• Sun, Dec 22 - 10:05 am ET

The End Of An Era – Minnesota Cookie Lady Shut Down By Complaining Parent

Who doesn’t love cookies? Well, apparently there is at least one parent in Chanhassen, Minnesota who doesn’t, a lesson that resident cookie lady Anne Tabat had to learn the hard way. And honestly? I’m torn on how I feel about this.

Ever since Anne moved to the suburb of Minneapolis at age 40 she says she missed the small town feeling of where she grew up. She soon began a tradition that lasted 15 years – bringing cookies to the school bus every Friday for the driver and kids. She says it started as a gesture of thanks for just the driver, but she felt bad at not giving one to each child as well, so she did just that.

She continued her little cookie ritual for a decade and a half, but was forced to stop this week after an anonymous complaint by a parent. According to Anne, who talked to mprnews.com, a local Minnesota news site:

“I think it’s somebody who just didn’t bother to get to know me and I think that’s what the sin is here. I didn’t live in the suburbs until I turned 40,” she told me yesterday, while baking some of the 200 dozen cookies she’ll need for her family’s annual cookie party for anyone who wants to show up.”

Anne went on to lament the fact that neighbors rarely speak to each other any longer, and that she had hoped to break down some of those barriers with sweet, sweet cookies:

“Look at the way these houses are designed here. They’re not designed with a friendly neighborliness community in mind. I haven’t been in most of the houses in my neighborhood. People live such busy lives; you don’t talk to your neighbors, you don’t know your neighbors.”

Now, I love a good cookie as much as the next guy. In fact, there aren’t a lot of people that I personally know would turn down a free cookie. Unless, of course you or your child has an allergy, or diabetes, or any number of other issues that might make it difficult to take free food from a stranger, albeit a super nice and caring stranger.

Did the complaining parent make the right move? If it were me, and I had an issue with the free cookies (that doesn’t even feel right writing out, let alone saying out loud. I mean, FREE COOKIES), I would have gone to the source. Even Anne acknowledged that she could understand that issue. According to Anne she would have gladly have worked with specific parents who had kids with food allergies or other issues.

I can kind of understand why someone might be worried about someone they don’t know giving their kid free food that they haven’t inspected. But, does this parent complain about birthday cupcakes? Free samples at the local supermarket? Who knows, they just might. It’s just sad that the cookie ladies awesome reign of cookie love had to end. So hats off to you, cookie lady. You can come to my house and deliver cookies anytime you want.

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  • aCongaLine

    I understand where this anonymous parent is coming from, with allergies, etc. However.

    That being said, teach your kid to say “No Thank you,” you Grinch. Oy Vey. Freedom to Bake should be put in the Bill of Rights. Ain’t nobody gonna get between me and a free cookie. FREE COOKIE. wtf, parents. seriously.

    • Bria

      This! Seriously! My friends daughter has Celiac and even at 4 years old she knows better than to eat things that she isn’t 100% sure doesn’t contain gluten. She even asks her mom if what she is giving her is gluten free! lol

    • Gretchen

      Not all kids are as resourced as your friend’s daughter. Some kids have ADHD or other issues that prevent them from having such impulse control at early ages. Instead of being judgmental and sanctimonious, how about a little compassion? Especially over something as silly as a COOKIE!?!

    • Bria

      I love how any time anyone states a differing opinion the word sanctimonious is thrown around. I do have compassion. For the poor woman who has been giving out cookies forever. Not for the angry parent who didn’t have the balls to talk to the woman directly.

    • EmmaFromÉire

      How bout a little compassion for all of the other people involved, it’s not like she baked cookies for just that one kid, she made them for plenty of other people too.

    • Gretchen

      I know, she baked for everyone. And I acknowledged that up front in my first comment. There must have been a better way for everyone to deal with this situation because this woman seems to have been coming from a good place. But I am sorry – when kids lives are potentially at risk, that becomes more important than a bus full of disappointed kids at the discontinuation of a morning sugar rush. It is shocking to me that some people aren’t looking at the bigger picture of what we are talking about – kids’ lives versus cookies!?! Really?

    • Andrea

      Because it is NOT kids’ lives versus cookies.

    • Véronique Houde

      Because in every situation on this planet, there exists someone for whom the situation is life or death. Whether it be games, food, activities, being inside, outside… If we start making rules that ban every activity that might pose a risk for a certain minority of kids, no one gets to do anything. This goes beyond reasonable expectations of safety. It goes to the specific potential safety of one individual. It is the parents’ responsibility in that case to develop a safety plan and measures for his or her child without depriving society of what could be a potentially fun activity. Not ban it for everyone.

