Tag Archives: fear

Gluten And Horse Meat: Who Ate My Art Supplies?

I was wandering through the garden section of our local hardware store when I got trapped in an aisle by four people discussing gluten. I was intrigued because I didn’t (and still don’t) know much about gluten except that some people are allergic to it. I’ve seen the gluten free products on store shelves and have even baked and eaten some of them myself, but that is the extent of my gluten or gluten-free knowledge. So, I lingered over a tomato plant and listened to this guys as he said, “People just don’t realize what they are putting into their bodies. They make glue out of gluten for Christ’s sake. Glue! Artists use it to paste things together. We’ve been eating art supplies.” The three other people were nodding their heads in shock and I noticed the woman facing me had eyes as big as saucers. I could tell she was about to have a panic attack thinking about all of the “art supplies” she had consumed and digested over the past 25 years. I felt sorry for her, but I wasn’t too impressed with the art supplies argument. I mean, we’ve all been eating art supplies for years and years and this is the first time I’ve ever heard someone get so upset over it. Also, my best friend in kindergarten ate a lot of paste (or was that me?) and put corn up her nose too. If the paste was just made out of wheat gluten, I must confess, I actually feel a little better about the whole eating it thing.

So, seriously let’s talk about all of our edible art supplies. Eggs have been used to make glue. Yes, egg whites are a natural glue. Tempera paints: made with eggs. Some of those amazing old paintings hanging in our galleries…those were painted with eggs. My husband claims he was forced to eat horse meat as a child (this has been publicly refuted by his parents) and glue has been made out of horses. Berries, minerals and anything else you can think of with strong, distinct colors has been used as pigment in paint and to dye fabrics for clothing and other household items for centuries. Vegetables, like potato’s, have been carved into stamps. Various plants have been used as stencils. I could go on and on and on, but I won’t. Mostly because I am even starting to bore myself with this list of art supplies and because it just makes me want to give up writing all together and go start painting again. Or, at least go eat lunch.

Anyway, I am not saying people should eat gluten. I’m not a dietitian. I’m just saying that the art supply argument seems a little silly to me. If we embrace the art supply argument that means we have to stop eating eggs, vegetables, fruits, and horse meat too (now I am officially starving – not for horse meat though).

When I think about all of the foods we aren’t supposed to eat I end up hungry. Fruits and vegetables have been genetically modified, sprayed with pesticides, and picked before they are ripe. Starches, sugars and wheat will cause obesity, diabetes and death. Meat will give you a heart attack before long. Dairy products are laced with hormones. Even our water is contaminated with arsenic and old lace half the time.  I’m starting to think art supplies are the least of my worries. I’d rather eat paste than pesticides, but who knows? Maybe I just developed a taste for it in Kindergarten…I mean “my friend” probably did, or something.

What food worries do you have?

Toddler Fears

Little Miss Tiny-Small is starting to question the safety of the world around her. She is learning that sometimes bad things happen to good people. She is becoming a little more cautious around certain toys. For example, Mr. Potato head was her good friend until Mrs. Potato head showed up on the scene. Now, she considers them the evil duo and they have been regulated to the top shelf. Even though they are way up high, in another room, far, far away, Tiny-Small still gives the book shelf an extra wide berth when she walks by. We think it might be the eyes.

Or, perhaps it is that overly cheerful smile and over sized nose. I mean most people and toys aren’t this consistently full of ecstatic joy (with arms that fall off in the breeze). That kind of made sense until we realized she still likes Elmo and he really doesn’t seem all that much different.

Still, there seems to be no logical explanation for her new found fears. She just has to go through this stage in her development. I wish there was a map we could follow to avoid some of the scarier moments for her. One day she was playing with her fish in the bathtub.

She liked her little purple fish until it’s sticker eye came off and started floating toward her (again with the eyes). She just about climbed out of the bathtub when she saw it riding the waves toward her legs. She was screaming, “Eyes! Eyes! Noooooo!”

Even though the fish was allowed in the tub with her the octopus was not. This guy scared her to death. Apparently she is not into squids with tentacles and rosy cheeks. This toy was forbidden to cross her path because it induced horror movie type screaming and flailing of the arms. We’ll never know the story behind this one.

In an effort to live in a somewhat healthy and sanitary environment I was forced to clean the bathtub which, to my family’s dissatisfaction, meant scrubbing off all of the bathtub art. I promised that a fresh and clean canvas would bring bath time joy and happiness. New art work would be drawn and appreciated! Then, my husband drew this. Yep, Tiny-Small was not amused. He claimed it was a bear, but she new deep in her heart that this beast was not to be trusted. Screaming, crying and peeking around bathroom cabinets ensued. Our child was tortured beyond her wildest dreams.

As we embark through this journey of scary places and scary objects our only hope is that Tiny-Small will emerge relatively unscathed. Of course, as parents, we seem to be making things worse for her with all of our “helping” and toy purchases. All we can do is hold her hand and hope she survives and hope we survive too.