Thursday, July 24, 2008

Made in China

I admit that I have a prejudice against things made in China. If it's food, it is probably tainted with anti-freeze and if it's a toy, it almost certainly contains lead paint or phthalates ready to wreck my kid's reproductive organs. It's not rational but as a woman who is trying to be a good mom AND do the job of the FDA, I cling to these ideas.

Yesterday, I was thrown into neurotic mama mode when Lu, Vivi's Chinese babysitter, arrived with "treats" for her. As I've posted before, Lu and I really can't communicate but I ascertained that Lu found my use of gummy bears as potty-training bribery to be unacceptable. (Maybe it was the scrunched up expression on her face that gave it away.) Hence, the new treats.

Well, the "treats" weren't just for a successful trip to the potty. They were for anytime Vivi wanted them which turned out to be one right after another. She probably consumed ten of them in under a minute. This shocked me because I actually tasted one at Lu's insistance and found them to be utterly disgusting. (Not unlike something that would be thrown into a potty.)

I decided to let it go though. Lu was taking Vivi to the park and leaving the "treats" behind so I figured I would hide them while they were out and that would be the end of it. Ummm... not exactly. When I looked at the package I noticed that these candies are called haw flakes. What the hell are haw flakes?!! I went to Google to find out.

Well, according to the Internet, haw flakes may be any or all of the following:
-packing material
-drugs
-banned by the FDA
-made from the berries of the Hawthorn Bush

Insert super freak-out here. I had visions of my kid tripping out on the swings or thinking she could fly and jumping off the top of the slide. It was awful. I was pacing and sweating and wondering if it was time to let Lu go. Then the voice in my head said, "Get it together, Sam. Lu eats these and they haven't killed her yet. Just throw them out and forget about it."

As I grabbed the package, I noticed something. Made in Singapore was written on the side. Phew! Now that's a relief...

When I returned home that afternoon, Vivi and Lu were sitting at the table eating lunch. Vivi said, "Mama, Where's my pres san char?" Apparently, that's Chinese for "haw flakes."








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