    • Gretchen

      This isn’t about banning basic activities just so we cover all bases and all possible issues for all possible kids. This is a random lady baking cookies for strangers. An activity that is not expected, not necessary, not rule-oriented. And I hardly feel as though asking a woman to stop handing out cookies to strangers is “depriving society.” Lot of drama. Little compassion.

    • Véronique Houde

      You would be surprised to know how little things like that can affect people positively. And how it can affect society if everything needs to be regimented, structured… Where do you draw the line? Bannign cookies is okay… So let’s ban playing tag in the playground because that’s silly. And let’s make sure that all snacks served to kids from now on are pre-packaged… At some point, it gets ridiculous.

    • Hayley Shaver

      She’s been doing it for 15 years, so people know she’s not trying to be harmful. If a parent just asked, I’m sure she could find that out. I am also sure the cookie lady and her could’ve worked something out.

    • Momma425

      You know, Gretchen, As a parent of a child with food allergies- I still cannot relate to what you are saying. I have taught my daughter to say no to treats when she doesn’t know what is in them. That is my responsibility as a parent, to teach my child because I can’t always be there. I can’t always be there in the lunchroom when someone wants to trade, I can’t go to every single birthday party to inspect the cake- part of my job as a parent is to make sure that my daughter learns how to take care of her body. We are not talking about two year olds- most kids at five or six years old know if they can’t eat something and if their parents haven’t taught them how to live with their food allergy appropriately, those parents are doing their child a huge disservice.
      Additionally, the parents could have chosen to speak directly to the cookie lady and let her know exactly what was wrong- the woman is, after all, their neighbor.

    • EmmaFromÉire

      No. It’s not about kid’s lives vs cookies, it’s seemingly about the specific needs of one child versus a much larger group. We don’t even know that the kid even HAS allergies, it’s parent could just be a massive arsehole.

      If a child has allergies bad enough that consumption could cause a bad reaction, then that specific child needs to be taught not to eat the problem food, and that their safety is more important than how delicious the cookie looks. Impart in your own kid how important their safety is, let them know exactly what could be hazardous and arm them with an epipen- don’t ruin a good thing for everyone else.

      This weekend there was a terrible case of a girl dying because she ate a curry dish with peanuts in it, and god bless them, the family placed all accountability on themselves. They didn’t check the information, there’s a lot more to this story but the relevant point to this is that they recognised THEY needed to take the serious precautions, not have all peanut containing dishes removed ‘just in case’.

    • EmmaFromÉire

      Additionally, the parent of the child in question didn’t even have the nerve to approach the woman directly. It’s an issue that could very easily be dealt with in a two minute conversation. There may be no such thing as a free lunch but these kids were getting free cookies, and it was something that this woman enjoyed doing, and due to what I can only call cowardice, or fear of having an adult conversation, on someone’s part, she can no longer make the kids and the driver some cookies

    • Hayley Shaver

      We don’t even know if kids’ lives are at risk, Gretchen, because the anonymous complainer didn’t have enough guts to go directly to the cookie lady and tell her what was wrong. I don’t ever like making assumptions on little or no information. I often am wrong if I do that. I can’t have certain things because of my health problems, and since I was very little, I had enough impulse control to say no to potentially hazardous things. Typical children can do that too, unless they have extreme mental difficulties that would prevent this.

    • Ugh, STAHP

      Ugh, quit condescending kids with “ADHD or other issues.” My brother has a severe nut allergy, as well as intellectual disabilities (with diagnoses of ADHD and autism when they became common, in elementary and high school respectively.) So yes, he’d have had a hard time telling the cookie lady about his allergies since he didn’t use complete sentences until around 3rd grade. But you know what he did do? From toddler age on, he smelled every food before he ate it to see if it smelled like nuts. My mom knew that wasn’t foolproof, so she also had an epipen in every backpack, plus one with the teachers, and she told the bus drivers about it at the beginning of every year. ALL kids need to learn to take care of themselves, and parents have to teach them that, not change the whole world around their special snowflake.

    • aCongaLine

      Agree. And if your special snowflake child can’t handle saying no to a cookie, perhaps the bus isn’t a good environment, anyway, as it is unstructured, with minimal supervision. Little Joey in the back seat might try trading his gluten-free, sugar-free, special-snowflake-diet-food for a Twinkie, anyway.

