The Chocolate Monster

The Chocolate Monster

Okay, I just want to check:

Is this the kind of thing that happens to other parents or would it only happen to me?

My 20-month-old daughter stomps around the house growling, “Cho-klat, cho-klat, cho-klat.”

Her adorable smiling face sets into an intense scowl at refusal. She Hunts. I think she must Sniff It Out. That’s the only explanation I can think of. She finds it EVERYWHERE.

She finds it in the depths of dark caves of cupboards. If it’s on the counter hidden behind large objects, she drags me over to the counter, says, “Uppy, uppy”, then points at the large object hiding it and says, “Cho-klat, cho-klat.”

Demands, rather. Trouble ensues if I try to redirect her onto, say, a banana.

Please note that my plan for my daughter’s chocolate development was that she shouldn’t have it until she was 21. No use wasting all my good chocolate on a child, I said. She might be allergic.

Unfortunately, she grew obsessively interested in trying the brown stuff Mommy kept putting in her mouth at a very young age. Then Sébastien went and fed her Nutella (Europeans think Nutella is a healthy breakfast) so I knew she really wasn’t allergic. Also, the odds of a child of myself and Sébastien being allergic to CHOCOLATE are so slim that probably, if it had happened, we would have had to check and see if there was a mistake at the hospital.

So I said: I will solve this problem. NO child likes dark chocolate. My friends’ child doesn’t.� Even I used to prefer milk chocolate until I was at least four.� I will give her some super dark chocolate, and she will say YUCK, and then she will quit pitching fits when her mommy eats it in front of her without giving her any.


Now she stalkss around the house saying, “Cho-klat.” And if she doesn’t get it, she gives you the SCOWL. And the MAD TEMPER TANTRUM. And if, by any chance, one has Already Yielded to the Scowl and said, “Okay, one tiny square of chocolate [organic! very dark almost no sugar! NO JUDGING MY PARENTING, ANYBODY!], and that is it”–if one has done that, THEN she will have this whole growly effect going on around the chocolate in her mouth, and she will GRIN at you, and all the melted chocolate all over her teeth will give her this totally Evil Grin effect.

And I am out of hiding places! She has memorized every possible one, and she goes from place to place checking until she finds which spot the chocolate is in this time!

What do I do? You know I have always said chocolate is a health food, but it’s MY health food. She’s supposed to stick with peas and carrots.

I have created a monster!



  • stljoie

    Well, you have certainly sparked a distant memory of mine. My parents bought a huge 3 or 5 lb. Hershey bar when I was about 4 and my mother hid it on the upper shelf of a cabinet where she stored linens. I knew it was there. So I opened the doors and proceded to climb up the shelves like a ladder. As I neared the prize the cabinet fell forward on me and fortunately hit a table so its weight did not land on me. It was still quite a tumble. I scared my mother half to death. I love chocolate. There was a candy shop a block from our house where we would on infrequent but very special occasions buy a variety of candy..I especially loved heavenly hash and rock candy on a string. Sweet memories.

    February 8, 2008 at 3:39 pm
  • That’s pretty funny. I didn’t realize kids weren’t supposed to like dark chocolate. Nobody gave my kids that memo, either.

    February 8, 2008 at 5:55 pm
  • Note to self: hiding chocolate up on the top shelf of cabinets might be a bad idea. Never underestimate the death-defying ambition to reach chocolate!

    Amy, yours like dark chocolate, too? Why don’t they put important things like that in those parenting instruction books anyway?

    February 8, 2008 at 8:12 pm
  • Wait, Nutella isn’t a healthy breakfast? Huh. I guess I’ve been in Europe too long.

    Btw, did you catch World Nutella Day at my place? Some recipe suggestions include fruit, and that’s gotta help the nutritional value. Right?

    Best of luck with the little future chocolatier 😉

    February 9, 2008 at 1:48 am
  • I’m soooo sorry, but this is just soooo funny and very cute 🙂 Very awwww moment, when you’re not the parent, of course 😛 I think you should just give in, if she’s anything like you, her addiction to cho-klat was inevitable, even at a young age. Just don’t feed her too much, I guess.

    and LOL, I can see you two battling up for chocolate in a few years LOL 😛

    February 9, 2008 at 9:40 am
  • dharmagirl

    Love it! She definitely has a highly developed palate if she’s reaching for the good stuff, the dark stuff, the addictive stuff. How cute!

