Boy oh boy. Yesterday I walked right into a conversational landmine, which in hindsight, I should have seen coming a mile away.
We go to a local playgroup once or twice a week so that the kids can meet some other little ones in their age groups and have some fun in a different environment. I usually really enjoy talking to the other moms, as it’s a great way to feel connected to the outside world and to have someone be able to really relate to what your life is like right now.
Usually we would go to a morning playgroup session, so that Jake can have a nap in the afternoon. Yesterday didn’t pan out that way though – he had slept badly the night before, so had fallen asleep right on the floor not long before we would have usually left! I didn’t have the heart to wake him, so we went to the afternoon session.
This meant that there was a snack time in the middle of the playgroup. I pulled out some fruit sticks for Tyler and Mindy and some crackers, and off they went. One of the other mothers commented that she didn’t think such artificial foods were good for kids, and that maybe I should consider trying out the new vegan store up the road.
I was a bit taken aback, since it’s not like I was feeding them candy and cookies. I said I thought they were just fine… which obviously rubbed her the wrong way, and it all went downhill from there!
This lady took it upon herself to lecture me on how preservatives and additives can mess with the developmental process, and that ‘burdening your children with a chemical load is irresponsible and abusive parenting.’
I nearly choked on my latte.
Since when are fruit sticks and crackers the Devil’s food? Since when did snacks become so dangerous? And who the hell gives someone the right to tell me I’m abusing my kids for feeding them?! I know living in Portland there is a higher proportion of vegans and food activists, but it’s uncommon to find a mother with young children of her own being so judgmental.
I mean, really. When did food become so controversial?