Ruffles or Lays?

waiting to do a left ballet leg

Avery had another meet last night. Fortunately it was local, just five minutes from home.

We're friends, right? So it would be okay if I vented for a minute? Good. Thank you. I promise I'll get back to neighborly love and homemade jam after I get this off my chest.

A downside to synchronized swimming, and probably most organized sports, is the required parent volunteer time. It's not that I don't want to help out and offer my time, I just don't like being told to either work 15 hours or write an additional check for $50. I'm stubborn that way. And since I don't really fit in with the other synchro moms I am out of the loop and don't hear about many volunteer opportunities; except for the snack bar, the volunteer job no one seems to want.

The team almost did not have a snack bar last night. No one had stepped up to stock the snack bar with junk food and volunteers. One mom asked me three separate times if I wanted to run the snack bar. I just couldn't do it; I am morally opposed to cheese sauce that comes in a can. I am also opposed to serving cans of empty calories and single serving bags of carcinogens to young children. I suggested that perhaps we could stock the snack bar with healthy food, only to be told that no one would buy it.

At the last minute, a "nice parent" drove down to Costco and picked up some supplies, sent out mass emails to round up volunteers for shifts, and I agreed to work in the snack bar for an hour. Here's where I admit to my hypocrisy: I bought a twelve pack of Sunkist and two boxes of Rice Krispy Treats to donate to the snack bar. I also bought a can of Coke during my shift because I just couldn't resist. I sold my daughter a hamburger. This was after she bought a donut with blue icing.

We got home from the meet and I set about making dinner. I was the only one who ate. George and Aidan admitted to stopping at 7-11 on the way home from the meet to buy Slurpees, nachos and a hot dog - a HOT DOG FROM 7-11!!! Avery was up past midnight complaining of a stomach ache, which I contribute to the raw meat she ate before telling me her hamburger was not cooked in the middle. Then Aidan announced from the toilet this morning that he had green poop, I assume from the Slurpee and hopefully not the hot dog.

One of the great benefits of sports for children is exercise and physical conditioning, yet involvement in sports often leads to poor food choices. Whether it's the snack bar at the games, or the convenience of a drive thru dinner on the way home because every one is too tired to cook and too hungry to wait. Even if you load up a bag with sliced fruit, nuts, popcorn, peanut butter sandwiches, and ice water, the allure of junk food is nearly impossible to resist.

There are only a few weeks left for synchronized swimming, and I have 14 more hours to volunteer; though I'm seriously thinking about writing a check. I'm also thinking about making and selling some book marks or magnets with some of the pictures I've taken at meets and donating the money to the team; perhaps the coach would consider that as volunteer work. The good news is there are no more meets at home, so I won't be working the snack bar any more this season. Perhaps I'll never have to ask, "Which potato chips do you want, Ruffles or Lay's?", ever again.


  1. I so hear you about the junk food attached to team sports. I hate it every time as well AND I am glad to hear that you aren't perfect and drank a coke! ; )

  2. You're so right. I refuse to give out popsicles at my daughter's soccer practice and ended up making my own healthy versions, a lot more effort admittedly, but I just couldn't do the whole nasty colouring thing!

  3. I think making cute crafty things for the team and selling them would be cool. I'd buy them if my daughter were on the team!

  4. I'm cracking up. We took the kids to the movies when the smoke was yucky and were tired of sitting at home. Chris got hot dogs from the theater. Ewww. I keep remembering the Seinfeild episode with Cramer and the movie theater hot dog. It is so hard to resist! I like the bookmark idea. A much better way to raise money!!! I'll admit we do the Tuesday $1 night at Baskin Robbins after t-ball practice. I guess we all have our little stumblings with the sports stuff. For our t-ball game nights people volunteer to bring a snack after they play. Last year we brought grapes and string cheese with little bottled waters and the kids SCARFED it down. Of course someone brought big cookie trays the next time and they scarfed it too, but given a healthy option and all the kids still wanted some. It's so dang hard!

  5. FYI: no one will ever bother you again if you become a judge & really they all look alike when they wear their goggles and swim caps...

