So I had a neighbor situation to deal with that brought up some T1D inspired lifestyle choices. As a reminder, I’m a mom with T1D.
My youngest boy is getting more independent and loves to go around and hang out with the neighborhood dads while they are doing yard work, fixing things in their garage, etc. There is one neighbor dad who has taken a real shine to my son and hangs out with him (outside - I don’t allow my kids in neighbor houses yet for a variety of reasons) every single afternoon. Evidently that neighbor did not have a father figure and he had a very strong bond with a male neighbor while growing up. And they evidently hung out every afternoon and drank root beer together. Innocent enough.
But my neighbor took it upon himself to constantly inundate my son with new snacks and junk drinks multiple times a day, every day. So I told my son that he could not eat or drink anything from the neighbors without asking first. We were running into constipation, no appetite for dinner, hiding the fact that he had lots of cupcakes or Big Red sodas, etc.
My neighbor seemed to feel that it was heavy handed that my son had to ask me before every single treat. He would make comments about it. I would try to diplomatically handle it and let him know that we were seeing dietary issues and digestion issues on our side of things. That didn’t really sink in. Probably owing to the fact that they buy fast food for their kids from multiple restaurants every day.
Then we were all hanging out…and there is my son drinking a Big Red soda from the neighbor again…and I told my neighbor and his wife that I’d really like them to slow down on the sodas and snacks. Mind you, he had just made a special trip to a convenience store the prior day to buy my son a certain flavor of some bottled drink that he was sure that my son would love and that he thought that we should start buying for him from now on. And he had just said, “Just wait until I start buying him Big Red slushies and bring them home for him! Those are the best! My kids love them!” So anyway, when I asked them to slow down and stop constantly putting me in the position of being the bad guy who always has to say “no” every day…he informed me, “We’re just trying to expand their horizons so that they’re not so sheltered.”
I let him know that parenting my kids is not a group project. And I let him know that my kids are at higher risk for developing T1D themselves due to my connection with it…and that even though they have cookies, ice cream, and countless other sweets available to them in our house to be consumed in moderation daily, that I don’t let them have full sugar sodas or sports drinks or energy drinks because if they become T1D, those things are off of the table in my mind.
And then he said:
“Just because you’re Type 1 and can’t have these things doesn’t mean that your kids should have to miss out.”
He really doubled down. He really went there.
So, and I’m not saying that I was right to do this next part…but I did do it so here we are…and you should know that he is a cop so I decided to push that nerve to make him aware he should back off…
[…and you should know that with their youngest daughter (middle school)…they watch all kinds of tv shows with her that are full of sex, full frontal strippers, graphic violence, and they don’t regulate her iPhone usage either by time or content at all and haven’t from elementary school onward…to each their own…but I KNOW she’s seen worse than what I am about to say which is why I said it…]
I turned to his middle school daughter and loudly said, “Have you ever tried weed? Edibles are the best! I have an aunt-in-law with glaucoma and she is fully stocked with all kinds of edibles. I bet you’d love it!”
The neighbor wife laughed her butt off. The neighbor husband didn’t talk to me for three days. Then he came over and apologized on the fourth day.