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Today I showed up at school without a smoothie. There was, however, a shamrock cookie. It did not go well.

Some background: For the last two months, I’ve been bringing homemade fruit smoothies* for Tess when I pick her up from school. She started full-day kindergarten last fall, and though she brings a hearty snack and lunch each day, by 2:30 p.m. she’s wiped. Until recently, this meant I couldn’t be sure whether I’d be meeting T-Jekyll or T-Hyde upon pick-up. Then I hit on the brilliant idea to bring her a smoothie each day. Instant personality improvement along with the energy boost. I walk in, pat her on the head, hand her the smoothie and she drinks. We pack up her stuff and go on our pleasant way.

I’d been making a batch of smoothies nearly every other night anyway, for quick school-day breakfasts, and I usually had leftovers, so it was easy to fill a thermos in the afternoon. Today, though, there weren’t leftovers and I was crunched for time, so I gambled, hoping for Jekyll.

Except today was St. Patrick’s Day. And though her school is a pretty progressive place where the kids bring their own food and healthy eating is encouraged, holidays usually involve sugar. Today the kids made shamrock cut-out cookies, two each. Tess ate one and saved the other in a bag in her cubby.

When I arrived smoothie-less, she was in a mood. End-of-day mood, sugar-cookie mood, I don’t know. But it was a mood. I was trying to move things along when she asked for the second cookie. I told her no, we were going right home, she could eat something good for her body when we got there.  That was so not the answer she wanted to hear. Which is how I ended up with a child screaming in the school hallway for a cookie.

Having just launched this blog — and knowing that her teachers and classmates’ parents were aware of that fact — I was feeling pretty self-conscious about my blogging cred. On the other hand, my Smoothie Hypothesis was about to be quite loudly and convincingly validated.

“You should have brought my smoothie!” Tess yelled at me, tears streaming. “Then this wouldn’t have happened!”

Oh my girl, you make me proud.

How have your kids let you know that it’s sinking in? That they understand how food affects them?

* A typical concoction: plain yogurt, wheat germ, flaxseed oil, banana, frozen berries and orange juice.