6 Mar
2013

Three Bowls of Ice Cream

Yesterday, we took our kids to a family friendly birthday party.  My husband’s friend invited us to his house for an asado (Argentine Barbecue) and dinner was to start around 8pm, so that all of our children could eat and enjoy time together before having to go to bed. That was really lovely and thoughtful.  We had organic beef and honestly, it was grilled to perfection.  It was tender and tasty – reminiscent of the Kobe Beef that I had in Japan.  Birthday dude’s wife is a vegetarian – so the salad spread was more than the typical lettuce tomato and onion salad that one so often finds at an asado.  There was humus, potato salad, potatoes (sweet and regular), arugula, a caprese salad, romaine lettuce, peppers and eggplants, to name a few. Everyone was astonished at how much the boys ate. Well, there was so much food offered to them, what were they going to do?

I was really surprised to see that the other children didn’t have to sit at any table during mealtime. Their parents just gave them potato chips and plate after plate of meat.  I mean, I saw one 7 year old put away more meat than my husband, the boys and I all put together.  One woman tried to pull Bruno off the chair next to me, saying, “Why isn’t he in the living room with the other children?” I replied, “Because he’s waiting for his father to get some salad”.

A few people arrived a little later, namely one couple and their perhaps 4 year old boy.  He was front and center when ice cream was being served.  Of course!  I can imagine that I was probably the same, being born with an incredible sweet tooth and taking after my father, the Godfather of all Chocoholics.  His mother made him wait his turn and he politely took the bowl and sat down in the living room with the other children to eat their desserts.  In the meanwhile, the boys tried a little ice cream, but mostly had some fruit salad for their desserts.  Javi gave them each an ice cream cone (sans the ice cream  – so just the waffle basically).  They didn’t eat it all, but thoroughly enjoyed having the little cones and running around with them in their hands.

I began to talk to the mother of the 4 year old boy at some point in time and we were interrupted by the boy giving his mom the bowl of ice cream and telling her to get him some more.  He finished this bowl a little faster and I noticed that he was standing up the whole time this time – and the third bowl of ice cream was served quickly afterwards.  The rest of the children were sent to bed, so now we were left with a super hyper 4 year old and my two kids who were already an hour past their bedtime and getting silly just trying to stay awake.  The 4 year old was running around the living room and throwing himself against people and walls soon – the parents trying to calm him down.  As Javi and I tried to restrain our tired kids, I picked up Antonio and said, “It’s time to be calm. It’s late. We can’t be running around like this at this hour” the father of the crazy cracked out 4 year old said to me, “Ah well, it’s a special occasion – a birthday party! They can have a little time to be crazy this late, right?”

So I didn’t shut the guy out or give him a dirty stare (I hope) but I think that I did say quietly under my breath, “no” and walked away with Antonio in my arms.  He wanted my kids to play with his child so that he wouldn’t have to.  And when my kids who are not even half the age of the big kid, get hurt, surely it would be my fault for whatever reason.  Also, we’re not at a 5 year old’s birthday party on a Sunday afternoon. It’s 10pm on a Tuesday night and we’re at a birthday party for a 40 something year old guy who has sent his 5 and 7 year old daughters to bed already.

I’ve been in other situations like these here. Situations where people have been much more aggressive at me for not letting my children run around crazy or act out of turn.  If we’re at a party and one of my kids throws something, I make them stop what they’re doing and pick it up.  I don’t think a party is an excuse for them to act out and it’s not an excuse for me to stop parenting.

*PHEW* that last paragraph has been building up in my head for a long time now.

But now I have to work on something – I have to work on not being mad at people who try to push me aside or tell me to stop educating my children when they feel like I should be socializing or not caring about how they act.  I have to let go and just ignore them.  My husband and I are very much on the same page when it comes to how we are educating our children and I’m very grateful for that.  I’ve seen some extremely strict parents with their small children and some that I am concerned that the parents aren’t actually “parenting” at all, but I don’t say anything because it’s none of my business. And when people come up to me and insinuate that I’m just too hard on my children or expect too much from them, well, that just makes me angry.  Especially when they’re the kind of parent that gives their kids 3 bowls of ice cream or puts coca-cola in their child’s bottle (YEP, I saw it happen with my own two eyes folks!) or even better still, the kind of critic that doesn’t have kids at all. Those are the same people who would be complaining about my children’s behavior if I weren’t there making sure that my kids weren’t destroying property or something.

All parents go through this, right?

i'm not doing this to my kids. i'm just making them pick stuff up and act more calmly.

i’m not doing this to my kids. i’m just making them pick stuff up and act more calmly.

 

3 Comments

  • Hey Sugar Darling
    You get all sorts of parents… it just shows you care about your children more. We have similar situations here at parties with people trying to give our son fizzy drinks and stuff when he is only 2.5 years old. Thankfully he turns them down.. some people congratulate us, others look bewildered as their son or daughter of the same age guzzles down their second glass of coke.

    This is the age when to teach children manners. And manners count in any situation.

    You should be very proud of yourself. Don’t worry about the rest, as I am sure you don’t. 🙂

    • yikes! in another year I’ll be battling people offering my kids coca cola?? :-O noooooo! hahaha thank you though, and keep up the good work, ol TinMan! xx

  • Hola G –

    Ben sits and has lunch & dinner with us every day of the week, twice a day. We eat very healthy meals with very little sugar, if any at all, huge amounts of veggies, seeds, salads and fruits. No fizzy drinks at all at home now. Ben is very good at please and thank you at all times. However, when we go to parties here in BA we generally allow Ben to eat whatever and however he wants and run around and play with the kids (we try and limit the fizzy drinks but its hard at parties – once at a party we asked for the then 2yr ben to have juice and they tried to give him Orange Fanta! Unbelievable!) But parties only happen to us a couple of times a month, maybe once a week at most, so we think its OK. Maybe some of the parents you are criticising are like us, maybe others allow their kids to behave like that everyday. Ultimately, you are right, it is none of your business!! Similarly, its none of anyone else’s business how you raise your kids, so don’t stand for any shit. But remember a lot of time, advise is not meant to offend you, so try and remain calm and don’t take offence where it isn’t meant! Chill, breathe, relax.
    xx

So, what do you think?