“Why is she eating that?”
It’s a question I’m asking myself. Yet it comes not from my lips, but from those of a stranger. A four year old stranger. Some background info: it’s approximately 11 am on a cool, blustery Thursday. The location on the calendar dictates it should be of a milder climate, yet here we are, jacket clad, on the playground.
Due to the poor weather conditions, we make up exactly one half of the total playground population. We are mirrored by another mummy and two small girls. It is one of these children who is taking offence to what my girls are eating.
Fluffy cupcakes with heavy pink, buttercream icing is what my offspring are currently wolfing down much to the dismay of this little girl.
“They shouldn’t be eating that now. What about their lunch?’
‘Well,’ I say floundering. ‘It’s a snack.’
‘A SNACK?’, my tiny parenting critic is aghast. ‘But cakes aren’t snacks, they’re treats!!!’
She’s got me there of course. They shouldn’t be eating cupcakes at that time of the day but we were late for a doctor’s appointment that morning. It’s been over two years since we moved out of the city but we have kept our old doctors because they’re lovely. However, that means we now live 35 minutes drive from the surgery. That morning due to another sleepless night on the part of my progeny, I unwittingly fell back to sleep, waking by chance 40 minutes before Mini’s appointment. So by the time we had seen the doctor, I was hanging for a coffee. And of course the girls weren’t going to let me get away with a coffee from the wonderful Honest Kitchen in Knocknacarra without something nice for them. Which is fair enough I suppose.
So back to the playground and defending my poor parenting choices.
‘We don’t normally let them eat those kind of sugary snacks,’ my attacker’s mum is explaining to me, not unkindly.
‘Oh no, me neither, it’s just….’A summer confined at home with two smallies has caused the language part of my brain to atrophy. ‘
It’s just…today.’ I finish hoping my meaning is somehow clear to this Italian woman who speaks flawless English and whose kids, it seems, have perfect diets.
It’s then I notice the globules of fresh urine on my sandals. Minutes before we arrived in the playground, Mini-Mini had decided she urgently needed to pee. With no facilities on site, I had pulled her down behind a tree by the playground fence and promptly yanked down her pants.
Parenting-it’s cleat that I’m rocking the shit out of it today.