Into the Mouths of Babes

All of my blog drafts lately have been long, ranting messes. Thus, their lack of “Published” status. I don’t enjoy reading angry run-on blog posts, and I reckon most other people don’t either.

That said, I haven’t published a post in a while. So, I’m just going to talk about something sucky that happened at the zoo today, and if it gets a little ranty, well, sorry. Mostly, I just want to see what other moms think of this.

Bowie and I went to one of the handful of food stands they have at the zoo. I had brought food for him, but not for myself. So, I ordered the chicken strip basket, comes with fries. Got the kid a juice. We sit down at our table, he’s drinking juice, I’m eating food. He’s eating some of the cheddar bunnies, applesauce, cheese stick and raisins I brought. But, he is picking up a French fry every now and then.

A mom comes over with her brood of 4, and from what I could surmise, her mother-in-law. She denies her son a snack from the food stand, they’ve just come to sit at the tables and eat the lunch they brought. Totally fine. But, then she goes on a long tirade on the food at the zoo, deeming it “some of the worst stuff you could put in your body” and “probably even dangerous, this place CAN’T be clean.” And she gives them each a big thing of Yoplait.

Eventually she notices us, we’re only a few tables away. I get a long, purposeful stare from her, and a look at our tray followed by a dramatic and audible “TSSSSK.” But that wasn’t it! She KEPT giving us the stinkeye, probably a half dozen times. And, she started saying things to her kids like, “Doesn’t it feel so good to eat healthy foods? We’re helping our bodies with this healthy food!”

I mean, let’s just push aside the fact that the healthy food she was having them eat is riddled with sugar. And let’s also bypass the totally useless passive-aggressive method of delivering her “message”. And, let’s instead focus on the fact that, from her vantage point, she couldn’t see the food I’d brought for Bowie and put on the tray for him to eat. She also got there long after I was finished eating, and there was a fair amount of food leftover. So, from first glance, it looked like I had intended for my 3 year old son to eat all of that fried, greasy food. But, the whole time she was there, not once did he put a fry into his mouth.

If she was truly that concerned about the food that a complete stranger’s toddler eats, then she could have tried a little harder to assess the full situation. That’s the whole thing about judging other people: most of the time you have no idea what their situation is, you have no back story, you have NO IDEA. And it’s best to just leave well enough alone.

What’s more, we are at the ZOO. If I want to let my son have some junk food during our fun day out at the zoo, then what the hell business is it of hers?! We certainly don’t eat like that all the time. When I go somewhere like the zoo, or an amusement park, or the movies, somewhere fun like that where going is kind of an event, I like to indulge a little. If my kid eats a handful of French fries at the zoo, he’s not doomed to poor health for the rest of his life. I know it’s not great for him, I know it’s not the most nutritious lunch, but I’ll make up for it at dinner.

That woman acted as if she saw us every day, for every meal, and saw the same lack of nutrition in front of us each time. What she should have reminded herself of is the fact that she’s never seen us before a day in her life.

Have you ever encountered something like this? Not just with food, but with any of your parenting? I hear a lot online about moms getting judged, but this is the first time it really happened to me. And such a seemingly innocuous situation. Would you feel the same way if you saw us sitting at the zoo today?

6 comments on “Into the Mouths of Babes

  1. Most of society eats junk food at fun events. I have radically changed the way I eat in the last 6 months – lots of fruit, veggies, and healthy proteins are my main diet now. This, however, does not stop me from having chips at the camper or hot dogs at the Twins games. People really need to mind their own business. Shame on her for judging a stranger at the zoo.

  2. I think that’s ridiculous. How dare you judge someone like that, meanwhile you’ve just taught your children to openly judge and criticiE total strangers. Whos really worse off here? I feed my children well, they refuse no food. I have a rule “mama doesn’t care what you eat as long as you eat”. If it’s in the house it’s fair game, if we have chips then you can eat chips, even if it’s breakfast, if I don’t want you to have it then it’s not in the house. We buy organic, they ask for vegetables, I try to buy food that I can read and understand the label, but when we go out, have at it! We eat hotdogs and fries and ice-cream. I never feel bad. So ignore that horrible lady and be happy that you’re not teaching your child to judge others without reason.

  3. I hate people.
    Not you, darling – you’re perfection – but there are so many asshats out there, I can’t even…
    Nevermind the small-minded folk. (ASSHATS, I say!!)

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