      I’m also not buying the whole “my kid has ADHD” thing- Kids with disabilities are taught strategies for coping and overcoming their struggles at an early age. I’m a special ed teacher, I teach these strategies every day. However, they only work when they are supported at home, as well.

      Kids need to learn that they are the ones that need to be responsible for themselves, not the rest of the world. When Little Joey is 30, and at a board meeting for the company he works for, and the catering staff serves bagels and cream cheese, it’s going to be awkward when Joey’s mom interrogates the catering staff about the presence of gluten in the bagels. Joey could learn to say no, because that is the responsible thing to do- as a child, and as an adult. Is it a process? Absolutely. Should it affect EVERYONE? Not necessarily.

      Oy Vey.

    • Gretchen

      Wow. So high and mighty. We are talking about a 5 year old. Who expects a 5 year old (even without ADHD or a disability) to be able to fully care for themselves. I am so sick of some teachers who think they know how to parent kids with special needs. Teaching and parenting are different. Not saying that I don’t try to teach my kids this stuff, but there seems to be no room for error and learning here. The kids is only 5 years old!? Why so judgmental and harsh? Have you really never taught a kid who made a mistake while learning a coping skill? Do your kids immediately learn everything in a single trial? Doubtful.

    • aCongaLine

      Of course not. And I’m not saying that I know everything, and I’m not claiming to know how to parent your kid. Kids make mistakes, I understand that- and see it all the time.

      I’m thinking, though, that my opinion on how kids need to take responsibility for themselves has struck a nerve with you, and if I say the sky is blue you’ll argue with me that it’s not.

      You seem really angry and resentful about all of this, which leads me to think that you’re really angry that your child has difficulties, and you’re worried for his wellbeing. These are normal ranges of emotions for parents of kids with special needs. Allow yourself to grieve the milestones etc that your child may miss, or the typical moments that need to be different, because your child has a disability. It’s okay. He’ll be fine- he’ll overcome and adapt. Your anger won’t help him, though.

      I just want to tell you that it’s going to be okay- you’ll be okay, your kid will be okay, and all those kids that ate all those cookies every Friday will all be okay. I’m sorry you’re so angry, and it’s made you so resentful and judgmental. It’s an incredibly exhausting way to live.

      Do everyone a favor, and take a deep breath. It’s going to be okay.

    • Gretchen

      Not angry and resentful toward my situation. Feel blessed – things can always be more difficult. Love my child the way he is. I DO, however, feel angry and resentful toward people who show little compassion for the process that children/families go through with regard to food allergies and/or disabilities. I am not just speaking for myself. I know many, many other moms and dads working desperately to teach their children to manage their individual needs. They are good parents. But their kids are learning. They are not perfect. Hearing people come at us about how “kids should just be taught” and “they will learn their lesson from one bad food reaction” etc. etc. is infuriating because it basically suggests that we are not doing a good enough job or our kids aren’t smart enough or some combination of this. So yes, I feel passionately about this but not because I am so bitter about my own situation. Mostly because I feel compassion for others like me, for those who have it far worse, and for the sweet little kiddos who are the target of all of this anger. I am seriously flabbergasted that there are MANY parents posting here who truly believe that kids with food allergies and/or special needs are somehow depriving their own kids of experiences. So very sad. No need to be condescending in your post. Just try to show some compassion in your life. Your students will likely benefit as well.

    • Gretchen

      So I agree with you that kids need to be taught to take care of themselves. Do you think that this happens overnight? This is a process, especially with kids with ADHD or other issues. So you are saying that you have no compassion for the mother of the 5 year old with the food allergy and ADHD who is working hard to teach him, but who hasn’t QUITE mastered it yet? This mother who is worried he might make a deadly mistake? Over a cookie? Really? I continue to be saddened when I read these harsh and inflammatory posts. Where is the compassion?

    • aCongaLine

      That is not what I said at all. Everything is a process. Please calm down. If anyone is being inflammatory, it is you. Happy Christmas/Winter Solstice/New Year/Kwanzaa/Etc.

