Waiter, Bring Me an Order of Gluten and a Large Glass of Lactose
by Maggie Van Ostrand
When I was a kid, mom would send me to the store for a quart of milk and a loaf of bread. Easy enough for me to pick up and bring home. Plenty of clarity and no decisions. But how do today's moms handle sending their kid to the store? This morning, at the supermarket, I overheard a kid about 10 or 11 on his cell phone, obviously checking with his mom. I could only hear the kid's side of the conversation but I'm guessing the mom's is probably close to this :
Kid: What kind of milk do you want, Mom?
Kid: 1% what? (reading from labels) Cow? Soy? Coconut? Almond? Rice?
Kid: Ok. Cow. Regular? Flavored? Lactose-free?
Mom: Just a quart of regular cow's milk. If the cow gives lactose with her milk, then it's ok with me.
Kid: Regular cow lactose ok.
Intrigued, I follow the kid down the never-ending bread aisle, and he calls her again.
Kid: I forget what you wanted.
Mom: A loaf of bread.
Kid: What kind of bread? (kid reads labels into his phone) There's Rye, Jewish Rye, Extra Sour Jewish Rye, Black, Multi-Grain, White, Wheat, Sour Dough, Pita, Pumpernickel. What kind do you want?
Kid: What kind of wheat? Whole Wheat? Whole Grain? Sprouted Grain? Seven Grain? With or without a touch of molasses? Do you want refined grains with added fiber? Do you want unbleached enriched flour?
Mom: No refined grains with added fiber. No unbleached enriched flour. The first ingredient has to be 100% whole wheat.
Kid: 100% whole wheat. Got it. Gluten-free?
Mom: Oh for God's sake. Just get a bag of bagels.
Then I saw the poor kid heading for the toothpaste section, and figured he'd be on the phone for the rest of the day.
The motto of the story is: Tell your kid if he'll give up his cell phone and learn to read a handwritten list, you'll let him shave the dog.