I am absolutely appalled that some people are finding fault with a mother who let her small child eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich as the pair shopped at a Target store.
Strong attempts were made to shame this mom – I mean, putting her on full blast – on social media, with comments such as “It’s really awful you would do this.” Thankfully, a number of other people on social media responded to the negative rants and defended the peanut butter and jelly sandwich mom (although I wish some of the responses, in the defense of the PB&J mom, were not so harshly worded).
Apparently, the beef over the peanut butter sandwich is the notion that the child, who was seated in a shopping cart, could’ve smeared peanut butter on the cart – and the next child put in that cart would be exposed to peanut butter.
Now, I will agree that allergies to peanut butter are quite common … and can be fatal in some instances and under certain circumstances. Small children may not be able to properly guard against exposure to peanut butter. Allergies are no laughing matter, and my intent is not to belittle anyone who has allergies of any sort.
But if that small child is accompanied by a parent or another adult, isn’t it that parent or adults duty to wipe down a shopping cart before putting the child in it – especially if food allergies are an issue and you are in a store that sells food.
Yes, it would be nice if a parent putting a child who has food or a beverage in a shopping cart later do a basic wipe-down of the seat area and push bar of the cart.
Nice, yes. Obligation, no. Wiping down a shopping cart to keep an allergic child safe from potential allergy triggers is a duty of the allergic child’s parent or the adult accompanying the child. Or, simply find another cart that is cleaner. Is this asking too much of a parent, caregiver, or an adult accompanying a small child to a store?
In my mind, it’s akin to the responsibility of reading food ingredient labels to make sure that child is not ingesting the allergy culprit. Parents, and anyone caring for a child temporarily or permanently, tend to want to do everything possible to try to keep that child safe. Rightfully so.
Why should another parent or adult be responsible for doing this? I’ve not heard anyone complain that the store’s staff doesn’t clean the carts throughout the day – not that I am advocating for that.
Why would you want someone you don’t know to be responsible for keeping your child safe? Take matters into your own hand and either clean the cart before putting your youngster in it, or find a cleaner cart.
This peanut butter-based sandwich shamming situation underscores two problems prevalent in our society today: The ease with which responsibilities of the individual are shifted to others; and the mean-spirited shaming occurring on social media every day. What’s worse is that adults are doing these things to other adults. You would think adults would’ve outgrown all of this.
As I said, there’s nothing unreasonable about wanting to keep a child as safe as you possibly can. That is usually a self-imposed duty of good parents everywhere. What is unreasonable is for some parents to expect everyone else in the world to do that for them.
Kudos to all of the folks who came to the defense of the peanut butter and jelly mom. If I knew who those folks were, I would buy each one of them a sandwich.
A screenshot of the online “discussion” about the PB&J sandwich matter is included in an article on the topic at Yahoo! Lifestyle.