    • Ugh, STAHP

      Certainly I have compassion for parenting difficulties. I don’t have compassion for a mother who can’t speak to a person directly about her child’s diet, but instead treats a kind neighbor like a threat and ruins everyone else’s fun. And as for deadly mistakes: first, stick an epipen and a prominent note in his backpack, and trust the adults to take care of him. Secondly, there’s no way an intellectually able child with ADHD is going to forget the agony of a serious allergic reaction, which presumably is how the allergy was discovered in the first place. He’ll exercise caution when eating, regardless of his ability to focus. Lastly, I don’t see how an anecdote about coping skills my MR brother developed is “inflammatory.” You are concern trolling, and it shows little respect for children’s capabilities and resilience.

    • JadePanda

      This, all the way. I was that kids with several allergies, and was responsible for saying “no thank you” when offered a treat that would cause a reaction. We had a grandmother on my block who made Caramel Apples every Fall for the neighborhood kids, and I unfortunately had to decline. Her response? I always had a cup of hot apple cider instead, and I was grateful for the accommodation.

      I couldn’t imagine being the kid whose parent ruined Cookie Fridays for their peers…the other kids likely know who they are. :(

    • Momma425

      Right? Or if you can’t teach your kid to say no, talk to the cookie lady directly and tell her what your beef is.
      Some people just like to complain.

    • Kate

      Yes, because God forbid children be taught to make their own decisions. Ugh.

  • Andrea

    Yes anonymously and being a PA bitch is way better than teaching your kid to say “no thank you” to the cookie. And I am going to be charitable and assume the child cannot eat cookies that are of unknown origins due to some allergy or something and not that the mom is a moron that doesn’t trust anything she “doesn’t know where it’s been”.

  • keelhaulrose

    I just want to know their motivation. Because right now I’m jumping to the “my kid can’t have a cookie, so no one can have one!” conclusion. I can’t really think of any situation where I’d complain and demand this woman stop unless she started putting razors in the cookies or something.

  • LiteBrite

    I understand kids have allergies, and I even understand the desire to avoid food that you don’t know the origin of, but it seems like the simplest solution here would be to tell your kid to just not eat whatever is being offered. So yeah, I too am curious about the motivation behind this complaining parent.

    • Tauren Stiles

      Social scientists have done numerous studies where kids are left in a room with sweets and told not to eat them. Most kids, MOST, under 12 will eat the sweet if they think no one is looking. Food allergies are as serious as loaded guns. Would it be ok to leave a loaded gun at the bus stop as long as we told the kids not to touch it? Really?

    • lin

      Being told not to eat them is different than a kid wih a severe allergy being told not to eat them. So very, very different. Were these kids ones who had grown up with a severe allergy and been raised to never, ever eat anything from anyone ever? If not, then this is not the same thing. Again, the parent in this particular case may, or may not have a kid with a severe allergy, may or may not have a 5 year old and could have handled it much diferently so others could continue to enjoy her cookies and her sense of community.

    • LiteBrite

      Yes, really.

      I have a friend whose child has a serious peanut allergy, and when I say allergy I don’t jean he just can’t have a peanut butter sandwich; I mean, he has a serious reaction if he gets within 10 ft of a peanut. This means his parents have to be very vigilant about what their son eats and is exposed to.

      However, his parents also know they don’t rule the world. While they have to control what their child eats (and have taught him to do the same), they also know they can’t control what others eat. They have drilled into him at a young age that he can’t have anything without knowing exactly what’s in it. He’s now 10, so I’m going to assume that he made it that far by knowing what to eat and what to say no to, especially since he’s in school and thus away from his parents’ watchful eyes for several hours a day.

      This woman had been handing out free cookies for 15 years. 15 years. I’m going to assume that since she had been doing it that long that there were few if any incidences. I find it hard to believe that in 15 years there were no kids who had allergies and had to say no.

    • shel

      Although, if you leave them with one giant marshmallow, and promise them that if they can wait until you come back, you’ll let them have 2 giant marshmallows, then they will wait and not eat the first marshmallow… cause 2 are better than one, and even young-ish kids know that… (like the school age set… a 3 year old will eat that marshmallow so fast!!)

    • http://www.ambiencechaser.com/ Elizabeth Licata

      Only some kids pass the “marshmallow” test and wait for the second marshmallow. Most kids try to wait but can’t wait very long and wind up eating the marshmallow. I read a “where are they now” not too long ago about the first marshmallow kids, who are now adults. It was pretty interesting.

    • Andrea

      What happened? My guess is they are type A types that rule the world?

    • Véronique Houde

      Was this study done with kids with severe allergies, or just a gen pop? If research has been done with kids with allergies who have experienced serious reactions in the past, I’m convinced that the results would be different

    • SusannahJoy

      I have a bee sting allergy. Even after a pretty severe allergic reaction and being told that I could die if I got stung again, once I got back home I went right back to my favorite pastime- catching bees in my bare hands (I was 5). Remember, kids are stupid.

