As I was packing Tommy's lunch he was like, "Oh, sometimes a boy eats the brownies you put in there."
I immediately stopped packing his lunch. I wanted to shout out, "The little punk kid! What's his name? I'll get his address. I'll talk to his mother." I swallowed it back. Composed myself. I answered, "Do they take it in a mean way?" Because if so, I'm going to kick the little punk kid's ass. I will hang the kid by his ankles and swing him around. Wait. No I won't. I'm not Jillian Michaels. I don't have the strength. <--Obviously I didn't say all that last bit. I wanted to.
Tommy shook his head. "No. He asks if he can have it. I don't want to be mean so I just nod."
But still. Ugh. Tommy has autism and with that comes social anxiety. He doesn't talk much in school. He sort of just...blends in.
"If you want your brownie, just tell him no. Just say, 'I'm hungry today,'" I instructed.
"I'm hungry today," Tommy repeated. "I think I can do that."
"Maybe the poor kid is stuck eating carrots for lunch. Some parents do that, you know. They don't allow any sweets. You know, my parents didn't allow many sweets. And I'm proof that it can backfire if you constantly deny your kids." I made a show of opening the pantry and gesturing to the Little Debbie boxes as if I were Vanna White showing off the new puzzle.
"Maybe." Tommy shrugged. "I'm hungry today," he said again. Sometimes practicing what he wants to say helps him converse with his peers.
"Or you can just tell him no," I suggested.
Tommy's eyes went wide. "I don't want to be rude."
Rude? Pff. If someone tried to take my brownies I'd smack their hand. I've done this before when Tom tried to take a treat from me. "Mine," I said sharply. "Get your own."
I hope Tommy gets to eat his brownies. He doesn't get them all the time, maybe twice a week. I try to switch up his lunch. And I'm obviously not one of those mothers who denies her kids Little Debbie snacks.
Moderation. It's the key.