Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Sins of Our Fathers

Every parent has some seemingly brilliant, tragically misguided idea that haunts their children's memories into adulthood. One such memory for me involves a large bag of powdered milk stationed just inside our kitchen doorway. With four kids to feed, my dad thought it was pure genius--save money on milk, clear out more room in the refrigerator, and spare my mom more frequent trips to the grocery store.

And while my dad made every effort to convince us that powdered milk tasted just the same as or, get this, even better than regular milk, we knew better. His speeches were too rehearsed, too well thought out. He was obviously trying to convince himself too. It was understood that our mom found the stuff equally disgusting as us kids--I don't think I ever saw her take so much as a sip of milk when I was younger. But she made no efforts to stop the insanity. Yep, she stood by and watched the torment. We begged, we whined, we cried, we even tried to destroy the powder by dropping rubbish into the large garbage can in which it was stored. But still, we drank the froth at every meal.

In a perfect world, we would learn from our experiences. But this, unfortunately, is not a perfect world.

After successfully avoiding every one of my household duties for the past week, the milk supply ran dry this morning. And while looking in the cupboard for cereal, I noticed a box of powdered milk left over from my husband's week-long John Muir Trail trek last summer. "She'll never notice," I thought, feeling a little bit guilty. I was right. Worked great on cereal, slipped it right past her. Then, the real test. She wanted straight milk. I stood in the corner of the room trying not to laugh as she eyed up the froth. Knowing something was off, she took a cautious sip. Her eyebrows furrowed, the expression on her mouth changed. "This milk tastes funny," she said. My experiment was complete. Yes, I am now a hypocrite. But the kid in me is tremendously happy. And, now I know another "sports supplement" that works for kids in pinch. Just don't drink it straight.


  1. Ha ha!! I can totally remember our parents trying to convince us that stuff was ok. GROSS. Laughing at the image of you laughing in the corner. Thanks Laurie.

  2. LOL - I remember YOUR parents trying to get us to drink that too!! I felt sorry for you guys....

  3. We raised our kids in a remote area of a 3rd world country where no milk was available. We bought powdered milk in 20 kg bags. The secret, btw, is to mix it the night before and keep it in the fridge. It minimizes the difference in taste. The irony came when we returned to the U.S. and our kids didn't like the taste of REAL milk. We had to sneek it by them for months until they finally gave in. Even now they like the powdered stuff. Oh yes, hang on to the powdered milk from the camp food aisle, besides cereal, it froths better than regular milk if you are making lattes!
    Nice writing.

  4. Oh that's good! I tried getting the girls to drink soy milk with the same success. Glad you're back!! You always have great mommy posts!