Monday, September 30, 2013

Want a Lolli?

"Do you want a lollipop?"

I put this up there in the top three dumbest questions ever uttered to parents. It's not even about the actual lollipop, whether you give your kids candy, whether it's too much sugar, etc. It's about the why the hell do people feel like it's normal or cool to offer any food stuff to anyone else's children?

With just allergies these days I wouldn't offer any kid any kind of food. In E's class at school last year, there was one girl who seemed like she wasn't allowed to eat anything besides what she came to school or a birthday party with. For birthdays we are allowed to bring in treats that are Kosher, store bought and sealed. I went a step further and just bought box of Dr Lucy's cookies which are pretty much free of everything. My point is that I try to be SUPER careful about offering food to kids and this was a BIRTHDAY celebration, not just a random Saturday afternoon.

Last week I went to one of E's friend's soccer practice. Of course he had to go to the bathroom and with all these kids on the field, there is never anywhere they're allowed to go to the bathroom. So I drove a few streets away and saw a TD Bank. Awesome because they're always open. I went in and used the bathroom. He was fine, happy, compliant, well-behaved and we were about to be in and out. What do you know, the teller yells, "DO YOU WANT A LOLLIPOP?!". I just gave him what I was trying to convey as an F-U smile and just shook my head. It happened again yesterday when my husband went to take him to the bathroom somewhere in Hoboken. My husband came back to me and was all WTF- WHY do they DO that with the candy??

Now, before you think, "Ugh- people can't do anything right! Guy offers her kid a lollipop! Nice gesture. People can't even be nice anymore!" Um, no. Every parent, hell, every person with eyes knows that most banks have lollipops. Much to many of our chagrin, but we know they're there. Luckily, it was to my benefit that my son was in lala land in his head and didn't even hear the guy. But seriously, how about using your head. Maybe my kid isn't allowed to have the dye that's in their lollipops- I know parents who have legit reasons why their children cannot tolerate artificial dyes in food. They have completely or almost completely eliminated those dyes from their kids diet. How about if he was being punished and part of his punishment was no candy? What if I just didn't want him to have it. For NO REASON WHATSOVER?

Sure, I guess you could say, well, then you just tell your kid no and deal with it. And I actually can. E would have taken it but he can leave it too. It's just not something in our repertoire enough for him to care about. I've discussed his food issues before so I'm not going into them now, but food of any kind is not of much interest to him. We've said he only eats lollipops at or from birthday parties and he's satisfied with that answer. So he wouldn't have freaked out.

However, he IS like Pavlov and the dogs. Meaning, once something has happened once in one place, it ALWAYS HAS TO HAPPEN. Why do you think we've been in every public restroom in Bergen County numerous times? Because once he's marked his territory ever, he has to go every single time we walk into that same place. The bathroom in Fairway Supermarket is disgusting. He doesn't care. Every time without fail. CVS in Glen Rock? Gross. But within five minutes of walking in, we're asking for the door code. I know E isn't the only kid like that. So now some other parent of a kid who is going to melt down from a no has to deal with this every time they need to go to the bank?? WHY?? WHY even START that?! If someone wants one for their kid, how about just letting them ASK? I know parents who can't even go into a Starbucks without getting bombarded with requests from their kid for a certain cookie. Because they were allowed that cookie ONCE. Kids have elephant brains. They forget NOTHING. But that's on the parent. Totally. No one forced the cookie on the parent or the kid.

I own a retail store. I'm here to sell lighting and lighting accessories. I'm not a candy pusher. Never has it even occurred to me to ask a kid that comes in here if they want a baked good or candy. Especially because most of the time, the kids are doing stuff in here they shouldn't be. While it might be nice to try to create a sugar diversion to get them to stop trashing my store, I certainly am not trying to REWARD them for bad behavior.

Yeah, we can all figure out how to control our kids and deal with tantrums. But I'm just so baffled at the "why". Why the need to be the crack (sugar) dealer? I've seen people offer lollipops and other crap to kids who aren't theirs who were having a tantrum. Imagine the bank guy offering candy to the kid throwing himself on the floor. Positive reinforcement for a tantrum. Awesome. No, how about using your head and just staying out of it. I've never needed assistance from a retail professional or stranger dealing with my child melting down. Once, E was throwing a fit in a Marshalls because he wanted some Spiderman something. I just stood on line, ignoring it, going about my business. Then he stopped and we walked out. A lady came jogging after me and said that she would've given in. Not in a nice, you're a good parent, kind of way but more a "I can't believe you just let that happen in public" kind of way. Well guess what lady, I don't care if he made a scene. Kids make scenes. I'm not just giving him something to shut him up. Not Spiderman paraphernalia, OR a lollipop.

So for the love of whatever, please just stop offering it. How about the motto- If they want it, they will ask.

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