Pay no attention to the fact I’m posting this at 12:30 a.m. …
Heartbreak is a toddler denied her treat. Hilarity is watching her try to get her contraband treat by gnawing through a cardboard box only to discover it filled with grassy powder. Wait, what, I’m not allowed to laugh? Eight hours of labor says otherwise, I think. This little melodrama played out this past week in the aisles of our grocery store as Jelly Bean watched me load up on one of my fave treats of the season: peppermint herbal tea from Celestial Seasonings. I’d just tossed four boxes into the cart when the whining started. “I want a candy cane!”
“No,” I patiently explained, “I know there are candy canes on the box but there are no candy canes inside it. It’s a drink.” (Side note: What must she have thought when we bought baby food with the happy baby on the front?)
“Dwink? I want a candy cane dwink!” she insisted, trying to open a box.
A little less patiently I answered, “Well the drink’s not actually in the box. And you can’t have any right now.”
Uncharacteristically she calmed down and said okay. I should have known better. Jelly Bean is as stubborn as, well, me. A few minutes later I turned around from spending 7.5 minutes scrutinizing the beef jerky selection (anyone else noticed that all the nitrate-free natural flavors use sugar as a preservative instead?? Can’t win.) to find her with her hands covering her eyes and grass covering her lips. It wasn’t until I saw the chewed-up remnants of the herbal tea box that I realized what she’d done.
“Jelly Bean? Did you gnaw through the box like a naughty mouse and eat the candy cane drink mix?” (Parenting what-not-to-do right here. Never ask a kid if they did something that you know full well they did. It’s like saying “Please lie to my face.”)
“No!” Jelly Bean lied to my face and squished her tiny hands tighter over her eyes. She still thinks that if she can’t see me I can’t see her. And heaven help me I think it’s hilarious. I waited as little tears squeezed out from under her hands. At last, with one hand still covering her eyes, she held out the fistful of herbal tea packets she’d stuffed down her pants. “I not eat these,” she sobbed. “Now can I have REAL candy cane?”
“No! Baby’s First Shoplifting is not something I want to memorialize in your scrapbook. I am not encouraging this.”
“Well,” she spluttered. “I not talking to you! I talking to Gwandma!” Girl has a point. Grandma would totally get her a candy cane. If Grandma were here. Which she isn’t. By process of elimination, I win again!
When I got home, I serendipitously found another box of love from Celestial Seasonings. At first I thought it would be more of their magic herbal tea – seriously I drink gallons of the stuff, I have no less than 9 flavors in my cabinet right now – but it was samples of a new product, their sleep aid called Sleepytime Snooz Shots. While I’m not much into shots, I do love the Sleepytime Vanilla flavor of herbal tea so I got really excited. But first I had to find out what was in it. I learned the hard way never to take supplements without first reading the ingredients…
Here’s what puts the “sleep” in Sleepytime Snooz Shots. (And you also get an introduction to the wide, wonderful world of crazy that is Charlotte reading labels.)
Valerian root - This sounds like Star Trek. Must text husband: Are there Valerians in deep space? Okay, no, it’s an herb and it’s first on the ingredient list so there’s probably a lot of it. According to the gnome who lives in my phone, it’s a plant that’s been in use since the ancient Greeks and is used for insomnia, anxiety, “women’s problems” and – I swear I’m not making this up – warding off elves. My kids are basically elves without magic. I so totally need this.
Relora – The Relorans totally ARE on Star Trek: Voyager! Someone at Celestial Seasonings is messing with me! Also, how geeky is it that I know this? Text husband again: Nevermind, I found the right aliens. It says a lot about our relationship that all he writes back is “Okay.” Focus, Charlotte. Relora is apparently the brand name of a proprietary blend of two plants I’m too lazy to type out that are known for “weight loss” and “decreasing stress and normalizing stress hormones.” Weight loss?? Must check ingredients for caffeine or other stimulants. All clear! Phew. But yes please to less stress.
Chamomile - I know this one, no Wiki needed! It’s a pretty flower! I also buy this flavor of herbal tea even though I think it’s kinda bland because I’ve heard it’s supposed to be good for me. According to Livestrong - and you know they know their drugs! (Too soon for Lance Armstrong jokes?) – it has anti-irritant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties.” It’s the anti-herb! I’m very contrary; I knew I loved it for a reason! Oh, and it’s a centuries-old treatment for insomnia too.
L-theanine – I actually have a bottle of this one, thanks to recommendations from some of you back when I was lamenting all my anxiety. Apparently “research shows an effect of wakeful relaxation without drowsiness, a type of stress relief, although the effect is weak when compared with benzodiazepines.” This literally made me laugh out loud in the store. Honestly I don’t know many herbs, or drugs in general, that don’t look weak next to Valium and Xanax! But wakeful relaxation sounds amazing and also kinda like lucid dreaming. I’m in.
Lemon Balm - We grow this in our backyard! It really smells like lemons! And it tastes absolutely nothing like lemons! In fact, it tastes like leaves! But I like leaves! I’m a panda! (Jelly Bean: “I WUV pandas!!” Apparently I think out loud.)
Hops - Wait, do I need to show ID to buy this stuff?
Jujube seed - Never heard of this one before. Oh wait, yes I have, it’s also called the “Chinese date”. This little berry is supposed to be one of the secrets to their longevity! It also apparently helps with anxiety and insomnia (starting to see a pattern here).
Melatonin – This one’s a favorite among mommy friends with inappropriately wakeful toddlers! Because, of course, it’s probably the best-known supplement on the market for regulating sleep cycles and curing insomnia.
AND now you know why Jelly Bean had time to rip open a box with her teeth in the first place! Shopping with me is intense.
Anyhow, after deciding the ingredients list looked solid, I uncapped a shot and took a swig. Then I let Jelly Bean take a sip. We both spit it out at exactly the same time. Despite being labeled “peach flavor” – and we WUV peaches! – it is, shall we say, an acquired taste. Once I was prepared for it to taste nothing like peaches or herbal tea I was able to finish the bottle just fine. It wasn’t delightful but the point really isn’t to be delicious, it’s to help with sleep. So did it work?
For reasons I won’t explain because a) they’re slightly ridiculous and b) this post is already too long, I was particularly anxious and stressed that day. And about 30 minutes after taking the shot, I was “snooz-ing” soundly… on the floor in Jelly Bean’s room. While she played dolls on top of me. Since the package cautions that it’s to be used only in times of need and not as a daily thing, I haven’t repeated the experiment but my husband drank one and he’s now snoring right next to me while I type annoyingly in his ear!
Do you drink anything or take a supplement to help you sleep/relax at night? Any other herbal tea lovers? What’s your fave flavor? Anyone else ever get confused by the picture on a label??
Want to win a Snooz Shots gift pack yourself? Check out Celestial Seasoning’s Facebook page and take the sleepytime quiz. Leave a comment here with your sleep type. Everyone who takes the quiz gets a $1 coupon and one GFE reader will get the gift pack.
See? Star Trek makes everything better!!
Disclaimer: I was sent the Snooz Shots for free and was compensated for this post. The sleepiness is all them but the entertainment and opinions are all mine (and Jelly Bean’s)!