  • AmazingE

    Wow, just wow……Who complains about free cookies, are we sure it wasn’t just a super capable robot of some sort that complained?

  • DeanaCal

    Perhaps the complaining parent had no idea of the cookie lady’s identity, so she had no alternative but to contact the school. Plus the school can’t give out personal contact info, so she didn’t have a way to discuss it personally.

    • Kathryn

      I bet the child on the bus could have told the complaining parent when and where the cookies appeared, and the complaining parent could have been there at the regular time, to meet the cookie lady in person. Not so hard if you use your brain…….

  • EX

    I do get the concern from the parent but it’s sad that she couldn’t just go and get to know the neighbor and discuss her concerns.

  • Gretchen

    Umm…for those who say “just tell your kid to say no to the cookies,” have you met a young child who would refuse sugary treats when EVERYONE else is eating them? Not my kid (who has a gluten allergy). It isn’t fair to put that burden on the child. I have friends w/ kids who have deadly peanut allergies. I do feel that this situation could have been handled better and of course the sweet woman has a heart of gold to be doing this. But come on – we can’t expect young kids to resist temptations like that when their health may be at risk.

    • lin

      It is absolutely fair to put the burden of saying no ona child. It is their body, they need to know how to take care of it. If you try to create a world where they never need to remember what they can and can’t eat, and don’t need to learn to say”no”, then you’re taking a huge chance when the kid eventually is put in a situation where they need to know those skills. Sorry, but one person having an issue with a food is not a reason to take it away from everyone.

    • Guestling

      I was a kid with a bad nut allergy, and I absolutely understood why and how to say no to something I couldn’t eat/wasn’t sure I could eat. If you can’t teach your kid to say no to something they can’t have you’re opening up the doors for something dangerous for them. Kids have to learn early how to take care of their own allergies and be responsible for them.

    • Tauren Stiles

      Seriously!?! 5 year olds ride the bus. They are NOT old enough to make proper decisions about food allergies when tempted with something as good as a homemade cookie. No one said the woman couldn’t bake anymore. And parents absolutely have the right to complain about a stranger giving their kids something to eat.

    • Gretchen

      THANK YOU! This is exactly what I was talking about – LITTLE kids riding the bus. Obviously, we hope that the 15 year olds out there know how to say no to nuts or gluten or anything else they are allergic to, right? But come on – my sweet little impulsive 5 year old is NOT in charge of making proper decisions about food ingredients. It would be developmentally inappropriate to expect anything else. Until you have lived with a kid with a food allergy, people don’t understand the level of fear you live with and the lengths you would go to in order to protect them. Casually relying on a very young child to make these kinds of decisions in the face of temptation is irrational. I’m with you, Tauren!

    • Armchair Observer

      Funny, but when I was five we were expected to do just that. For example, my cousin with severe food allergies knew by 5 how to give himself or ask for Benadryl if he felt the “throat bubbles” of an attack coming on. And I’d learned to stay as far away from Benadryl as humanly possible if someone else was being given it or it was offered to me because I was having allergies, because, you know, death. It was expected–by everyone, our parents, our teachers, our extended friends and family–that we learn to advocate for ourselves and be proactive, not to be kowtowed to at every point. A family holiday? There might be strawberries (my mom’s allergic), raspberries (one uncle’s allergic), nuts (one cousin’s allergic), tomatoes (aunt and one cousin allergic), eggs (another cousin’s allergic), and soy (another allergy) all on the buffet, we were expected to pick only the foods we could eat or were allowed to eat, not that everyone else didn’t get to enjoy that food. Same dealio for restaurants, parties, and school.

    • Gretchen

      Wow. There are just so many perfect kids and perfect parents posting tonight. I guess my 5 year old with ADHD really should be in charge of managing his food preferences. Too bad I am not as perfect as all of you.

    • Hayley Shaver

      I think you might have some issues, Gretchen. You act like you feel entitled and that you have it harder than all the rest of us because your kiddo has ADHD. Get off the pity me train. My son has ADHD but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have to do impulse control on himself. If not, he’s going to find himself up a creek without a paddle. No one else is going to make exceptions for him and him only when he’s old enough, and it’s the same with your kid. Life’s that way.

