• Diana G

    Don’s (#12) poem FTW! Awesome.

    Cake rulez, cookies drool!!

  • Rachel

    Oh, and sorry to comment again, but congrats on making sweets a treat! I want to do the same thing when I have kids, so I am glad to see it now, before that day arrives…

  • http://sparkleandglitter.wordpress.com Vicki

    I’m new to reading Dooce, but Leta sounds like an adorable and highly intelligent kid. I was rarely allowed treats as a child, and I agree, it really made me appreciate them more when I was allowed them, plus I think it helped me grow up willing to try different foods etc.

  • http://idroppedmybonbon.blogspot.com mpotter

    that’s hilarious… can we eat dinner now.
    she knows how to work it.

    kudos to you (oh, wait- that’s a treat in form of a granola bar) yay to you for not always giving in to treats. you described it perfectly about seeing the glee.

    i sure hope when i get to this stage i’ll be able to do the same. growing up i didn’t have a ton of treats (there aren’t a ton of treats to give when you’re the youngest of 13) so i can’t imagine i’ll always lavish on the little bean. but who knows. she’s only 3 months old, but even in the womb i learned never to say never.

    leta’s adorable.

  • Sondra

    Congratulations!I have to say you gave me hope as, I too, have outlawed treats after dinner. It was rough going at first but is wonderful now! No more arguing and negotiating EVERY SINGLE BITE OF FOOD! Ahhhhhh peace :) My 5 year old son knows that treats are fine at his grandparents but at home it’s only special occasions and it has worked out great.
    Thank you for bringing laughter to my day!

  • http://mommalittle.com shonda

    You and I have the same parenting techniques: bribing and trickery.

    Here’s a recent convo between me and my four-year-old:

    ME: Eat your asparagus.

    HIM: No

    ME: If you don’t eat it, you can’t play your Thomas the Train matching game on the computer.

    HIM: What?

    ME: Seriously, no asparagus, no game.

    HIM: What?

    ME: And I’m gonna let your little brother play it all night.

    HIM: You’re a mean momma.

    ME: Eat your asparagus.

  • http://duckandpenguin.blogspot.com norm

    I loved this one. LOVE.

  • mf
  • Sandra

    What makes it hardest to teach your kids about healthy food choices is the CRAP that manufacturers masquerade as real food and market to kids.

    Overly sweetenend breakfast cereal, chocolate milk instead of plain mailk, “fun” fruit snacks that don’t contain any actual fruit, chocolate coated or filled granola bars that have the same amount of sugar/fat/calories as a candy bar or cookies. Yogurt marketed to kids is FULL of sugar and artificial color. Juice! Juice makes me crazy. Even some 100% fruit juice contains as much sugar, ounce per ounce as pop or gatorade. North Americans have gotten so used to SWEET that they can’t eat unsweetened and now food makers need to substitute Splenda to cut down the calories.

    You can take away the “treats” to eliminate the food wars, but are you doing them any favors nutritionally if their meals and snacks are make up of total crap?

  • http://www.andreasutah.blogspot.com Anni

    you are my hero! you crack me up.

  • http://www.realityfish.com Robin G.

    To 194. Jennifer Suarez: Actually, I frequently post very supportive comments on Dooce. But given that A) this thought about a potential future eating disorder has popped into my head several times when Heather posts about Leta’s food issues, and B) this *is* a light-hearted post, it seemed like the time to mention it, rather than kicking Heather when she’s down.

    I want to make it clear again that I don’t in ANY way feel that Heather is doing something to *lead* to a *potential* problem, only that it seems like Leta might have inherent tendencies in that direction. Heather isn’t stupid — I’m sure she’s had similar thoughts. One of the big benefits of blogs is that we can discover other people are seeing the same things we are — ie, we’re not crazy. If Heather thinks I’m getting things entirely wrong, all the more power to her — after all, she lives with Leta and has access to far more information than the rest of us readers. But if she *has* thought that something like this might be in the future, it may be somewhat reassuring to hear that it’s occurred to someone else, too.

    I generally presume that if comments are open, then they’re open for discussion, not just cheerleading. Surely one dour comment among 200 (so far) happy ones isn’t going to ruin Heather’s day, especially given that she hasn’t crumbled under the weight of the last several political posts.

  • http://ajensen.com amy

    We did the same thing with TV at our house. And now when the short ones get to see a video at Grandma’s house, they dance around with glee.
    It’s brilliant.

  • Sarah


    I make those cookies too .. and they are to die for!! who needs a recipe!!

  • Sarah


    I make those cookies too .. and they are to die for!! who needs a recipe!!

  • hkdkat

    You’re also raising her to be healthier. I really enjoy your stories and your site. I’m not a parent yet so I can’t say I understand what you’re going through, but I know it can’t be easy!

    Thanks for sharing yourself with us!

    A lurking reader till now,


  • Naomi

    Oh my goodness. I have five month old twins and I can not WAIT for them to be four. Children! Now available in “completely interactive!”

