Slice of Life Challenge day 12 #sol17

Choosing your ‘battles’ is tricky business…

Title: “Fruit roll-ups”

“I don’t want to go in, I don’t want to go in…” the chorus of dissent was growing in the back seat. Pulling the car up near the front door of the walk-in clinic, I looked at my wife. This was one of those moments when we both understood what was happening, but that still didn’t make it any easier.  Appropriate decorum for this moment would have been that we all escort my wife into the waiting room of the clinic.  In doing so, we would all be conveying our sympathy and caring support for a member of our family who was currently suffering from a mysterious sore throat, congestion, and general misery.  Instead, it was a barrage of complaints and requests about not wanting to leave the car nor go in with Mama.

But we understood…they are five and seven.  And we were suspicious as to the fullness of their health, anyway.  I peeked over the snow-dusted, tree-topped horizon and could see the sun was preparing to set.  “I could take them to the store?” I offered.  “We could use a few things for dinner tonight.”

“That’s fine,” my wife responded, “I shouldn’t be long.”  This had not been the plan, but we went with it. She hopped out, I drove off.

Once in the supermarket, I resolved to make the most of this adjustment– buy some healthy snacks and any medicine my wife might request via text, and then head back to the clinic to pick her up.  Positioning the baby in the shopping cart, I immediately I noticed my other two girls wandering toward another aisle…away from the produce.  “Girls, let’s stay together,” I reminded them.

“But Papa, we want to show you something!”

“After we get the fruits and vegetables, okay?” I negotiated.

It turned out what they wanted to “show me” was something they had learned about at school- fruit roll-ups.  “Please, please!” they begged.  For the second time in just fifteen minutes, I found myself choosing another battle.  At the clinic it had been, “Do I force them to go inside? ” Here- do I tell them, “No, those are probably filled with high-fructose corn syrup and other ingredients that are not good for you!” Or do I cave? Again?

Driving home that night through the cold New England air, my wife asked, “Did you get them organic kind, at least?”  I shook my head.  I had caved.  Again.


Author: Lanny Ball

For more than 29 years, Lanny has taught, coached, presented, staff developed, and consulted within the exciting and enigmatic world of literacy. With unyielding passion and belief in the possibility of workshop teaching, Lanny has worked to support students, teachers, and school administrators around the country in outgrowing themselves as both writers and readers. Working first as a classroom teacher, then as a coach and TCRWP Staff Developer, Lanny is now a literacy specialist, working and living in the great state of Connecticut. Outside of literacy, he enjoys raising his three ambitious young daughters with his wife, and playing the piano. Find him on this blog, as well as on Twitter @LannyBall. Lanny is also a former co-author of a blog dedicated to supporting writing teachers and coaches that maintain classroom writing workshops,

11 thoughts on “Slice of Life Challenge day 12 #sol17”

  1. Oh, the push and pull of parenting … we have to pick our battles. I love your wife’s last question …


  2. LOL. Sometimes we have to choose whether or not the battle is worth it. In this case- you chose well 🙂 They are only little once and a fruit rollup or two will do no more damage to them than the occasional handful of candy or ice cream.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can completely relate! Fruit roll ups are a hot button issue in our household! Brinton came home with them a few weeks ago (for the same reasons as you) — to make a long story short, I wound up tossing them in the trash thinking that the kids had forgotten about them (they hadn’t), only to regret it once I had to face the consequences. Not. worth. the. battle! You made the right choice. Life is short. Choose your battles.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I get so tired of reading labels… I just want to go to the tree and pick it and know it is good for me. Take it from a grandma, pick your battles, and this was not one to pick this time. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So funny! We don’t have children, but I can tell you that the battle is real-even with our dogs. We often cave for more treats than they need, just cuz we want them to be happy. Life is short. Everyone needs high-fructose corn syrup once in a while. At least that’s what my husband says when he comes back from the grocery. Everyone ALSO needs a dad who gives in! Ha!

    Liked by 1 person

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