    BTW, our NPR station aired an entire hour program of chocolate stories this morning…the reporter was traipsing around Paris with David Lebovitz and going to such places as Laduree. Of course I thought of you:)

    February 9, 2008 at 12:43 pm
  • No, I hadn’t seen it, sognatrice! But now I have a whole new ton of recipes I want to try. Yummy!

    I wish I could have been that NPR reporter, dharmagirl.

    Nath, those chocolate battles were the whole reason I thought she should wait until she was 21 (years! not MONTHS!). There’s only room for so many chocolate addicts in one household. Besides…everyone knows it’s not healthy for children under 21 to eat their mommy’s chocolate. Right? Right?

    February 9, 2008 at 2:11 pm
  • LOL – I’ve read this post twice and laughed both times – are you sure you and my DIL Lisa aren’t sharing one small girl between the two of you? Your daughter sounds an awful lot like my granddaughter Joli. I had to tell Lisa to come read it too.

    I didn’t like dark chocolate when I was younger either. In fact, I wasn’t much of a chocolate fan at all, until I was pregnant with my second son and suddenly CRAVED it in large quantities. Now I am rarely tempted by anything BUT dark, darker the better.

    I’m tempted to give you the bad news, that becoming a mother means having to make sacrifices, like maybe, not eating chocolate in front of your daughter, but I think that’s one of those things one has to find out for oneself. Besides, it’s never good to be the bearer of bad news. Although, honestly, it sounds like it’s already too late. You’ve created a chocolate monster.

    February 9, 2008 at 5:11 pm
  • Robin F

    My family doesn’t eat dairy products so my son has only had dark chocolate and he loves it. He also knows the difference between the good stuff and the mediocre. We get these amazing french cocoa dusted almonds at our fabulous local chocolate shop and he loves them and will ask for them specifically. In our last apartment he always knew where we kept the chocolate and sometimes would get into it (he’s almost four) and the chocolate smears always gave him away. Part of his evening routine is to get a small amount of chocolate after he’s had everything else from dinner. That seems to keep in happy and he is okay with only a few squares of the good stuff. Also he knows I always have a Green and Black’s chocolate bar in my bag so it can appease him when we are out an about. I ate tons and tons of chocolate when I was pregnant so I can only blame myself.

    February 10, 2008 at 3:27 am
  • Well, how much chocolate did you eat when you were pregnant, Laura? Mayhap that’s where here addiction started.

    One solution, of course, to your chocolate problem is…wait for it now…STOP BUYING CHOCOLATE!!!

    (She says while beating a very hasty retreat!)

    February 10, 2008 at 9:09 am
  • Yes, but she doesn’t brush her teeth yet! I mean, she sticks the toothbrush in her mouth and sucks the toothpaste off it, and occasionally, with considerable jumping around and singing and gesturing about how fun this whole business is on my part, I can get her to move the toothbrush in a motion–across her tongue. Otherwise, I DO firmly believe that dark chocolate is a much healthier snack than, say, Goldfish crackers or pretzels, but what about the sugar?

    Laume, I do try to eat it in hiding, but she’s gotten very suspicious. If she catches her mommy chewing on something that she hasn’t seen go into mommy’s mouth, she starts asking for cho-klat right away.

    February 10, 2008 at 9:14 am
  • Hey I know that kid! I’m Laume’s DIL, and I have a 15-month-old. She also is very suspisious of anything that I may be eating, but I have figured out a few places to eat and/or hide sweets.

    Although the panty closet is a bad place to hide the chocolate, it is a great place to lock yourself in and eat it (or talk on the phone). The bedroom closet is also very good because you can shut the bedroom door and the closet door, and you won’t hear the screaming from the outside. The laundry can also be a good place for hiding but not recommended for eating. You would think the bathroom, but unfortunately as soon as you are in there it becomes the most interesting room in the house for all children, animals, and husbands, very odd. Although if you go in and don’t turn on the light you might get to use the bathroom alone.

    Luckily for me my daughter does this wonderful thing where if I tell her it’s “all gone” she will accept it and go about her business. I am aware that I may only have a few more days or possibly hours before she stops accepting this, but for now it is a fabulous thing.

    Good Luck!

    February 10, 2008 at 12:52 pm
  • Hi, Lisa. I’m familiar with the bathroom phenomenon as well. Obviously I need bigger closets and a pantry. I always knew I needed a pantry. Yes, I am one of the few (or are they so few?) women on earth who wants a walk-in closet for her food more than for her clothes. Who cares about clothes?

    February 11, 2008 at 7:48 pm

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