I hate to vent at the end of a long and happy weekend — and on a Monday, no less — but something’s on my mind, and I figured you might have some input…
Wherever I take the girls, some well-meaning store clerk, receptionist, or shopkeeper is handing them candy. I’m amazed that so many people will give candy to my children without even asking me. (I did have one grocery clerk ask me, right before she put something into the girls’ hands, but the damage was already done: The girls’ eyes were fixed on those giant lollipops, and I felt I’d have been a big mean mom saying no.) If it didn’t always happen so fast, I might be able to say something before the girls were ripping off the wrappers, but it’s often while my back is turned, and then it’s too late.
Take this Saturday, for example: We were getting some takeout from a restaurant whose owner has, on many occasions, given me long (though friendly) lectures about what an unhealthy society we live in, how we all need to eat better, and so on. And yet, as we were leaving, I caught him out of the corner of my eye handing two gigantic candy bars to my girls — the super-sized kind. The girls eyes bugged out — and, since they were hungry (we hadn’t eaten dinner yet, of course), they were determined to eat those chocolate bars right then and there. It was either going to be a public meltdown or a compromise; we chose the latter, letting them split one bar while we stuck the other in a pocket, promising it later (but hoping they’d forget).
It’s not that candy every so often is a big deal. But I’m particular about what kinds I give my girls and how often they have it, and I work hard to keep bad sugars and chemicals out of their diet. Every time someone hands them candy in public, I’m faced with a dilemma: Do I snatch it from their hands, causing a public meltdown (or whining spell), and make the perpetrator — who I know only has the best intentions — feel bad? Or do I just grin and bear it, while feeling like my hard-won efforts are being undermined?
I think I now have to start telling people to please ask me before handing out candy in the future. Which means I’ll have to put up with more handouts before this works. And maybe it won’t work; they may not remember me the next time I walk in. Then again, I’ll be the uptight mom who’s gone a bit overboard, so maybe they will.
I’m not sure what else to do. If it were only once every blue moon, it would be different, but this has been happening at least once or twice a week, and it’s driving me bonkers. If you’ve got any other advice, I’m all ears!
Any fun plans for President’s Day? I’m going to enjoy my time today with B and the girls — without any candy.
Image: Getty Images, found here