I have forbidden a certain grandparent (Grandma Lonna) from feeding my children cookies. The whole cookie thing just got out of hand. First it was holiday-theme cookies. I was fine with that. Then it was the cookies shoved relentlessly down my kids' throats when we'd stop by for a visit. A little irritating, but I was able to manage.
But that just wasn't enough for Grandma. Her cookie compulsion soon evolved into the shameless stuffing of cookies into my kids' pockets and hands and mouths as we'd head out the door. Then she'd run into the street to pass them through the car window.
"No more!" I'd plead, "They've had enough. May I remind you, Alex came home and barfed last time. NO MORE COOKIES please."
Grandma Lonna would nod in agreement, "Okay, okay." Then she'd race back to her kitchen to begin filling cookie to-go containers. She was completely out of control.
Having Grandma shove cookies at a kid who LOVES sugar AND can't say no AND has gastric reflux AND a propensity for oral food eruptions (puking) is not a good combination. Plus, I'm always nervous about eating baked goods from Grandma Lonna after the Cornbread Incident. She has terrible eyesight. She once baked us cornbread with ANTS in it. Hundreds of black speckles, that, yep, turned out to be hundreds of dead baked ants.
What it bakes down to is this: Grandparents like to play good-cop to our hard-ass parenting bad-cop role. I can embrace that, and even enjoy massive spoiling as a spectator sport. But cookies do not equal love. Unless they are heart shaped and we are speaking figuratively.
The final straw was when Grandma broke into our house one day and left a plate of cookies on the kitchen counter. Creepy. Like our own personal cookie stalker. I'm not saying she scaled up the side of the house and pried open a window. I think I forgot to lock the back door that day. Though, I haven't ruled out the possibility that grandma may have inched up the drain pipe with her cookies in one hand and a homemade burglary kit in another.
Grandma Lonna isn't the only cookie-obsessed grandparent we have in our family. My mom, known as Granny Frannie, is another hardcore cookie pusher. Unfortunately, I just don't see my mom enough for her cookies to be a problem (health or otherwise). And her cookies are unreasonably good. And whenever she makes a to-go plate to bring home it is NEVER a problem. Because it takes an hour and a half to get home and by then the kids have forgotten about the cookies. So my husband and I wait until they are in bed and then stuff our faces, lick the plate clean, and remove all evidence from the house. It's our silent revenge for both having mothers who never gave US cookies when we were kids. So keep making those cookies, mom.
I'm mentioning the cookie thing because I am reconsidering the Grandma Lonna cookie ban. My change of heart came about when we were sitting in the doctor's office - Grandma Lonna's appointment - and I ran down my long list of questions, carefully writing down the doctor's responses to share with the rest of the family. I often have to speak for Grandma during these appointments due to a language barrier as well as some lasting effects of a stroke many years ago. After answering everything the doctor stood to leave and kindly asked, "Do you have any other questions?"
"YES!" announced Grandma Lonna. We waited in silence for Grandma to gather her thoughts, find the right words.
Grandma gave the doctor - a mother of three young girls - a long serious look and said, "Do you let your kids eat cookies?"
The doctor looked taken aback. Slightly confused. And then she answered, "Yes, I do. It's not always the healthiest snack but my kids do eat cookies." And then she left.