    • Gretchen

      Must be nice to have such a high functioning child with ADHD. You should count your blessings instead of judging others (including a sweet 5 year old boy) who aren’t as perfect as you and your kid. This is not a pity train. This is raising awareness for kids who are too young and under-resourced to assert themselves. I am always amazed at parents who have children with special needs who are unable to have compassion for others. How is this possible?! Sad. Very sad for you.

    • Hayley Shaver

      If I didn’t have compassion I wouldn’t have adopted. And I think it might be sad for you to assume things and look stupid. My son is a teen. If I can’t get through to you, that’s okay. I won’t try.

    • Gretchen

      So you are comparing your TEEN so with ADHD to my 5 year old!?! Of COURSE I would expect your teen to have more impulse control by this age. We are talking about LITTLE KIDS controlling impulses to eat SUGAR with life threatening consequences here! Nothing to “get through to me” here. You are being insensitive, you have developmentally inappropriate expectations and are downright rude. I am done with this conversation. Happy holidays and best of luck to you.

    • lin

      She’s been doing this for so many years with no complaints. A weekly tradition that I am guessing every other person loved. A 5 year old had better be able to take care of their own body to be able to say no to anything offered to them. We don’t even know if the kid had a severe allergy, nor their age. These aren’t toddlers, they are kids. My son just turned 6, and he sure as hell can follow rules. Like, don’t run into the street, you might get hit and killed. Pretty sure if I taught, Don’t eat food from others, you might die, he could do that. It would terrify me, for sure, but what else are you going to do? She could have made arrangements to speak to the lady. Surely she could have met her kid at the bus stop just once to meet cookie lady and ask her not to give one to her child. And if the kid isn’t being met by an adult at the bus stop, then they are old enough to not need an adult to tell them what not to eat.

    • Gretchen

      Lin- must be nice to have such a rule-abiding 6 year old. Some of us have kids with ADHD, which makes it hard to expect perfect behavior/remembering/impulse control. The saddest thing about all of this is that this is about COOKIES. Not a necessity for your kid. Not by a LONG shot. And you are willing to fight so hard to keep your kids’ “rights” intact at the expense of other, more vulnerable children. Shame on you.

    • lin

      It isn’t just about cookies. Please try to see past that. I’m actually all for schools being nut-free. It isn’t as simple as saying no in that situation. There could be peanut butter on the desks, etc. So I do get it. But – this is different. It would have been so easy to talk to cookie lady. It is an instance where the child could be taught – and if for some reason the kid can’t be taught something that basic, then I’m guessing there is an adut meeting that kid. So, in this instance, it was uncalled for. I feel bad for cookies and all the people who liked her and her cookies. And her thoughtfulness.

    • Gretchen

      This is what I said in my original post! That I do feel badly for the WAY this all went down with the cookie lady. Poor thing has a heart of gold, just trying to be nice. The parent should have approached this completely differently. I became upset when people began posting general comments dismissing the seriousness of food allergies and basically resenting food allergic children for “spoiling” treats for others. This is shameful and what I have been taking issue with.

    • Hayley Shaver

      You know, she can’t bake anymore. This is why. The school board is going to shut her down if she doesn’t voluntarily.

    • Gretchen

      I disagree. Developmentally, 5 year olds do not have the proper impulse control to make these kinds of decisions. Some outliers may, but in general, that is an inappropriate expectation for such a young child, especially in the face of temptation. That is a risky game to play with something as serious as a potentially life threatening food allergy. Sounds like you have never raised a child with a food allergy. You have no idea the level of fear you live with. Selfish to believe “one person having an issue with a food is not a reason to take it away from everyone.” Take a minute to put yourself into a parent’s shoes whose child could die from exposure from that very cookie. Is the cookie for your allergy-free child more important than the life of my allergic child?

    • Andrea

      By all means, teach your kid that the world should bend to his needs. I’m sure that will serve them well.

    • Gretchen

      Yes, you are right….my son should, instead, be taught that it isn’t important if he lives or dies, as long as YOUR kid gets to eat cookes. How silly of me!

    • Andrea

      On the contrary, he should be taught that it is extremely important whether he lives or dies. And to ensure that he does live by learning what could kill him. Because the rest of the world (including cookies) will continue to exist.

