be careful what you say


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.”

13 responses to “be careful what you say”

  1. Mom

    Lucky is a very good word for it in my opinion!

  2. Amber

    Coffee just came out my nose I laughed so hard. Carmen actually eats OK, but this is how I feel about parents whose children sleep (like in their car seats on the way home from the zoo for instance, or sit quietly in their lap, or are quiet.

    I feel VERY lucky that Carmen eats, and even luckier that Allan does such a great job of getting her to eat … as for the sleeping, well, at least I haven’t sworn at any other parents in a couple months …

    I have no suggestions, only empathy, and gratitude that you shared this 🙂

  3. Rebecca

    Yes! You preach it sister. It is the absolute truth. And to that smug mom, I would add, “So your kid eats asparagus, who gives a sh**?”

  4. Kristen

    That was GOOD! I laughed out loud 🙂 If the child eats well she must suck in other areas. 🙂

  5. Kat

    I mean holy cow, I hate it when people pretend that there is some magical trick to parenting and if they don’t have your problem they’ve done it right and that all you need is INFORMATION and you can get it done! Righhhhtttt. Or that certain kids aren’t more stubborn than others, or that yes, some kids are harder to raise than others. Or smarter.

    My mother always said she suspected docile well behaved children of being too stupid to know how to push their parents’ buttons properly….

  6. Barbara

    You said it! And thanks so much for the laugh!

  7. wen

    Yes, I can verify that a child who eats well (at least most of the time) is in fact, um, quite a challenge in other areas.

  8. Leti


  9. Suzanne

    Seriously. I did everything I always “meant to do” as a parent. I offer my kids healthy food. I put them down for naps. I take them home as soon as I can if they start acting up. Does that keep them from refusing food for two weeks straight? No. Does it make them sleep? No. Does it give me wonderful, sweet kids who are never hyper in public? Sigh. No.

    I am thankful for every little thing I get because I know it’s luck.

  10. Cecil

    With any ‘real’ luck, in the week that we’ve all enjoyed this posting, little Sally will have morphed into the “other”…shrieking at the sight of grean beans, mashing tofu into tabletops, and refusing to eat ANYTHING that isn’t in a little red box with golden arches on it!!
    Smugness is ALWAYS rewarded…karma is a bear!(and that was NOT my ‘b’ word of choice!)

  11. kate

    Haaa Haaa Haa! You are a funny lady. Been there.

  12. I couldn’t say it better « The we of me

    […] 25, 2009 by hamcleod This post by one of my fellow Austin Mamas is just perfect. People whose children aren’t picky […]

  13. Kami Wilt

    hee. hee!

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