I was on the bus with Ricki the other day, after running a few errands. While we were out, Ricki had begged me to buy her some sweets, and I had refused. She countered with her “But I’m STARVING!” wail, which I pretty much ignored. I simply mentioned that soon we would be at home, and she could jolly well wait until then, and have a healthy nutritious supper.
Act one (on the bus going home)
Ricki asked a lady on the bus sitting next to us, what she had bought, pointing to what was obviously a food article. The lady replied by offering some to Ricki, and I immediately intervened, saying that we don’t ask strangers for food nor receive gifts from strangers. The woman understood my position, cooperated with me, and all was fine.
The lovely lady from act one reached her stop, and got off the bus. Her place was taken by a 6th or seventh grader, who was munching on some type of junk food. Ricki started eying it, and the girl’s mother told her daughter “You can offer her some.”
WHOA! My internal alarm was buzzing at high pitch.
- “Excuse me,” I stated firmly to Ricki, “you are not allowed to request gifts from strangers.”
- (mother) “She didn’t ask, she was offered.”
-me: “True, but she was going to ask. And anyway,” (talking here simultaneously to Ricki and the lady) “Ricki, you are NOT allowed to ACCEPT gifts from strangers.” I added to the lady, “What, she’ll go around getting gifts of food from strangers as an adult?!? This has to stop somewhere.”
-(lady) “But I want my daughter to learn good midos (character traits).”
-(me) “Well, madam, I also want my daughter to learn proper behavior. You can explain what went on here to your daughter at home, and she will comprehend it, but if I give in even one time, it’s finished by my daughter.”
-(lady, grumbling), “Well, I guess I can’t argue with you....”
But what pleased me most was that the other people on the bus, were obviously agreeing with me, shaking their heads in agreement. After all, THEY (unlike this lady), had seen act one as well. Hopefully the “act two” lady will have learned the proper script by next time....I know that everyone else on the back of that bus did.