    • jenn

      No but he should be taught that’s he’s not the King of the world and everyone has to bend around his wants and needs. I understand the struggle, I was once that kid and I was impulsive. But you know what? I learn to adapt to my surroundings and situations and my family have taught me well. I learned to control my behaviors and actions and using ADHD as a excuse is just giving him a reason to not act like how everyone else is acting. Expect the same, if you make exceptions for him, he’ll pitty himself later on in life. You don’t have to listen or read but I am only trying to help

    • Jessica

      In another comment someone mentioned that in many places 5 year olds are not allowed to exit the bus without an adult to pick them up. I know when I taught in Florida that was the rule for KG students. So while it’s likely an accurate statement that many 5 yr olds are often not developmentally ready make food decisions for themselves, I would be really surprised to find out that there were kids that young on the bus. I can’t at this point relate on any level to the fear you must feel regarding a child with severe allergies, as my daughter is 16 months and I’m still pregnant with my son. Still, there is no guarantee that I won’t be in your shoes one day! I can respect your position on this from an emotional stand point. What age do you think a child can reasonably be held responsible for their food choices? If more information on this story shows that all students are older, would you feel differently?

    • Gretchen

      Jessica- I appreciate your response and your tone. So many others here are getting very nasty and it is upsetting because they obviously do not struggle with the same issues and are unable to even put themselves in the shoes of a mother like me for a moment. I do hope that you have allergy-free children! I do believe that children can make more appropriate food choices at older ages. However, that is difficult to assess based on age alone. For instance, my son has severe ADHD so even when he is a little older, it is hard for me to know if his impulsivity will prevent him from remembering not to join in with the crowd and eat alongside them. And I think about people with kids on the autism spectrum or with other special needs – it can be so tricky as a parent to trust that your child will make perfect decisions. And mistakes are to be expected from children, of course. That is how they learn. But when dealing with a child with severe allergies, one “mistake” can be deadly. So sad that many others can’t be more supportive of this. I truly do appreciate your empathy, however. Best of luck with your pregnancy and your family! You are clearly a compassionate soul. xxxx

    • JLH1986

      I am not remotely being sarcastic. I ask this out of curiosity. If your child has these food allergies and for whatever reason (developmental issues, just not there yet etc.) can’t manage knowing if/when to say yes or no to food. How do you manage parties/food day at school, heck even just lunch?

    • Gretchen

      At school, teachers and staff know all about the allergies. They help. They monitor/supervise. If there is a sub, there is an allergy list posted in the classroom, etc. There is accountability and rules and a system in place. On the bus with a random stranger, there would be no supervision, no school records in the “office,” no one with first hand knowledge of the issue. Just a busy bus driver trying to DRIVE and an old lady who doesn’t know my kid. This is the issue. Of course the world is full of hazards, but in an appropriate and predictable environment where these things are managed properly (e.g. school), it is not an issue. The cookie lady giving out random cookies on a whim without any background on the kids would be a problem.

    • JLH1986

      Ok. I get that. Does the fact that she was a parent to one of the kids on the bus change your thoughts? She had planned on stopping after this year because her youngest child graduates in spring. Which leads me to believe she was bringing cookies to HER child’s bus driver. Which if I remember correctly from my bus riding days is likely all teenagers. Freshman and up.

    • Andrea

      I have met LOTS and LOTS of kids that have allergies and are INCREDIBLY conscious of what they can and cannot eat and ALWAYS look at the ingredient lists and/or ask how they were made.
      I have been a room mom many times and been in many a classroom party. Those kids know damn well to ask what’s in the treats and will say no if they have something in them they cannot eat OR simply won’t eat it if they can’t determine what’s in the treat.
      Perhaps you ought to explain that better to your kid.

    • Gretchen

      Must be nice to know such perfect kids. My child has severe ADHD and has a very difficult time keeping track of such things. But, as you suggest, I “ought to explain that better to my kid.” If only I was such a perfect parent as you. Must be my fault he has ADHD too.

    • Andrea

      Again, by all means teach your child that the world should bend to his needs. I’m sure that will work out really well.

    • Gretchen

      Wow. God forbid you ever have a child with a special need or a food allergy. You are just oozing with compassion.

    • Andrea

      You are full of assumptions. You have no idea if my kids are neuro and physio typical or not.

    • Gretchen

      How could I assume anything other than you are the perfect parent of perfect kids? What, with the tone you have about “teaching my child that the world should bend to his needs.” You know what? Sometimes people do bend to his needs. And thank goodness, because he is still too little and too unequipped to meet all of his needs himself due to his ADHD and food allergy. A person with a child with any sort of special need has a certain level of compassion for others (and many parents of children without special needs have such compassion as well). Go ahead and try to convince yourself otherwise, Andrea, but your comments and your hurtful tone speak for themselves. I am sad for you.

