Sunday, January 5, 2014

Snack Moms Now, Snack Moms Forever

This article appeared in the October issue of Chicago Parent magazine.  It is also one of my columns that is being submitted for a writing award in the humor category by my awesome editor, so I'd appreciate any positive joojoo, prayers, or sacrificed chickens to help put me over the top.

I'm a little competitive.

And crazy.

With three sons firmly entrenched in their respective sports, I am suddenly reminded of Michael Jordan’s famous “For the Love of the Game” clause.  In his early professional career, Mr. Jordan refused to limit his passion for basketball to the regular season.  He sought to ensure he could play his sport whenever and wherever he so desired, and had it included in his contract. 

I admire this kind of dedication in athletes.  However, I am now finding that the grammar school crowd has replaced Mr. Jordan’s clause with one of their own, aptly titled “For the Love of Snack Moms.”

Snack moms are those earnest individuals who play an active role in their children’s sports by putting together carefully designed charts listing every game day snack assignment.  I will never criticize this level of involvement as I am the parent who cannot even assemble soccer nets.  I also paint white lines in the grass like I have been doing tequila shots.

I understand that snacks help reinforce a positive experience when small children are first introduced to organized sports.  But now?  If a nine-year old is only motivated by CapriSuns and Cheetos, perhaps sports just aren’t his thing.

One of my mom friends complained how she, too, was sick of the kids coming home not wanting to eat dinner because of all the garbage handed out on the field.  When it was her turn to be snack mom, she thoughtfully sliced up carrots and brought along water bottles.  The team’s response?  No thanks.  She threw up her hands in surrender and packed a case of Coca Cola and Twinkies for her next at bat.  Naturally, she was a hit. 

With all due deference to snack moms who have organized this for centuries (or rather, since 1990 when anthropologists first documented the shift), I respectfully submit we put an end to the practice.  If the kids get thirsty, point them to the water fountain.  If they complain, tell them to suck it up.  It’s time to go 1970s tough love on their Twinkied butts.

I tried unsuccessfully to implement my vision when I was handed yet another snack mom assignment this month. 

“Aw, c’mon,” I begged, “Aren’t they getting too old for this nonsense?”

Snack Mom looked at me in disbelief and stunned silence.  She then turned and handed the sheet to the next dad who approached.

“Hey dad!” I called out, “How about it?  Want to stand in unison against snacks and injecting our kids with high fructose corn syrup after every game?”

He gave me that all-too-familiar “Go away, crazy lady” look.

After several more failed attempts to convert parents to my way of thinking, Snack Mom walked over.

“Just so you know, ma’am,” she told me, “my older boys are in HIGH SCHOOL, and they ADORE post-game snacks.  It’s just something little we can do to show our love and support.”

I hung my head in shame and slunk away, defeated.    

This weekend, my family sat down to watch the Bears play when the kids noticed the giant Gatorade container on the sidelines.  My oldest commented:

“I wonder who THEIR snack mom is!  That is awesome.”

Snack moms, it seems, rule the world.

16 comments:

  1. Have the announcer point out when they come onto the stands. The players and crowd will then go wild. The Cheer Leaders will also respond with a new cheer, unless, of course, they are jealous of the Snack Moms.

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    1. Ha ha. You can be my snack mom anytime, Carol. Wait. That sounds wrong. ;)

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  2. Loved your describing how you draw white lines, LOL, I would be the same too, can't cut or draw a straight line myself even before my nightly glass of wine :)

    Such a cute entry; I do hope you win!

    My kids didn't do sports so I wasn't exposed to the snack moms; I'm thinking if I was I would be the one with the cool but highly unwholesome snack.

    Do let us know if you get the award!

    betty

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    1. Thanks, Betty! I'll keep you posted!

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  3. I could not agree more! The world needs more crazy moms like you!

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    1. ...and a few more licensed professionals with a prescription pad!

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  4. :-D "Go away, crazy lady"

    Love your "About Me." Nobody gets judged like us moms!

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    1. Thanks, Jen! Trying every day to judge a little less and laugh a little more!

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  5. LOL - have you seen the commercials for Chunky Soup? That's the adult version of the snack mom.

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    1. Exactly! Chunky Soup is the cautionary tale if I ever saw it!

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  6. Hahaha...you are my kind of crazy, Marianne! I agree that these snack things should be ended. Reminds me of that episode on Everybody Loves Raymond, although the snack mom was actually a "snack dad." You were Deborah in that episode!!! Ha...

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    1. I am so Deborah. But without the skinniness and nice hair. ;)

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  7. Amen, sister! I had nearly the identical experience. I thoughtfully went to Trader Joe's and sliced up fresh oranges, and I had the 100% juice boxes. The kids turned up their noses at me in disgust. Seems they wanted the aforementioned Gatorade and chips. Argh.

    Are we the same person?!?!?

    Good luck with the writing award, you win my vote. :)

    xxo
    MOV

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  8. I hated my turn for snacks. It's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard of. When the game is over, the kids. go. home. Eat a stupid snack then! Like they're going to starve to death in the 10 minutes it takes to drive home. It's bad enough we parents have to suffer through the wind/cold/rain to watch kids chase a soccer ball around the field, but then we have to wait until they've eaten their crappy snack as well. Oh, and I just hurled some Positive Jujubes at you from downstate IL. That's what you asked for, right? Use them for your next snack day. ;)

    xoxo
    -andi

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    1. Downstate ROCKS. Thanks, LittleMyoo. JuJubes for everyone! (without braces, that is).

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