Remember being a kid? There was always that one mom who bought the best snacks. She always had Kool-Aid made and those little paper cups ready to fill. It was always a treat to play at that house because you knew snack time would come. And once it did, you would take your place around the kitchen table, devour your Little Debbie Swiss Roll and drink down all of your grape Kool-Aid, except for the two drops that clung to the side of your Dixie cup refusing to let go. Then, you'd say "Thank you."
Things have changed since I was a kid. Today, my kids (and my neighbors' kids) enjoy popsicles and juice boxes out of my garage fridge, often without my knowing. Other than the fact that they need me to cut the popsicle wrapper for them, they don't include me in their snack time. So the privilege of snack time is gone, along with the thank yous.
Yesterday, I watched as my daughter ran home on the heels of a neighbor kid with two others in tow. They were running straight for the garage. (I knew they would by-pass all of the toys and beeline for the fridge.) Moments later, Millie was in the kitchen with 3 popsicles asking me to cut them open. I tried to explain to my 3 year old that you don't run to someone's house for snacks. If you've been playing there, the mommy may offer you a snack, but you don't run to a house and get your own. This was difficult for her to grasp. I cut them open. Seconds later, she was back to say someone else wanted one. She handed me the popsicle and I cut it open too. Then, I sent them all home. No one said, "Thanks for the popsicles Millie's mom!"
So, I'm moving the juice boxes and popsicles inside until further notice. See, when it comes to other people's kids...if you can't beat 'em, you gotta trick 'em.