I was a woman on a mission this morning. I held my breath as I rolled out of bed, careful not to wake the sleeping babe beside me. The sun was barely peeking over the horizon when I tip-toed downstairs. Quietly, I opened the pantry doors in slooooooow motion, careful to avoid a creak. Like a heat-seeking missile, my eyes zeroed in on my bounty--the last gluten/dairy-free brownie in the Traber household. It was going to be a GREAT day!
It should come as no surprise to anyone that I dreamt of said brownie all night. Seriously. I've documented my food struggles in an earlier post with becoming gluten/dairy-free. The biggest challenge is the availability of tasty chocolate treats on my diet plan. I can't just grab a handful of M & M's or a Snickers when a craving hits. Plus, gluten/dairy free treats are not so easy to find. Many of the snacks taste like someone mixed in a bucket of sand after he/she threw up in the ingredients. But, my problems were solved once I discovered the secret gluten/dairy-free snack case tucked away in the back of our grocery store. After buying one of everything to sample (and emptying my wallet in the process), I realized that I could still feed my chocolate addiction AND actually enjoy myself. Life no longer seemed bleak in the sweet department. Each grocery store trip, I purchase a few treats for the week, and I ration them out carefully. Many days, my mood is defined by these decadent little slices of heaven. And, let's be really honest--I hate to share them. My kids certainly don't appreciate my treats. My husband has a freezer full of Girl Scout cookies he can enjoy. Why would I share MY special (and pricey) snacks with my family? They can eat anything they want!
Last night, my thoughts focused solely on the lone brownie. At one point during the night, I swear I woke up salivating. I fell back asleep, telling myself it was ridiculous for a grown woman to dream of brownies. Plus, eating one right now would mean I would need to brush my teeth again, and I was just too tired for that. I woke up a few more times, looked at the glaring red numbers on the clock, and rolled over, knowing it was still an inappropriate time to get up and feed the monster inside of me. Finally, I could stave off my craving no longer. I decided it was time to get up for the day (I had plenty of schoolwork I could do). Off I snuck downstairs to enjoy one small slice of chocolate heaven.
Quickly my slice of heaven became my square of shame. When I heard my daughter's footsteps on the stairs, I shoved the rest of my coveted treat in my mouth as fast as I could. I almost choked. As I dusted crumbs off my lips, I pulled my daughter onto my lap. "Mommy, why you smell like chocolate?" I decided it was futile to argue with a three-year-old this early in the morning. I denied her accusations. Her eyes narrowed suspiciously, so I offered her the remote control. Satisfied, she dropped the subject.
"Shame, shame, I know your name," my conscience whispered. The look in my daughter's eyes made me feel dirty, greedy, and shameful. Here I was, a grown woman, sneaking around before dawn to avoid sharing a brownie. No one ever told me shame had such a bitter taste. But, if it tastes like this, I'll take it. And, I'm not giving it a second thought. Let's just hope they don't catch me with a cupcake tomorrow morning.