February 13, 2010

Please, no more cheeseburgers

I never thought I would say this, but I am glad cheeseburger, oops I mean basketball,  season is over. It has adversely affected my daughter’s ego, my sense of fair play and all my sportsmanship senses. It has also adversely affected my wallet and my waist. I know we will get over all these maladies, but it has been challenging and disappointing.

One may wonder about the wallet/waist affliction; this was of my own doing. I broke every dietary rule I preach and used food to appease my daughter’s disappointment. We have spent the last two and a half months compensating for Alex's sadness over lack of play by indulging her love of fast food. It has become the season of the cheeseburger.

Thankfully, in rural Colorado we do not have many fast food restaurants. This is a good thing when you have a 16 year old daughter with down syndrome who loves to eat. Alex loves all fast food restaurants; any place that can serve her fast and includes cheeseburgers, sprites and french fries is on her "favorite" restaurant list. She is not picky at all.

Not so thankfully, we do have one fast food restaurant, the one with the red-haired, pig-tailed, girl. We drive by Wendy’s at least twice a day; on the way to school and on the way home. Alex will get suddenly hungry at the sight of Wendy's. She will get a stomach ache or feel faint from hunger. I don’t believe her for a second. She knows every excuse in the book to try to get me to drive thru the fast food window. Most of the time I am able to respond with logic, (costs too  much or dinner at home), but lately this has not been the case.

I have given in this basketball/cheeseburger season. I have picked up Alex after games she did not play in, practices she did not participate in, and conversations with the coaches that she did not like. The latest coach pep talk consisted of the following:  "If we are losing, you might play for a couple minutes in the 4th quarter". Unbelievable, someone would say this to an aspiring athlete, especially one with down syndrome.

So as hard as I tried to use logic, tears and disappointment are hard to resist. I did what I could, but the way to my girl's heart and smile is through cheeseburgers, french fries and sprite. We succombed to the healing powers of Wendy's, minus the sprite and french fries.

I limited our visits to once a week, but this is still four more times a month than normal. And, being the nice, kind and considerate mother I am, I could not have Alex eat alone. I bought cheesesburgers for myself and my family each visit, a $25 experience. I ate gross fatty cheeseburgers, Alex ate gross fatty cheeseburgers, and my family ate gross fatty cheeseburgers. Needless to say, these weekly visits added up, in dollars as well as calories.

Now the season is over - I swear NO MORE stops at Wendy’s (for a few weeks at least). After all, the mother of a Special Olympics Athlete competing in the National Special Games needs to set an example by eating well - doesn’t she? Lucky for all of us, I am sick of cheeseburgers.

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