April 6, 2009

Snacks

Everyone in my daughter's kindergarten class--save Camber and one other student--goes to after school daycare. Needless to say, our weekday play date options are rather limited. To satisfy my daughter's insatiable need for peer companionship (something I don't understand), we have begun inviting her school friends over to play on the weekends. After working our way through the class list several times over, I can safely make this observation: none of the parents in my daughter's class feed their children.

I know this because every child that comes into my house is hungry to the brink of starvation. Saturday afternoon's guest of honor, Melissa, waited a whole two minutes after her arrival before ushering my daughter into the dining room and whispering something in her ear.

"Melissa wants a snack," translated Camber.

I looked at the girl, who was staring intently at the refrigerator.

"How about an orange?" I asked, opening the refrigerator door.
The girl shook her head while shuffling closer to the refrigerator to get a better look at its contents.
"Apple? Banana? Graham crackers?" I offered.
The mute pointed to a container of snack-sized yogurt.


After handing over two yogurts and a large handful of animal crackers, I told the girls not to ask for any more snacks.
"This is it," I told them as I left the room.

Ten minutes later, I caught my daughter and her friend in the backyard with a box of fruit roll-ups and a bag of potato chips.

"Melissa says she's still hungry," my daughter explained.

I led the girls back into the kitchen and to their half-eaten containers of yogurt.

"You can finish these," I told them, pointing at the abandoned foodstuffs.

The mute faux choked and used telepathy to tell my daughter that she didn't like yogurt after all. After several yes/no questions, I figured out that what the girl really wanted was a box of Oreos and a can of Diet Sprite.

"I'm sorry," I told the girl, "That's not going to work."

The girl began to waste away before my eyes. She stopped clutching her belly and moaning in agony when I left the room, but started up again when her mom arrived to pick her up.

"Melissa keeps saying she's hungry," I told the woman. "But she wasn't interested in anything that I offered."

"I've got a snack for her in the car," Melissa's mom replied.

For the woman's sake, I hope it wasn't yogurt.

***
My almost famous moment: A few weeks ago, I talked with someone from the Oprah Winfrey show about an upcoming show that they were working on about motherhood! The woman was super nice and she asked me tons of questions about my experiences being a mom etc. Anyway, at the end of the interview, she told me that if they were interested in pursuing me for a segment of the show, that they would get back to me. Sadly, they didn't. Despite disappointing my mother-in-law to the point of tears, I feel tremendously honored just to have been considered. The show in question airs today and features another mommy blogger--Heather Armstrong of Dooce--if you are interested.

75 comments

linda said...

that girl sucks I am sorry they didn't choose you!

snacks - why are all playdates like that? it is ridiculous. My five year old is that way at my house but refuses to eat at other people's houses.

Alicia said...

Aww..I hate to hear that...you would have rocked it!

We have playdates like that...I even had one kid ask me to take them to McDonald's! Needless to say they got fruit:)

Viv said...

I am afraid that could easily have been my child at your home. My kids tend to lose their heads and forget little things like manners when they are around food that is non organic. My children would probably kill for a 'real' fruit roll up.

On the flip side, I very rarely see my children's friends get worked up over snacks at my house. When they do, I get all excited. I am thrilled to feed another child grapes and apple slices, while giving my own children significant looks that I hope convey, "see...if Mary/Johnny/Katie were MY child he/she would appreciate me."

nalgal said...

I am with you on play date snacking. I especially hate the whispering though. I think worse than that is the hungry neighbor kids that weren't necessarily even invited over. C'mon people - don't send your kids to somebody's house at 11:45 without feeding them first. My kids have very strict instructions that they are not to ask for food at anyone's house but ours. They can take it if they are offered it though. Just good manners, I think.
As far as Dooce - YUCK! I can't stand her! Who needs that negative energy in their life. My sis-in-law told me that I should read her and after reading a couple of entries I was offended that she thought I would enjoy her.
I found your blog last month when you and cjane switched and I have enjoyed reading it since then.

Alisha said...

That would have been so cool she was on Oprah!

Ugh ... kids are so picky. I hated eating other peoples food, even now I do.

Levi, Christine, and Gideon said...

I think the 'starving to death on a playdate' act is an age thing... G isn't quite old enough to do it, but it never fails that all the older kids who come to play stage whisper that they will most certainly die without food.

I looked up Dooce cause I hadn't ever heard of her- ummm. Yuck. Not funny or inspirational. I wonder if she'll drop the f-bomb on the show...

They should have picked you.

Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

And this is why I don't host playdates. Not only do I dislike feeding other people's children the whole time, I don't like repeating our family rules a thousand times. I do enough repetition of them when there are no friends over. Yes, I realize my children will hate me. I'm over it.

Agreed about the Meanest Mom vs. Dooce. You're the better example, hands down.

Renny said...

This kills me. My little brother has a friend that used to honestly say, "I'm starving," over and over again until we gave him food. We know his mother well, she feeds him often, my mom decided he had a hollow leg. Then there are the kids that when the parents bring them over tell us all the things they don't like to eat. Well guess what, they can starve until they get home then!
When I was a little girl, my mom told me that if we ever asked for anything more than a glass of water at our friend's homes she would eat us when we got home. Seriously, serve us for dinner.

Mach Momma said...

Offering hungry kidlets healthy stuff sure does stop them in their tracks lol
I think it's like a coming of age ritual or something...Let's see what they have to eat.
My activity day girls could eat me out of house and home and they have tried. Repeatedly.
I think you ROCK and I'm not into Oprah anyway

Anonymous said...

I was just complaining about this playdate snack ordeal the other day! As soon as our little neighbor girl comes over I hear her whisper "ask your mom if we can have a snack" or "tell your mom we want some chocolate milk". Seriously, she all of a sudden became hungry in the fifteen steps she had to take to get to our house? Lately I politely tell her she can have ice water, and she says "no thanks I will have chocolate milk". I also love it when my kids walk out with the box of fudgesicles because "Billy wants one". Drives me insane! Does anyone have any suggestions on how to politely say go home and eat and then come back to play?!

mom2manda said...

my 3 year old son has opened refridgrators at friends houses and pulled up yep you guessed yogart! he loves the stuff. It's so embarassing. too bad at the big O

Jenglamgirl said...

Don't worry you are all famous to us, I mean just look at all the comments you get.... HELLO! Oprah will call again.

P.S. I hate SNACK ATTACK time with my 7 yr. old son and his friend(s) seriously I am on a budget that just barely feeds my family of 5 and then he wants to give his friend(s) snacks. I drew the line on "Can she/he eat over after like the 6ixth time asking, over the coarse of like 3 weeks. Once in a great while its fine to have a friend over for lunch or dinner but he thinks everymeal your friend(s) should join! SHEESH!

Gibbs said...

Ya I checked out Dooce. NOT A FAN! Don't like the language and negitivity. You Rock!

The crazy Shaw Family said...

You rock, the other chick is a butt. I looked at her site, and it totally sucked rotten eggs! I understand that to blog is to be slightly narrcisstic (sp?) but, seriously, SHE beat you??? you are funny and real and personable! I wanted to slap her smug little face and pull her hair.
Ack, my inner mean girl just made an appearance. Sorry!

Back to the topic at hand! I have discovered that to offer healthy snacks means the kids in the 'hood don't come back to whine for the good stuff! I hide the yummy stuff where no one but me or DH can get it! Hee hee!

wannabee free said...

I'm a mean mom. I strategically time play dates so the child should have just eaten. I tell them if they are that hungry they need to go home and eat. They arent' over to snack, they're here to play.
We don't buy snack foods so they're out of luck anyway.

Anita said...

We see similarly undernourished children in our home. I will tell you that girls then hit the phase where they don't want to eat publicly .......several of my girls friends have hit this stage and refuse all food from me. Some of them look like they need food. On the other hand, my son's friends(age 11) all eat voraciously here.......and they aren't as picky...lol, they'll even eat the fruit!

lisa b. said...

I am astounded that the Oprah show chose to have Dooce on instead of you!! I checked out the other blogger and how awful is she?! What a negative horrible blog. I wrote to the Oprah show and complained.........I told her the fact that YOU were the 2009 Parent and Child magazine best-mom-blog award winner was reason enough to have landed you on the show representing mom blogs! Their loss.

Diane said...

I hate feeding other peoples kids. They never like what I offer them, and they never finish what they are given.

I would loved to have seen you on Oprah. I would have pretended I knew you.

Julie said...

Ahhh what does Oprah know anyway... You're awesome!

Sims Family said...

Well, you went to BYU and everyone knows Oprah can't stand Mormons. (I don't know if you are or not, but she does!)
As for the food, when my neighbors come over I find them locked in my pantry! Once I had no sugar food, so they were eating my dry spaghetti noodles!

Kristine said...

I HATE those SNACK KIDS THESE DAYS!!!

I hate even having snacks in the house for my own kids, let alone neighbors. Thanks for getting my blood boiling about one of my pet peeves! :-)

My idea is to just use raisins and pretzels for snacks, nothing else.

brooke said...

