonymous said...

I meant that he probably doesn't REMEMBER that.

akshaye said...

Hehe .. your description of a little girl in the backseat with a bucket just cracked me up!

Look at the bright side, at least it forces James to eat healthy (while you're watching him)!

TC said...

I have one of those kids. When he was a toddler, he wore a margarine tub. He later graduated to a Lego bucket. Last summer he experimented with a large metal cone.

Now he's 17 and wants to serve in the Army - in a tank.

katieo said...

You must post a picture.

(and felicia, really? Red dye?? fascinating...)

RunningCrazyAfter3 said...

The only thing that is in my mind as I am reading this story is Junie B. Jones. Haha!

Anonymous said...

WTH?!?!?! why jbj?

Grandma said...

ah yes, the bucket photo...I only have it because you didn't know I was taking your picture.Had you known, you would have chased me down and stomped on my Instamatic like Britney after the paparazzi.
Who knew know that orange soda had caffeine?-I didn't "way back then"

Grandma said...

I wanted to take a photo of the bucket photo and post it, but those pictures are packed away right now. Hop on over to my blog for a little photo montage from what I could find in a hurry:)

Stimpy said...

I ran across an article about this not too long ago, and according to it, the hyper-activity is caused by food dyes and preservatives, not sugar. I have no idea if that's true or not, but Felicia's comment seems to back that theory up a bit. And i'm guessing there's a lot of dye in orange soda.

Anonymous said...

so how did the book club meeting go?

CresceNet said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
a happier girl said...

My son keeps insisting on taking a bright orange plastic rake everywhere with him. That's fine at home. But back in Wal-Mart we look a little odd. Which is sad when you consider the standards to look odd at Wal-Mart.

Anonymous said...

what language are you speaking?
welke taal spreekt u?
quelle langue parlez-vous ?
welche Sprache sprechen Sie?
ποια γλώσσα μιλάτε;
che lingua state parlando?
que língua você está falando?
что язык вы говорите?
¿qué lengua usted está hablando?

Sarah said...

Oh my goodness. You had me rolling on this one! I needed a good snort today!

Ali said...

I think this is why I haven't had kids yet ... the fear of them turning into me!

amelia bedelia said...

new to this blog...

you had me laughing so hard my kids looked up from where they were playing to stare at me. And wonder what was happening to their mom. thanks for the great entertainment :) You are hilarious!