Mom, what’s in your bag there? I sighed as I could see into my mom’s purse. No wallet or lipstick there.
What? I could see her pulling her innocent face.
What is in the bag that you’re opening up right now? By now I could see that the only thing in her purse was food.
Just a couple of pretzels and some grapes, why? She started to reach inside to offer them to the wee ones, who had just eaten lunch not twenty minutes before.
Put them away, Mom, I cringed some, knowing that this was going to not be fun.
What? They’re just some healthy snacks. Wee ones, don’t you want some yummy grapes?
Mom, please put them away. They just ate. The smile was falling from my face.
What? Grapes are healthy. Wee ones, your mommy doesn’t want you to eat these nice healthy grapes. Don’t you want some yummy juicy grapes? My mom dangled the aforementioned grapes in front of Little Miss’s face.
Mom. Put. Them. Away. I could feel myself starting to growl.
We’d had this conversation over and over again, but it was always the same. My mom has an odd compunction to feed people, constantly. She is always giving the wee ones snacks of all kinds, albeit relatively healthy snacks. It didn’t matter if the wee ones were hungry or not, my mom would offer them food. It got to the point that they entered my parents car and started to reach for food like Pavlov’s overstuffed dog.
The odd part of this is the my mom doesn’t even like food. She doesn’t eat much, and she’s always been thin as a rail. However, she’s also always pushed food on me and the wee ones. It took a long time for me to recognize what hunger actually meant and to be able to listen to my body.
I remember being a kid and ordering three cheeseburgers from McDonalds, plus fries and a strawberry shake. The thought of eating that much food now makes me sick to my stomach, but somehow my parents never thought that they should possibly reign this in. I’m lucky that I was never heavier as a child than what I was, although I was never a string bean.
I refuse to have my children fall prey to the same challenge. When they’re hungry, they can ask for food, and I am happy to give it to them. When I sense that Mister Man’s blood sugar is getting low and his moods are getting wonky, I’ll have him sit down and eat an orange or something along those lines. A snack every time we take a break in the day? Not so much.
What’s wrong with a little snack?
Mom, they just ate lunch. If they’re hungry, they can ask for a snack, but trust me, they’re fine. Put away the food. They don’t need it.
Why are you being this way?
Mom, you seem to have forgotten whose children they are. They’re my children, not yours. Uh-oh, I’m on a roll now, and I was just hoping that no more came out than I intended and that I wouldn’t regret this. I’ve been pushing this conversation off for a long time, silencing the irritation I felt every time my mom did something that ran counter to how I was raising my children, counter to the requests that I’d made of my parents. They don’t need food, they don’t need you to shove food in their face every time they see you. It isn’t healthy for them. They need to learn to listen to when their tummies are telling them they’re hungry. Until you hear it from them, close the bag, and put the food away.
There was stunned silence in the car. My dad took me to task for the tone I used, but at that point, I was done. I’d requested nicely time after time, and no one was listening. With the amount of time my parents spend with the wee ones, it was an issue and not the typical different rules when Grandma and Grandpa see their grandchildren.
See, I’m not always a very nice person, am I? And here you thought I was just full of sweetness and light!