    Also, I thought you and your readers would appreciate this hysterical short parody (with a song!) of Palin as the earthy, but completely divorced from reality princess from the Disney movie Enchanted. SO FUNNY:


    click on “keep reading” – it’s worth it.

  • http://www.mockstarbaby.com Mockstar

    I think there is very little that should be able to deter a mothers question of “do you know how much I love you?” Cookies made by mom’s hand is one of those get out of sappy-lovey comment free cards. The guilt free gift that understandably puts time on pause for a 5 year old. I completely understand.

  • http://www.nerdlike.com Jazzy

    My 6 year old, much like Leta, has been a great debater since her was birthed. He is going to be an excellent hostage negotiator when he grows up!

  • Kristy

    I think I should incorporate a no treat rule for my husband. AND myself.

    I’m so glad to hear that this new law is being enforced with little to no protest!

  • http://julianmeteor.blogspot.com Julian Meteor

    When I was a kid if my Mum REFUSED to let me eat sweets I would OFTEN play statues WHEREVER I was. In a shop, at the school gates, in the middle of the road you get the idea. So, EVENTUALLY, being the good, intelligent mum that she is she gave in and bought me sweets WHENEVER I asked for them (most days).
    It really isn’t that hard. I think the kids who have NOT workede this out yet must be pretty thick, no offence.
    Julian Meteor, Plymouth

  • sma

    When my mother visits from WI, she makes her specialty for the kids for dessert. It’s call fluff: jello, coolwhip, and a can of fruit cocktail all mixed together in one over-the-top sweet orange (and wholly unnatural) concoction. I believe I ate this as a child and lived to tell the tale . . . so I figure it’s OK once or twice a year.

    Here’s my solution to baked goods for school functions: Utah’s own Schmidt’s Pastry Cottage (2100 S 500 E). If you bring in a cookie cutter, they will make and decorate sugar cookies in any shape, size, and color–and they use real buttercream frosting! Delicious.

  • Mari

    You guys had ONE cookie each after dinner? Really? I can’t even comprehend that type of restraint (or should I say deprivation)?!

  • celia

    Try adding 1 cup of mini marshmallows to your favorite brownie mix. People love them and they taste home made.

  • Karen

    I’ll take two of the mugs with Leta’s quote on them.

  • http://www.shannoncunningham.net/blog Anonymous

    Congrats on the treatless existence! My daughter is 2 1/2 and we are battling the same issues. I have read your blog for a long time and really think that my Savannah is just Leta 2.0, 18 months younger.


  • http://www.mccaint08.blogspot.com McCain’t

    As long as you were wearing your McCain’t shirt several days in a row, it is fine….

  • Nancy Y.

    I’m going to add “Can you be quiet? I’m eating a cookie…” to my email signature. It sends just the right message.

  • http://www.missivesfromsuburbia.blogspot.com Missives From Suburbia

    Nicely done! When you figure out how to pretend your husband knows what he’s talking about, will you promise to write about that, too? Because I could use some tips.

  • http://travelingtravelers.blogspot.com/ Suz

    @Kelley – That t-shirt idea is genius!

    I bet there are millions of brilliant “Leta-slogan T-shirts” that could be made. Certainly something to think about it!

    “3 Troopin’ Travelers”

  • http://www.ovolina.com Anita Ovolina

    I wish I had the will to do the same. I go through these periods when I am strict with treats and at other times not strict – I blame it on the fact that I have many kids but really it’s just an excuse –
    Should do what you did!

  • http://www.pootergooch.com Kristi

    Ah yes. The ole ‘last minute notification’ of anything school related. I know it well.

    Can’t tell you how many nights I got that ‘memo’ and how many mornings I was up at 0300 to bake (had to be to work at 0600).

    School parties aside, one of my all time favorites was when my high school aged son (now 20) got up early to finish up some homework.

    It’s 5 a.m., I’m in the bathroom trying to get ready for work and he comes in asking, “Mom? How do you calculate the surface area of a right angle triangle prism?”

    Whaaaaaaaat? ACK!

    Thankfully, we had the benefit of an already awake step-dad and Google.

    He got an A on his homework, I still have no clue how to do it.

    Nor do I care. =)

  • Stephanie

    Awesome, just awesome!
    And adorable!

  • Lindsay

    When I was a kid my mom brainwashed me into thinking frozen green peas were popsicles (try eating some while they’re still frozen – actually pretty good). So I went through my entire childhood begging for them as treats. When I got old enough to figure out what she was doing I felt duped, but now It’s the ultimate rush – ‘ha-HA you’re eating something good for you AND YOU LIKE IT.’

  • erica

    I dont have children but if I did I would tell this story like it was my own.

  • http://chocolateandwhine.blogspot.com Stephanie

    I think it’s only fair that you bake a few thousand cookies for your loyal readers.

