Thursday, September 22, 2005

I Hate When I Say Stupid Stuff

The girls and I picked up Ian after school today and headed out on a 45 minute car ride to Minooka, IL. Our good friends and former neighbors moved out there in August after building a nice new house. They have two kids, Keara, six years old, and Collin, four and a half years. Another former neighbor and friend came with her two kids, Blake (4 1/2) and Mykenna (6 months), for a visit as well. So, when I arrived with my three, there were seven kids in all running around the house and screaming for no apparent reason. The kids get along well, so usually us moms sit in the family room and talk. Zoe and Mykenna hang close by, but we don't see the other five unless someone isn' t sharing or taking turns.

Everything was going great, until dinner. Laura (Keara and Collin's mom and new homeowner) was gracious enough to make us all dinner. The adults had sloppy joes and french fries while the kids ate chicken nuggets and french fries. Laura had popcorn chicken nuggets, which my kids had never had. But, I figured they'd try them because that's what was being served. Well, Blake's mom asked Laura if she had regular nuggets. Blake is a notoriously fussy eater. His eating habits make my children look like gourmands. But, he is 4 1/2, and sometimes kids need to do what the house is doing. It turned out Laura had regular nuggets, so she asked me what my kids would want. I was torn. I wanted my kids to have what Laura wanted to make, but I knew, especially with Emma, that if another kid had regular nuggets, she would want regular nuggets. Laura made both kinds, but I couldn't help but feel she got backed into it. When it came time to feed the kids, Blake's mom cut up his nuggets into pieces like she has always done. She then was going to cut up Zoe's when I told her to stop, probably a little too forcefully. She laughed because she thought I made it seem like the end of the world. Zoe eats her nuggets whole. She's 18 months old and can bite and chew for herself. Usually this wouldn't bother me, but for some reason it was rubbing me the wrong way tonight that this 4 1/2 year old child won't eat nuggets unless they're cut up. Anyways, I let it go, or so I thought, until the drinks were poured and served. Laura's kids and my kids were only going to have milk or water for dinner. Blake got a half a can of Mountain Dew with his dinner! Ian and Keara said that they wanted pop, but Laura and I said, "No." Consequently Ian asked, "Why does Blake get pop then?" Blake's mom said it was because he didn't drink milk. So Ian asked why Blake didn't drink water instead. His mom's reply was that "he should." HE SHOULD.

"Well, if you would make him, he would."

That's what I said under my breath. I said it under my breath, but out loud. So now I don't know if Blake's mom heard this. I feel like a complete idiot. If she didn't hear me, and I apologize, then she will be hurt by my comment when I apologize. If she did hear me, then I definitely need to apologize. I know I should apologize either way, but it seems that if she didn't hear me, then telling her would be bad. I hate when I do stuff like this. There's no reason for it. On the ride home I tried to rationalize it away, but it really isn't possible. I screwed up.

Mom's and friends need our support. What I did was just plain mean. I don't think support means agreeing with everything a person does or saying what they are doing is okay when you don't believe it is. But, if you have something to say, it should be said in an open and nonconfrontational manner. If I have problems with the way this mom is raising her kids, then I should tell her that, but not in a sarcastic and nasty way. The problem is I am very nonconfrontational. There are only a few people that I am completely honest with. I would almost rather avoid a person than tell them something I think will upset them. But, I think that real support is listening, understanding another's point of view, then offering your advice and opinions if they ask for it.

What I did tonight was both hurtful and obnoxious. It was passive aggressive and uncalled for. I will use this moment to remind myself how I would like te be treated. And then treat others better.

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