My husband was going to miss dinner time tonight, and it’s Tuesday, so PK and I ran out to Moe’s – an East Coast burrito chain. On Tuesdays, kids eat free with the purchase of an adult meal. So for $6.50, I got a kids’ quesadilla, a burrito for me, and more chips than we knew what to do with. [Just kidding, we totally ate all of the chips, which is of course the honorable thing to do.]
Upon checkout, the very nice young lady rang up our meal, and then proceeded to ask my almost-two-year-old son, point blank, what kind of cookie he wanted.
Please, please, please don’t ask my kid what kind of cookie he wants. Don’t even think that particular C-word because he’ll probably sense it.
Until that moment, he didn’t know cookies were part of the deal. He was blissfully happy to eat his dinner and some chips – those are the treat. Now, I had to get an almost-two-year-old to rationalize why he needed to eat dinner BEFORE getting a cookie. I am guessing that this nice young lady did not, in fact, have an almost-two-year-old at home. I’m guessing she was being nice, which is awesome, because sometimes people in restaurants are blatantly terrified that I’ve showed up with a child who needs a high chair, because high chairs are synonymous with kids who throw food.
Asking my son if he wants a cookie opens the door to a possible tantrum that I’m guessing managers and servers do not want my child to throw in the middle of their establishments. He just spent the entire 10 minute ride there singing “school bus yellow” and “white dump truck” over and over again because apparently he makes up weird little songs now, so although I am not a doctor, I am almost sure he does not yet have the mental capacity to understand why he cannot have that delectable cookie that you have just offered.
The point I’m trying to make here is that not all of us parent the same way. Some kids earn a dessert if they finish their dinners. Some kids – like mine – don’t know it exists. We have cookies or ice cream as a treat every now and then, but overall we just don’t eat dessert. [WE as a family don’t eat dessert. WE as my husband and I eat our fair share of snacks after PK goes to sleep]. Moreover, when a server tells my son he’s a “good boy” for eating all of his food, it’s sending the message that only good kids eat every morsel on their plates. Don’t assume that we subscribe to the Clean Your Plate way of life please, because although we are eating out at your restaurant, we do try to instill some healthy eating habits in our child.
As a mom, I’ve learned that mostly everyone just wants to be nice to us. I’ve also learned that I am not gracious enough back, mostly because I am nearly always stressed out for some reson. I pretty much always think someone somewhere will think something I’m doing is wrong/weird/harsh/not good enough. So even though I fully know I’m being a terrible human being, I secretly loathe the waitress who directly asks my son if he wants dessert.
But sometimes I let the kid have dessert.
I’m not that mean.