I totally hear you on the starving friends. It gets so old. I now lie and say we don't have chocolate milk etc. Then they open the fridge and see it and I lie again and say I'm saving it for something. I am more terrified that my kids might do that at other people's houses just because they think the other mom might buy better snacks.

You were robbed with the Oprah show. You are hilarious and would have been way better on the show.

Becky said...

But what if I don't like Heather Armstrong from Dooce??? Whaaaa, I'd much rather have you, dang it! You were robbed!

Smith Family said...

I'm with you on feeding friends! Picky kids are my absolute pet peeve. I don't tolerate it with my own kids (they eat what is offered or nothing) and I can't stand it in other kids, either.

kim said...

We have a backyard full of neighborhood kids all the time. We have the swing set and trampoline, so they flock over here.
In the summer I set out a pitcher of ice water and some cups. If someone asks for food I tell them to head home if they are hungry and then they are free to come back and play.

Amy said...

That Heather girl from Dooce has nothing on you. I won't even watch knowing she's going to be on. Makes me wonder what angle the Oprah people are going for.

Jenglamgirl said...

the POTTY mouth trying to sound cool with her mouth, lady from DOOCE, who is dumb and shouldn't live in SALT LAKE if she left the mormon church and hates mormons at BYU..... that was mouth full (deep breath) IS ONLY going to be on SKYPE on OPRAH wa' wa' wa' WHO CARES!

CC said...

As a former elementary school teacher I can say that that seems to be the case with all children. I was always perplexed when kids would ask me for a handful of the stale animal crackers I kept in the cabinet, only to find that they had a fresh piece of fruit, almonds and a bagel in their lunch box for snack! It's just something about eating other people's food!

Marianne said...

I will never forget the day I walked into my kitchen and saw one of the neighbor boys drinking milk out of the carton! His mother was my closest friend, but I didn't tell her about it for years. I knew she had taught him better than that and would have died of embarassment. Besides, I suspect my well trained children did worse things at her house.

chelle said...

I already saw Oprah today since I am in Chicago. It was kind of a negative show about motherhood so it doesn't surprise me that they chose Dooce. It was all about how unhappy mothers are trying to do their job, and most of them only had one or two kids. I thought it was too general making it sound like everyone feels that way.

Jessica B said...

I dish our snacks galore for neighbour kids and my own - I figure it's a small price to pay for some peace and quiet while their full bellies are all busy playing outside....

Oto said...

I'm not suprised you weren't picked. Come on...look who you were up against. It's like picking between Rush Limbaugh and Obama...and we all know who she rally's behind. Thanks for your daily dose of motherhood! I absolutely enjoy it all!

Jenny said...

LOL, Oreos and Sprite surely wouldn't keep away her hunger for very long!

Bummer about not being on Oprah. I don't like her anyway, but still!

I have an award for you on my blog:
http://ourniftynotebook.blogspot.com/2009/04/another-blog-award.html

jenn r said...

ok--I visited the Dooce website and come on...!!! I just don't know what to say---outraged! Yuck, Yuck, Yuck--boo to Oprah for allowing her on the air to speak on behalf of Motherhood!!! What were they thinking?

Semi-Slacker Mom said...

Play dates get on my nerves! That's why I had 3 children, built-in playdates. As for food, my kids don't even like the healthy stuff I offer.

And I'm sorry but I've tried to read Dooce several times. I have never been impressed.

templework said...

oprah...oprah who/what???

;)
LOL
((HUGS))

Codi said...

OOOHH...I really don't like Dooce. I first heard about her on the local news, so I thought I'd check out her blog. The things I read were horrible, not even funny. yuck!!

You would have been more real, but they don't want real, they want controversy...oh well.

When my son comes home from school he is starving, he barely ate his lunch today so he'll be having lunch as his after school snack!

The Mother said...

If you want the kids in the neighborhood to play at your house, bake cookies.

If you really want them to play someplace else, just serve yogurt. They won't come back.

Kim said...

It's too bad Oprah picked Dooce over you. She is just a sad, bitter woman. You're so much more fun. I would have actually watched Oprah for once if you were on.

My son has one friend who always asks if she can eat dinner with us. Fortunately, we love her and usually let her. We wouldn't do that with most of his other friends though.

Amy said...

I am watching Oprah right now- thinking you should be on there because you are hilarious and a great mom... so I came to your blog to leave you a comment about the show and I can't believe they didn't pick you! So lame!

