So the other day I was standing around outside of Violet’s classroom with a few other moms and one of the teachers, waiting for the kids to come back from the dance room. The conversation turned to lunchtime. “How did little Sally eat?” asked a mom.
“Oh, she did great!” gushed the teacher. “She eats whatever we put in front of her.”
Sally’s mom beamed as a few other mothers ooh-ed and ahh-ed.
“Wow,” I said, “You are so lucky.”
“Oh no,” shrugged the mom. “We’ve just always given her what we eat. No excuses. She doesn’t have a choice so she has just always eaten well.”
Her smug smirk disappeared as soon as I grabbed her collar and leaned in menacingly. Gritting my teeth I said, “You have NO idea what you’re talking about you idiotic know-it-all. My children have no choice. We give them what we eat. They have been served delicious healthy food every goddamn day of their lives. They still refuse to eat most of it.” My voice started to rise and I was now gripping her collar with both hands. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the other mothers nodding to themselves. “I have tried every trick in the #&*$%ing book and they would rather go to bed hungry than eat something they don’t like! Then they wake up in the middle of the night screaming and hungry and none of us sleep and we’re all pissed and crazed and want to beat people like you with a giant eggplant!! The only reason your kid eats is because you are lucky. Don’t try to convince us it has anything to do with you… you ignorant prattling egotist!!” The mothers were smiling now and a few were cheering. I released her and she backed away, mumbling apologies.
At least, that’s what I thought about doing in the split second before I nodded again, smiled vaguely and said, “Wow. That’s so great for you.”