By Ron Mattocks, TODAY.com & NBC News
One would think a guy with five kids would have a whole slew of shortcuts to help ease the burden of parenthood. I do not.
This is not to say I am without creativity. It’s just my techniques lack a certain classiness. While many parenting hacks warrant viral validation via Pinterest, mine rank with the redneck who crafts a BBQ grill out of a shopping cart. Effective? Yes. Share-worthy? Possibly after obliterating a case of Milwaukee’s Best.
Case in point: My teen son and tween stepdaughter are now of an age where they require deodorant, yet they are afflicted by some form of adolescent dementia that causes them to forget to apply said deodorant. The solution: Affix the deodorant to the door frame at eye-level using Velcro, and voila, no more stinky kids. It’s effective because it’s unorthodox.
The same could be said about one of my best Dad Hacks ever: The Sugar Milk Hack, a genius idea born out of economic necessity after losing my job. At the time, frugality ruled all matters, including milk consumption. Meanwhile, my stepdaughters viewed milk less as a part of a nutritious breakfast and more as a hydraulic lift mechanism facilitating better “scoopage” of the sugary frosted goodness. They routinely left behind a half-filled bowl of white liquid and the occasional Fruit Loop floating aimlessly like a forgotten pool toy.
I hate seeing food go to waste. So to see about $10 of milk a week being dumped literally down the drain was unacceptable. A solution presented itself in the form of a plastic pitcher and a clean dishtowel. Once the girls had abandoned their bowls, I would pour the excess milk into the plastic container, straining it through the dishtowel. Then the next morning, I would hand them the recycled milk to use on their cereal.
My secret system worked perfectly for several weeks, and the kids were none the wiser. Or so I thought. Arrogance was my undoing, after I gave my youngest stepdaughter a glass of the reused milk as a substitute for the virgin stuff.
After a short sip she reeled back with surprise. “What is this?” she asked.
“It’s sugar milk, sweetie,” I answered, pleased with myself. Add the word sugar to anything and most kids will hear nothing else, scarf it up, and ask for more. My stepdaughter gulped the sugar milk and slammed the cup down, white drops trickling from her lips like blood around a vampire’s mouth after a kill.
If you’re not reading yogurt nutritional labels closely, you could end up consuming more than your daily allowance of sugar.
School districts nationwide have been banning sugary drinks and fat-laden lunches to help curb rampant obesity among students, but a new analysis suggests that summer is actually when kids pack on more pounds.