I don't have kids yet- but when I do... I think I'll have a hard time with playdates. My niece has friends over and they say things that I don't agree and my niece knows is wrong- it's interesting to see her reaction. She's 5 so she's not exactly sure what to do but she usually handles it really well... The snack thing- I can sort of relate because I feel like people always have better food at their house! :) haha although, I wouldn't ever ask unless it's my sister's house then I just rummage through her cupboards!

Anonymous said...

I would have loved to see you on the Oprah show!! I LOVE reading your blog.

Kamity said...

Are you serious about the Dooce thing? I started reading her blog/site and she kind of seems to have a stick up her .... well, you know. Yikes.

If I had my own talk show, you would TOTALLY be on it.

The PiƱon Family said...

I hate giving yogurt at playdates, it is just to expensive these days. I only offer crackers and pudding. Thankfully, everyone has learned and they never ask!

Sorry about Oprah.

lisa b. said...

For anyone else interested in emailing the Oprah show and letting them know what a mistake they made by having Dooce on instead of Jana, here's the link:

https://www.oprah.com/ord/plugform.jsp?plugId=215

Marci said...

You are so much better than dooce. I do NOT like that blog. I think you rock!

RE Snacks: Just feed them yucky ones the first time they come over and I promise they'll never ask again. One time I was trying powdered milk half & half with regular milk. My 4 yoa daughter's friend came over and asked for some milk - so I gave her some. She wouldn't finish the cup and to this day will NOT drink milk at my house... It makes me laugh still because I do not mix it anymore and that was like six months ago.

Janille said...

One of my neighbor kids likes to throw away half eaten food "by accident." His mother has the same policy I do about that sort of thing - if you throw away perfectly good food, or let it go bad, you do not eat anything else the rest of the time they are at our houses. They get one shot and then they get to waste away until they get back to their house.

But yeah, you have to watch your own kids, they are so susceptible to peer pressure!

Nicole's crazy Blog said...

I'm guessing the other mom gives her kid oreos and diet sprite as a nutritious snack. Oreos are too expensive for our house, we have apples too

kelliemcc said...

I have been a reader of Dooce's blog for quite awhile, when I found yours it reminded me a lot of hers without the swears. You both are hilarious and have different ways at looking at raising children.

Just because she's not mormon any more, does not mean she shouldn't live in SLC anymore. That's the great thing about mormon's, were so TOLERANT.

Thanks for the constant laughs and great posts!
Kellie, lover of Oprah, Dooce AND The Meanest Mom

Gary and Julie Smith said...

I watched that Oprah today and totally said out-loud in my kitchen, "they should have had the Meanest Mom on there!"....

Cami said...

I guess I'm the odd mom out! I have to admit that I think that children are hilarious! (Which is probably why I enjoy reading your blog so much....) :) I LOVE the stories they make up, the drama that accompanies their pangs of hunger, their creativity at trying to get out of a bad situation....love it all!!! And I really wish they would have chosen you to be on Oprah! I would definitely have taken the day off from work to watch! :)

Nikki said...

Like so many others on here - hadn't heard of Dooce, checked it out, and was totally turned off!!! I can be sarcastic about Motherhood too, but the vulgarity just wasn't necessary - I much prefer the fun antics of THE MEANEST MOM!!

As far as snacks go: we don't do play dates - and I just tell the friends who some how make it over to B.Y.O.S. (bring your own snacks), if they plan on eating at all!

Emily Heizer said...

Well I am most definetly boycotting Oprah today. I only want to see the Meanest Mom on there, and NO ONE ELSE!

STAMP FOOT!

POUT!

Emily
www.eheizerphotogrpahy.blogspot.com

Musings of the Mrs. said...

I so wish you would have been on Oprah. I am so bummed I missed the episode. Some of my friends even flew out for it. I guess everyone in the world knew about the motherhood episode besides me. Maybe because I'm not a mom? Boo.

Bonnie said...

Did you jump up and down like a mad woman when they called you? Good grief I would have! Congratulations on even being considered though. Pretty cool.

Ginger said...

Lemonade? I've just tagged you for the Attitude of Gratitude award with the instructions here if you should participate:

http://attentiontargetshoppers.blogspot.com/2009/04/is-your-lemonade-glass-empty-mines-not.html

Ginger

Shaie said...

What a funny playdate. That made me think of a talk by Pres. Hinckley. He was speaking on our children being good influences towards other children and said, "Open your homes to the friends of your children. If you find they have big appetites, close your eyes and let them eat. Make your children’s friends your friends".

I think it's great that your kid's friends feel welcome in your home! Good job.

the Klimeks said...

I just want to comment on the play date snacks...

