I wish I could remember exactly when it started, but I suppose I've tried to block it out. Somewhere along the way, though, at a definitely inappropriate age, people started offering my daughter food. I'm not talking about veggies or a bite of banana or even a piece of bread. I'm talking about down-right bad for you junk.
Sometimes it was offered to her without my permission, stopped only by me saying, "UH NO!" upon catching the offer.
Usually, though, it was offered to me first.
"Can K have this [cookie, potato chip, Mt. Dew, insert other ridiculous food here]?"
"No," I would always say. Unless it was a unique occasion in which she had just eaten a proper meal and I would allow her a bite of cookie or cracker.
And then comes one of two replies.
"Oh, a little of this won't hurt her. I gave my kids BLAH BLAH BLAH and it was fine!" Judgment. Ridicule. Scoffing. Someone somehow decides that THEIR decision to indulge her is better than my decision to say no. No matter what my reason.
"Sorry, baby! I wanted to give you this delicious [cookie, candy, chip, pop] but Mama won't let me! I would give it to you, but Mama says no!" Now belittling me TO my child, making me the bad guy (as if the moms don't get that enough), ridiculing me, second-guessing my food choices and decisions without one question as to WHY I say no. Maybe it's almost lunch time. Maybe I need to nurse. Maybe I don't want her to have sugar or caffeine at the wee age of <1 .="" p="">1>
We were at a family dinner once where she was eating veggies and meat and sipping her water, when she was offered (SHE was offered, as if she can make logical decisions) Kool-Aid and baby snacks. I don't let my older daughter snack DURING dinner, so why would I allow it for my baby? Were the snacks suitable? Yeah. But they were snacks. Offered during dinner. Which starts a habit. And the dialogue when they were offered? "Here, if your mom will even let you have them." Setting me up to either condone the habit, or be the jerk who says no to EVERYTHING even suitable baby snacks.
I'm often talked to as the over-protective, over-zealous, over-sensitive mom who won't allow ANYTHING and needs to just lighten up. But maybe there's more to it than me having an underlying desire to be a wench to everyone we see.
Maybe it's my child, for whom I am responsible. Maybe I had one daughter who had dental trouble, and I would rather amputate my own fingers than to see one of my children go through that kind of pain and emotion again. Maybe I am proud of the fact that my infant LOVES green beans, potatoes, chicken, and WATER. Maybe that makes my life a little easier, and makes dinner time a little more pleasant and makes future food battles MUCH less frequent. Maybe I believe that not stuffing junk food in a child's face helps them LEARN to make healthier choices. Maybe I don't want to deal with the sugar high you'll leave behind.
I don't mind when people ask to give my daughter food, but I do expect them to respect the answer they are given. She's not a zoo monkey here for your entertainment. She is a person I am trying to raise, and I think I'm doing a pretty great job.