Okay, I want to start this post by stating that the person about whom I am writing was very sweet and I am sure meant absolutely no harm. However…
About two to three times weekly, I take my 14-month-old son for a morning stroll down to Peet’s Coffee. I find Peet’s to be much better than Starbucks, but I shall leave that topic for another discussion. Anyway, the stroll is about one mile in each direction, and it gives us some time outside before his morning nap. Generally, I take some fruit and a yogurt for him, and I order a muffin and a dry cap. This morning was no different.
We get to Peet’s, I place my order and wait for the dry cap. The coffee shop isn’t too busy, so we are fortunate to get a table, one located next to a woman who appears to be in her late 40’s or early 50’s. We weren’t there more than 5 minutes when my son does his usual; he begins making noices in the direction of the woman sitting next to us. It is a funny thing to watch. He succeeds, of course. Now that he has her attention, he offers her a crumb (literally a crumb) of his piece of my muffin. Then he appears to point to her pastry. Without warning, she hands over a piece.
The first thought in my head was, “What the hell are you doing? This is a my baby. Why are you giving my baby a piece of your food? We don’t know you at all. You are a stranger.” Fortunately, I had my wits about me. I actually said, “No,” before my son could take the piece of pastry. I followed with, “he can’t have that,” for which she replied, “oh, yes the nuts.” As it turns out, she was eating a scone that contained walnuts.
Clearly, she had the wherewithal to know that giving nuts to a child was wrong. Perhaps, she was acting impulsively. Perhaps, she was overwhelmed by his good looks and charm. Perhaps, she assumed that I was eating a muffin with nuts. I don’t care what she was thinking. There was no excuse, in my opinion, for her temporary lack of judgment. I didn’t say anything further about it, but I am glad that I was not pre-occupied by my BlackBerry, or wasn’t rummaging through the diaper bag.