My children are now 16, 13, and 10. I try to have fun snacks at the house for their friends, and also make my house open to their friends so they all feel comfortable coming here. Yep--it sure gets annoying sometimes, and I do have to lay down the law when "Henry" has been to supper three nights in the same week, or "Sally" wants to sleep over two nights in the same weekend! But in the long run, it is worth it. These same kids LIKE to hang out at my house. That means, in the evenings, when they could be out getting into mischief, they choose to be in my basement playing video games, surfing the net, watching movies, and fooling around.

Just a thought to keep in mind from the time when your kids are young--if your house is the "fun" house, you may not have to wonder and worry about where the kids are hanging out when they get older because they will be at YOUR house!

P.S. The kids and their friends get to be much less demanding and much more fun the older they get! :-)

I LOVE READING YOUR BLOG! IT ALWAYS MAKES ME GIGGLE!

Sussey's Story said...

I watched Oprah today hoping you would be on there! Maybe next time! Keep up the great blogs!

Lisa B. said...

I thought I was the only mom that had these type of experiences with "guest" children in my home. I thought the word had got out "go to Kitty's house, she has a whole pantry full of food"

After each visit when the child in question has left, I threaten my son, "If I ever hear of you acting so rudely!...." lol

Kristin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristin said...

First, all I needed to read about Dooce was on her "about me" page - ICK - enough said - no need to read any of her posts.

Advice for neighborhood snackers - Get a dog! - one that barks a lot at the window. When our neighbor kids come over and ask for snacks while we're playing outside, I just tell them they'd have to walk thru the living room to the kitchen and ya know, past the dog... they won't even go near the door knowing the dog is inside :)

The Mom said...

Jana- That woman is so disgusting I am sick they did not choose you. What does she have to offer on motherhood? Unreal. Oprah sucks as well I am not surprised they chose someone like that.

I have a rule at my house when friends are over... Friends must speak for themselves! No one but me is allowed to open the fridge either. I have had strange kids help themselves to a bowl of cereal. I would kill my child if they did that at someone else's house!

edith said...

Every kid who ever comes to my house is suddenly ravenous. I think it's a comfort thing. Or maybe just curiosity.
What I hate is when they hint instead of asking. "I'm so hungry! My mom didn't feed me before I came. (almost never true) Is it lunch time yet? (At 3 in the afternoon)."
I wish they'd just say, "Will you feed me?"

Jill said...

After watching the Oprah show yesterday, which I normally love, I realized why they didn't choose you. You wouldn't have fit into their negativity of motherhood. I love your blog and the satire you write about our everyday lives with our children. Be glad you weren't chosen. You wouldn't want to be a part of their negativity anyway. I think you can get a kick out of motherhood through laughter, not through all the negative energy that was displayed on the show yesterday.

Thanks for making us laugh each day and helping us know that we're making a difference in our children's lives by being at home with them. Even if we're all on the border of insanity at times. :)

Michal said...

I thought that this only happened to me! I once had a kid come over and suck down a half gallon of Organic Milk!!! Now I send neighborhood kids right back home if they say they are hungry.....well, I try to but they just end up circling the house like Vultures. I mean really, I should provide juice boxes and the like for every stray 1st grader that comes my way?
I sort of believe the kids though. I never see any other Moms slogging an SUV full of groceries into the house. Really?!?!?! I am the only Mom in a 12 block radius that routinely goes grocery shopping???

Nightowl Mama said...

That little girl sounds like 90% of my daughters friends I think their just over to raid the cabinets and waste half our snackies.
Sorry about missing out on Oprah.

Anonymous said...

didn't read the other comments yet...got to watch Oprah for the first time in 6 years - my mother called and insisted I wrestle the remote away from teh children andwathch AND kept waiting for you to show up!!! I thought, man, those Oprah people haven't found her yet - Damn you would've been the perfect additon. Oh, well.
love you

Christina said...

Oh nooo!!!!! I am so sad duce was out there representing moms!

Sarah said...

I've started telling kids that if they're still hungry after a decent snack, they can go home. It gets really annoying.

Tam-A-Roo said...

...for what it's worth...they should have chosen you...I love the humourous and sarcastic way you see things...it helps to keep everything in perspective.

Omgirl said...

I know your children's friends' pain. I grew up in household with no snacks. If we were lucky, we got leftover chips from taco salad night until the chips got too stale to eat. So whenever I went to friends' houses who had REAL snacks, I ate them like I was Ethiopian. I'm sorry, but you're going to have to be the cool house if you insist on being sugary, fattening, artificial, WONDERFUL AMAZING DELICIOUS snacks.

MiniMe Mom said...

You are far more interesting and a heck of a lot more funny.

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