I’m a fan of Peeps. I can’t bring myself to eat them – they’re disgusting, but I do love the myriad ways in which they’ve transcended food.
As much as they ever were food.
But so Peep dioramas, Peep jousting, Peeps riding Rhoombas wearing Shark Costumes: they’re less sugary crap than they are an artistic medium. They’re culture, they’re a meme.
But as much as they may be a mere bibliography away from a cultural studies capstone essay, a Peep is still a crappy marshmallow covered in sugar. And my son can’t eat it.
This hasn’t been a big problem, historically. Our routines, and daily adventures haven’t intersected with the emass market sugar peddlers. We don’t have candy at home, we don’t eat it in front of him, as long as cantaloupe keeps arriving on the monkey plate he’s got no reason to get distracted.
But as it is with hundred dollar bills and diapers, change gonna come.
Preschool, YouTube videos, the pernicious cunning of shelf stockers at CVS. Wherever the informations been coming from, the cat’s out of the bag. He knows the difference between M&M’s and Reese’s Pieces (at least to look at). If it comes in a colorful wrapper and tastes slightly like wax, then he could pick it out of a lineup.
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. This is the basis of click-through advertising and the cornerstone of the Kardashian Empire. How many times can you be told that personal trainers hate that guy in the picture before wanting to know why? Do you have the will to know there are secrets destroying Khloe’s marriage and not find out what they are?
Of course the man asks if he can have a lollipop. Of course he wants a Peep or a peanut butter cup, he’s American, after all. And, of course, we have to tell him no. We have to tell him that it will hurt his tummy. And to his great credit he’s mostly good with it. How we landed such an understanding, easy going (relatively speaking) four year old is beyond my Latin to be thankful for.
But it would almost be better sometimes if he threw a fit now and then. The resignation in his face cuts deep. I’d almost rather be angry at a little kid throwing a tantrum than let a good little guy down.
And it’s not really about Peeps, really. It’s just that they’re everywhere now. And it’s easy to type.
But if anybody has any advice on how to make this easier, I’m listening.