  • http://vintagethirty.blogspot.com/ Tootsie Farklepants

    I just recently cut out treats from my kids diets because I realized that they had one in their packed lunch for school, then they’d have one when they got home and another after dinner. It’s one of those things I didn’t really notice happening until I was like, didn’t you have 3 ice cream sandwiches today?

    Re: cookies… I have to take the cookies out of the oven 5 minutes before they’re done because…they’re done. My oven has a faulty and temperamental temperature gauge.

  • Anonymous

    I think that’s fantastic! I went to a kiddie party last year and there was so much candy I felt sick just looking at it. Kids need to learn early on that good food isn’t punishment. In southern Italy, kids eat nothing but pasta, vegetables, fish, and stuff in olive oil. And they think it’s tasty!

  • Selena

    I have had the same view on treats since my daughter was born and people really do think Im CRAZY sometimes. I mean for the first year she got no sugar at all. People think I’m nuts cause I won’t let a one year old down a frosty for goodness sakes. I have started allowing over the past year (she’s 2 and a half) treats on special occasions or after eating a good meal. But they are far and few between and ususally consist of all natural sugar free popsicles or fruit roll ups! It feels good to be shaping a healthy diet for her, if not for myself.

  • http://www.keepsakes-etc.com/baby-photo-throw.html Baby

    Our children are older now, but we stopped the treats early. After awhile it wasn’t an issue.

  • http://wildbritney.blogspot.com/ britneybikini

    Very funny stuff. Just what I needed on this cold fall day.

  • Jaime

    T-shirt please!

    “Can you be quiet? I’m eating a cookie.”

  • http://www.our3flowers.com Molly

    I love this! :)

    We removed “treats” from our home about 6 months ago. Our 4 year old was doing the same thing. We now keep a bowl of fruit, and granola bars on the table, and we keep yogurt and applesauce in the fridge.. Those are our snacks.. no more fruit snacks, candy, etc.. And you are so right, when they do get a treat, its like heaven.

  • http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=19340706 Brittany

    Okay, seriously, I thought it said ‘we stopped giving her threats’ and so I was confused the whole time and was like, well, I don’t really find desserts very threatening and so after I read the whole thing I went back to the top and was like, ‘oh. treats.’ and felt totally retarded.

  • http://www.thegirlwholearnedtokneel.com Rebecca

    My husband and I went to hear this naturopath talk a little while back, who definitely believes that sugar is the devil – - she suggested putting an assortment of little healthy snacks in a muffin tray and leaving them on the kitchen table for grazing! I am torn between wanting to try the system myself when my daughter has teeth, and feeling like that might make me the lamest mama on the planet. “I like how your mother leaves out boiled eggs and broccoli for afternoon snack!”

  • http://formulaforalife.blogspot.com/ Marfa

    My parents made such a big deal about not having treats at home that when I found anything, such as soda, chips or sweets I would gobble them up because I figured it would be a long time before I saw it again. When I had money I’d sneak in the food and hide it until I was alone. Nothing is more appealing and tempting than what is hard to get.

  • http://www.thepsychoexwife.com Psycho Ex Wife

    We had to endure the same negotiations during meals as well with my stepsons, and it was hell. Bravo to you for teaching Leta a valuable lesson. Ours unfortunately are still learning to not enjoy anything with their mother who continues to ply them with crap (including milkshakes, Wawa stops for candy, corn dogs and fried cheese last week while the youngest missed the entire week of school from being ill, gee, wonder why he was sick?) because it’s easier for her to do that than to say no. No thought given to her 8 yr old that weighed 150lbs.

    If your kid hates you and complains, I think you are raising her right ;)

  • http://www.threecentstamp.com/ kat

    Absolutely PRICELESS!

    When I was a kid, and quite a hyper kid I might add, the doctor told my mom to get me off sugar as much as possible. Did she listen? No. She did not. In my household, special occasions were every night and I grew up to expect such treats — every night. I still do. It’s a constant battle, and my inner conversations go somewhat like this:

    Kat: “How many bites do I have to eat before I get my treat?”
    Kat’s Good Side: “Kat, you’ve barely eaten anything all day. You need to eat helthy. Think of those chubby thighs. Think of next summer’s bathing suit.”
    Kat: “How many bites?”
    Kat’s Good Side: “Fine… ten.”
    Kat: “How about I eat nine?”
    Kat’s Good Side: “Ten.”
    Kat: “How about eight?”
    Kat’s Good Side: “I said ten. End of discussion.”
    Kat: “So, NOW it is.” :-)

  • http://www.idolreview.net Laura

    You can also apply your cookie baking technique to brownies – remove them from the oven 5 minutes early and you will have my husband’s half-baked brownie recipe. Delish with vanilla ice cream. I have to give him credit, because it is the only thing he can bake.

  • Anonymous

    there is this whole thing about a cat challenge at http://www.puppiesandworms.com that was pretty good too

  • ashleyd

    and i thought i was the only one who baked cookies that way!!!