  6. Seriously, I'm laughing with you ;). I know what you mean. It's the same for the dance competition team. Our school ran the snack bar for two of the competitions we were in, and I had the pleasure of both working the booth AND donating "goodies." The irony is that I wouldn't buy fruit for the snack bar, because (get this), it was not "in season" or "local." But I did manage to provide lots of non-local, sugary donuts from the grocery deli. I know. What's wrong with me?

    I hope, next year, I can take a lesson from Lina, and make something here at home using my precious "local" ingredients ;).

  7. AnonymousJuly 03, 2008

    Am I horrible if I pick Ruffles?

  8. AnonymousJuly 04, 2008

    We just had this conversation at dinner last night, with my 12 year old trying to convince the 7 year old and the 3 year old that McDonald's is actually poison and will cause diseases. They weren't buying it, but at least I have ONE kid that gets it!

  9. Oh this is funny stuff indeed, I say you just write that stinkin' check, chances are the rest of the volunteer stuff will require hardcore face time with the other moms.
    I don't know about you, but I grew up eating all that snackbar/7-11 fare, processed junk food, what was my mother thinking? And now, it makes me physically ill to think of my own children ingesting that stuff. But truth be told we do enjoy a bag of cheetos every once in a while...but no soda..Ever, I'm convinced it is liquid poison!
    I love your idea for the crafty items, fantastic!

  10. Green poop!! That one made me laugh out loud! All points are so true and well written. I feel your pain (you know I do ;)

    And when I let Grace take $2.50 for the snackbar, I had no idea it would buy sooooo much! oh, well.

  11. I LOVE your idea with the bookmarks/magnets! I think that would be a great contribution to the team's finances and if no one else thinks so, just tell them I said so ;).

    My son is only 2 1/2 but already I've faced a bit of the snack food battle. I'm ashamed to admit it, but he is addicted to "gummies", you know, the "fruit snacks" that don't contain an iota (sp?) of fruit but contain loads of food dye? Yeah, those. We don't keep chips in our house and I've managed to avoid the sodas that his buddies (yes, other two year olds!) love to drink and he will eat lots of healthy foods and snacks. But he loves his gummies.

    Just like I mentioned in previous comments that the whole "living green" hasn't caught on where I live, the whole "eating healthy" thing has been on the same slow track. At least in my circles. That's one of the many reasons I'm trying now to find some new circles. Once again, I'm very thankful for blogland!

  12. Damn, I feel your pain! Jeff and I actually high-fived each other when they closed the snack bar at our pool - one less battle! The upside; your children get a lesson in what processed food does to your body. The downside: your children get the lesson...rock and a hard place. But in the end, what a privileged dilemma we have, no? When I woke up this morning I found a Pepsi can on the counter!!! WHAT? Maybe this is an insiduous disease, julyjunkfooditis. If so, I'm going out on Diet Coke and DOritos.

  13. Oh Molly. That was a great post, vented very nicely. The good news is that the older the kids get, the less the "snack bar" is important. For soccer, parents bring snack and I noticed 90% bring healthier snacks. Hang in there baby!

  14. I know all about that green poop!!

    When we had our first baby, we swore we would have only healthy foods and drinks and we very suscessfully did so. NO chips or candies or junky foods (but we do like our coke every now and then) and it always amazed me how people looked at us like we were freaks for not wanting her to have any chips or stuff.

    We did try the fruit snacks because THEY SAY they're healthy, but after every snack, the green poop appeared. We finally figured out it was the fruit snacks and we no longer buy them. We make our own fruit roll ups and we can barely make them last 5 minutes out of the pan! But that's a good thing, right?

  15. AnonymousJuly 07, 2008

    Now you know why we always wrote a check to the school when it came time to beg for money for the school with their fundraisers!

  16. if you did have the time to volunteer to run the snack shop, you could offer healthy alternatives and the others couldn't say a word about it!

  17. Yes. This is what I hated about soccer games at the city fields. Those darned 'snack stands' at the entrance. Where the kids were 'rewarded' after the game by the coach with tickets for the slurge of their choice. Thanks, but no thanks.


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email: mollydunham@sbcglobal.net
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