Last night, we attended an Eagle Scout Ceremony for a friend's teenager. Afterward, they served candy (M&M's), punch, and cake (white with white and black frosting). Our eldest son had some of each.
Fast forward to today: He was a little hellion. All day. It just went on and on and on and on. By mid-day, I was ready to sell him to the gypsies.
Was this just a "bad day" with normal discipline issues? Was it the sugar? The fatigue? The food coloring?
I don't know - probably some of all of the above. And I don't like to blame bad behavior on physical issues, because it feels like an excuse ("Sorry, Susie, the reason my son is destroying your crystal collection is because he's tired. It's not his fault.") And discipline issues are a constant issue for us; I am a constantly-learning parent, and he is a challenging child. However, I have noticed a uniformly bad response in our son to red 40 food coloring - which, I learned after looking it up this evening, is a major component of black food coloring (apparently it's just a globby mass of all the different colors mixed together - yum!).
Whatever the cause, I am going to keep a closer eye on it - one piece of cake is not worth 24 hours of parental suffering.
Though telling a preschooler, "Sorry, I know everyone's having cake, but you can't have any" is a difficult proposition! (Though I know parents of celiac kids have to do it all the time.) A new challenge!
Something to work on.
And here's hoping tomorrow is a better day, because I may start seriously looking for gypsy bands if it's not!