There are two things about parenting that I am not a fan of: potty training and the snack schedule.
I do not love potty training mostly because it makes me feel like an utter failure of a parent. I do not love the snack schedule for, oh, so many reasons.
First, and foremost, is because it is one more thing to remember. I (like every other parent I know) am already struggling to keep up with my kids’ homework, practice schedules, dentist appointments, teacher conferences, school concerts, among the fifty billion other things I have going on. I do not need another thing to remember (and potentially forget.)
Second, I lug enough stuff to games. I already have to bring enough snacks to keep the other two quiet for a whole hour. And let’s not forget the sunscreen, hats, jackets, gloves, umbrellas that might be necessary. Picture me showing up 5 minutes before game time, pushing a stroller that is loaded to capacity, with a four-year-old riding on my back, dragging a six-year-old by the arm. Let’s just go ahead and add a cooler full of drinks and a box of goldfish to top off that visual.
Third, it is expensive. It just is. I dread the week that I am signed up for two snack schedules and it is also my day for snack at the preschool. I will either have a completely blown budget or a week of endless mac and cheese and Ramen noodles.
Fourth, sharing snacks is not always wonderful. My kids have food allergies so shared snacks is just another instance in which other parents are inconvenienced on account of my children. Plus, my kid is picky to the point of ridiculousness, so chances are, he is not going to eat the snack anyway.
So there you have it, my beef with the snack schedule. But I also have a lot of questions.
My first question is: when did this start? I do not recall this from my childhood. I remember going to get ice cream after baseball games and occasionally the parents would do a cookout if there was a double header. When did it become customary to provide a snack for the entire team?
My second question is: who started it? Everyone I have ever talked to detests the snack schedule. I got the idea for this blog as I was talking to a patient. I was telling him that I had two kids playing soccer this season. He asked me if they had started the snack schedule yet and rolled his eyes. This man is in his early 60s with kids nearly as old as me (so maybe we did do a snack schedule way back then?) and he is STILL annoyed by the snack schedule.
My third question is: is it necessary? Do our kids REALLY need a snack after running around for an hour? And let’s face it, they really do not do all that much running in tee-ball/baseball. Soccer is a lot of running, I will give you that, but what is wrong with bringing your own kid an orange or an applesauce to stabilize their blood sugar? (And maybe you could bring one extra for the slacker mom like me that forgot the orange sitting on the kitchen counter?)
My fourth question is: can we stop the insanity? Can we all come together and set our differences aside with a common goal of putting an end to the dreaded snack schedule?