Fast food was one of those things I swore I would never give my kids – before I had them. Why would I? I never ate it. Why the heck would I feed my kids that crap? Then I had kids and realized a cheeseburger every once in a while is not going to ruin their lives – and that Happy Meals make them gleefully happy.
Yes, I’ve seen Super Size Me and I know it’s poison. I understand the whole drive to feed our kids organic food and I’m not making light of it; I do it whenever I can. But I’m one of those people who believes “everything in moderation” applies to parenting choices, too. Barring allergies, I really think parents need to lighten up a little when it comes to what they feed their kids. Especially when it comes to what other people feed their kids. If your kid is on a play date and they don’t have allergies to consider – is there really any harm in just letting the other parent give them whatever they would feed their own child?
I read an anonymous essay this morning by a woman who was irate when her kid returned from a play date and reported she’d had a fast-food kid’s meal. Seriously? To quote my favorite new show, The Hotwives Of Orlando, “CALM DOWN.” From iVillage:
”She had a wonderful time,” the mum shouted from the car. ”She’s had lunch.”
As I took my little bubbling 5-year-old inside, she couldn’t speak quick enough to tell me about her play date. She could barely sit still, which I thought was excitement. But it was something else.
Then she shoved a little toy figurine in my face. ”And we got this.”
”It came with the cheeseburger.” Cheeseburger?
Apparently, the so-called ”lunch” my daughter had been provided was fast-food. Cheeseburger. Chips. Chocolate chip cookie. And a Coke.
In my family, we eat healthy food.
Great. You can continue to eat healthy food, since your daughter is totally in your care and you are responsible for giving her all her meals. No one is going to break into your house and shove a cheeseburger in her face. An occasional Coke sugar high isn’t going to kill the kid.
“Sure, we eat burgers in my house. But when they aren’t made of lentils, I only use fresh, organic, hormone-free meat. I highly doubt that is what this fast food place uses. My daughter has also only ever had water and freshly-squeezed juice as a treat. Sugar is a definite no-no.”
Um, since when is water a treat? Unless you’re lost in the Sahara. The mom then goes on to rant about how she was happy to have three hours to herself – three hours in which this woman who she’s deemed to be the most horrible mom in the world took her kid off her hands, fed her and took her to a movie.
Worst of all, that mum has already texted me asking whether we can do it all again because ”they all had so much fun”.
I don’t know what to do.
Here’s what you do: get your head out of your ass and lighten up. Oh, also thank the mom for taking your kid off your hands and generously treating her to lunch and a movie. Maybe next time just say, “Hey, I don’t let my kids have Coke.” No big deal. When parents are this over-the-top about what goes into their kids’ bodies, I can’t help but feel like it’s more about them than their kids – because there is no way that anyone can actually believe that fast food once every blue moon is that bad.
So if what this mom needs is validation that she’s the best mom in the world, here it is:
It’s gold stars, a trophy, and a cookie made of lentils. You are officially the best mom in the world for totally overreacting about your kid’s play date lunch. Yay, you.