This bribe went right down the toilet

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

Potty training is not my favorite activity as a parent.

In fact, I have feared it since I had my daughter. I have never been able to properly train a puppy without help, so I had my doubts when it came to working with an actual child.

When I began potty training my little one, everyone chimed in about what type of treat to use. Pennies, stickers and Cheerios were all touted as ways to entice my daughter into doing her business. One friend suggested that we give her M&M's as a reward, or more accurately, as a bribe. I figured I would give it a try, since a hearty "good job" did not seem to be doing the trick.

It seemed to be working until I gave my daughter a red candy. She immediately broke out into hives and turned into a wild child. Within seconds, my beautiful little girl turned into a splotchy screaming monster. Turns out she is allergic to the red dye in the M&M's. Unfortunately, this dye is also in many other food products I would not have suspected, and after one bite, my daughter gets the tell-tale hives.

So now we read food labels carefully, looking for red dye. I feel bad for her that she cannot enjoy certain candy, but she really didn't need to have most of it anyway. We have the perfect excuse to keep her away from candy! Now I'm wondering why I don't have this allergy. Red dye does not seem to affect me in the least. Apparently I can down an entire bag of M&M's with no reaction whatsoever. (Someone had to eat the bag I bought my daughter. It would be dangerous to leave them just sitting around the house).

Yes, if there were only some visible proof of me eating a pound of candy in an afternoon or sneaking a cookie or three, I am sure I wouldn't do it. I will ponder this as I try to find a pair of jeans in my closet that still fit.