If you know me at all, you know that my super-sensitive-bloggy-topic-that-makes-me-postal is mommy wars. I HATE judgey moms. I refuse to be told how to parent and I am furious when anyone even implies that my choices are somehow the "wrong" choices.
Because I hate being a hypocrite, I try very hard to never judge other mothers. Nobody knows the trouble I've seen and you've got to walk a mile in her sensible yet cute shoes and yadda, yadda, more cliques.
Of course, there is a line. A line where it is no longer a matter of parenting style and a matter of crazy. Obviously, abuse falls below this line. While I still try not to judge abusive parents (because of mental illness, etc), I do judge the action as flat out crazy and wrong.
But there's another type of crazy. The crazy that doesn't make any sense, but isn't abusive or wrong. Just weird. Weird parenting choices that I can't, in my mind, justify. These are the tricky ones for me. I try not to judge, I really do. I don't want to judge, but at the same time, I just don't get it. I just don't.
I had a friend in elementary school who wasn't allowed to wear pants. It was a church thing. Since I went to a church all the time and I wore pants even more than I went to church, I didn't see the connection, but I accepted it. The problem was that in the winter, it's hard to not wear pants, so her family's solution: pants under culottes. Which are technically, kinda pants. This poor kid came to school every single day of the winter in sweat pants layered under homemade solid color cotton culottes. Frankly, I think that's crazy. If you don't want your kid to wear pants, okay, I don't agree, but I get it. But don't solve the pants in the cold problem by making them wear really ugly pants over their um... pants.
I knew a girl in high school who was allowed to spend the night at her boyfriend's house, but was not allowed to curl her hair or wear makeup. That's crazy, folks.
This weekend, though, at that party I was telling you about, I was standing around talking to another parent and they brought out the refreshments. Her face fell and she told me that her daughter had never had fruit juice. Because of the sugar.
Then, when the cake came, she said that she had never had a cupcake either and in fact, would not know whether to choose vanilla or chocolate because she had never had anything of either flavor.
*POP* That's the noise my head made when it exploded.
I try to be hyper-aware of other parents' wishes for their children's diets. Because, I get it, I'm a little permissive with the diet. Here's the thing, I believe that I drink so much Kool-Aid as an adult, because I didn't get it as a kid. (I didn't get it as a kid because my mom was allergic to it, not because it was outlawed, I mean I drank Coke. And Big Red. Ah, I love Big Red.) My grandma had this "fake food" rule, that precluded me from eating spaghetti-O's, sugar cereal and certain candies. For instance, Twinkies were fake food and disallowed, but Oatmeal Creme Pies were fine. Healthy even. Because of the oatmeal.
So, nothing is off-limits in the Scattered house. That doesn't mean that I buy everything, because I don't like having junk in the house, so I try to keep our groceries healthy. But, if Brynna is allowed a treat in the gas station and she chooses a Twinkie, a Twinkie will she get. If Maren wants a cookie, and it's appropriately between meals and not too close to bedtime, fine.
I like to teach moderation. I know that's not every parent's prerogative. I know kids who have reached school age without ever touching a french fry. Amazing to me, but since neither of my kids seems to really like fries, I don't particularly worry about it. I know even more kids who reach school age without the magic of carbonation ever crossing their lips. Not so much with us. Some occasions, in my humble estimation, require Coke. Like the movies. Or pizza.
So, I try to account for that when I am planning a menu for other people's rugrats. I offer more than one flavor of cake. I know one little girl who can't have anything pink or red because of an allergic reaction she has to the food dye. I know another kid who can't have chocolate because of the caffeine. Fine. Strawberry, chocolate and white will be offered. I don't serve kids pop, and instead offer up lemonade (usually pink because it's a party, dammit) or Kool-Aid. I avoid anything with nuts at all costs. I try, is what I'm saying, to be reasonable and fair to parents who lay down restrictions for personal, religious, moral or medical reasons.
And frankly, if you want to parent your kid to never let them have sugar, okay. You're the parent, the choice is yours. It's not abusive. It's just weird. It makes me wonder about holidays. What does this precious angel eat for her birthday. What does she leave for Santa? What does she do on Halloween, for the love of all that's good and holy? What does that mom do with the little goodies that come home from school on Valentines?
But what's crazy about this, is that she brought the child to a birthday party. Now, in her defense, I don't think anyone but me at the party knew about angel's restrictions. She let her eat cake. For the first time. At three years of age. At someone else's party. Sorry. I just get going, you know. And wash it down with fruit juice.
But still, you know. Was this a surprise? The cake. At a party. I can't cater to this. I can't offer a choice that will cover this. Okay, kids, you can have chocolate, strawberry, white or carrots. Not carrot cake, carrots with ranch dressing. Yay!! Like that psycho Hidden Valley commercial with the kids at the veggie eating contest.
I don't know. I'm just not down with this. And I think she's a lovely woman and her kid is cuter than pie and I get it. I get the desire for your kids to grow up healthy and live forever and have zero cholesterol, but, I don't know.
The non-judgey part of my brain demands that I not post this. The curious part of my brain demands that I do. The part of my brain that can't think of anything else at all right now, because seriously, exploded head also demands that I post it. So, I will. Because two against one, baby. But I'll be praying that this lovely lady doesn't pick today to find my blog. Because I'll die.