Monday, August 27, 2007

Lolipops and Other Handouts

"Is she handing out candy?" I say to no one in particular. We are at swim lessons and for some reason this particular group of mommies tries very hard not to make eye contact let alone talk to anyone. This is actually my second outburst today. The first was "Eeeehhh, turn around, turn around!" Directed at the swim instructor who had her back turned to my son struggling to get back to the side of the pool. She turned and scooped him up just as I was about to bound through the glass doors.

This time I do bound through the doors and make a beeline to where the very young, very pretty swim instructor is handing out what I now see to be lolipops. Why? It isn't even the last day of class. The other children have each taken a lolipop which I now see are Dum Dums, actually one of the few safe candies for us, but Max has hung back, seemingly unsure of how to handle this. I squat down next to the teacher and gently say to him, "Are you waiting to find out if they are safe for you? Do you want me to read the label?" He nods his head. "Is he allergic to something." replies pretty young swim instructor. "Yes." I reply and run down the list, "But we have had Dum Dums before. They are okay." (For all you other food allergy Moms, yes, I should have double checked, I know read every label even if you think it is safe.)

As Max picks out a flavor, I say to him "I am proud of you for waiting to find out if it was safe. That was very smart." "Yes," chimes in PYSI, "Because I didn't know you were allergic to something." (She is actually a very nice girl, it's her last day teaching which is why she brought the treat.)

But really, WHY do people have to bring food to handout to other kids? At camp earlier this summer, a parent brought Tootsie Rolls for all the children. When I got there to pick up Max, the counselor told me they had given it to Max to put in his backpack but didn't let him eat because they weren't sure he could have it. "Wise choice," I told her and under my breath added "WHY do people feel the need to hand out treats?" Max of course comes running up saying "Mom they handed out these chocolate things. Can I have it?" I kneeled down showed him the label and where it said "milk". He was disappointed but as usual recovered quickly.

Another case in point and then I will stop this rant: The second day of a 1/2 day YMCA camp a parent brought cupcakes for her daughter's birthday. Really. It is a 3 hour camp of a bunch of kids your daughter met yesterday and I am sure you will be celebrating at home later today. Everyone does not need cake!


Linda Kerr said...

I really like the PYSI reference. Nice touch to the story. :-) I apologize as I'm one of the moms who brings in the treats. You've opened my eyes to this now, thought. Thanks.

Ariel said...

I am right there with you! I have had a heck of a time finding toddler activities that don't offer a snack. It's so frustrating!

And I also get frustrated when well-meaning strangers offer my daughter food. Just recently we had to leave the park because one of the other moms offered her some animal crackers, which she can't have, and of course since I said "no" there were lots of tears.

redheadmama said...

Food is easy to share, and who doesn't love a good treat? But I prefer stickers or other little "treasures" if something MUST be given out. It's hard enough for me to keep my kids eating healthy ...