    • Andrea

      Many posters right here in the board have told you that they themselves have allergies and were taught how to survive. You just said “sometimes people do bend to his needs”. And you want to rely on “sometimes” to ensure your child is fine? Instead of teaching him how to say no?
      For your information, my child does have an allergy. He is also color blind. I spent a lot of time teaching him what he can and cannot eat. I have also taught him how to get around his seeing disability. Sure I inform his teacher every year that he cannot eat pineapples and that he cannot distinguish some colors. And yet every year, the teacher will assign some homework that’s color coded. Well he learns how to get around it. He knows he needs to ask EVERY SINGLE TIME if there is pineapple in anything (you’d be surprised how many cakes have it!). He knew when he was three years old he couldn’t eat it.
      I am sad for you child, since you are not teaching him how to survive and instead teaching him the world will look put for him and bend to his needs. The world will not.

    • Gretchen

      Good for you for being such a great parent. Believe it or not, I am also a good parent trying desperately to teach my highly impulsive food-allergic 5 year old how to control his desire to have treats with the rest of his friends. I am lucky to have a supportive school and community full of parents who are willing to be helpful and yes, occasionally bend for him (and other kids with food allergies and/or disabilities). He is little. This is a work in progress. I am not teaching him that the world will look out for him and bend to his needs always. But I am trying to teach him that people are generally good and occasionally might have his back since he is, you know, 5 years old (although conversations like this keep be struggling to believe in the good in people). What person expects a 5 year old to be completely able to “survive” on his own? I don’t know how old your kids are but you are referencing homework so I assume older than mine. Were yours perfectly able to “survive” in the world at age 5? Good for you! You truly are a better parent than I.

    • Andrea

      He knew not to eat things before asking what was in it. He was little too when he learned this. Because before we knew he had allergies he ate a plateful of pineapples and have a horrific reaction (he was two). When he started going to preschool where I knew I couldn’t watch over everything he ate, it was important that he knew how to say no. I considered that an important skill. I am not certain it makes me better than anyone that actually teaches their kids about anything that is potentially dangerous.

    • Gretchen

      I am also teaching my kid! It is just harder for him to remember because of his ADHD. I consider it important for him to know about his food allergy as well. But his allergy is more complex than just 1 food to avoid. And his brain works differently than other kids’. It saddens me when parents play the “I taught my kid so you can/should teach yours too” card. I am trying! Lots of other parents out there are trying! But just because our kids take a little longer to learn, doesn’t mean we aren’t trying. Doesn’t mean we aren’t good parents. And in the meantime, while our kids are learning, it would be nice if others had some patience, understanding, compassion. If he makes a mistake while he is still learning, it could cost him his life. Not sure why this is so complicated for people to be supportive of. Just makes me sad. What kind of society do we live in? He is just a little boy! And I am writing for all the other little ones who are also still learning and/ or whose parents are working really hard on this with them. It isn’t easy. And it is harde when people can’t be supportive and understanding about these issues.

    • guesttonite

      Gretchen I say this with as much compassion as possible, if your child is that disabled that they cannot say no, then I think the responsibility lies with you to protect them. Instead of making everybody give up the special treat, I think you have to talk to the bus driver and teachers and possibly be there when the cookies are handed out. I realize that your child is not involved in this, I am only speaking hypothetically. If my child couldn’t handle saying no, then I would get doubly involved to protect them but I wouldn’t insist the practice stop. This is part of the sad reality that life sucks sometimes, and sometimes sucks more for others. Just my humble opinion and not meant as an attack on you, your child or your parenting practices.

    • lin

      I get that you face unique challenges. I think we all get that. But is this honestly how you would handle this situation? Would you nou have spoken to cookie lady? Would your child really be allowed to get off the bus with no adult to meet him?

    • Gretchen

      If you had read my earlier posts, you would see that I completely acknowledged that the parent handled the situation improperly. I would NEVER have done that and would have been much more tactful/respectful, etc. In making this comment, i referenced that one of the reasons that the cookie-handing-out situation was dangerous from the start is due to food allergies. Posters immediately began to jump in, dismissing food allergies, and almost taking a resentful tone toward children and families w/ food allergies for “ruining” it for the rest of the kids. This is where I take issue and feel passionately. I feel shocked by just how many parents would actually be miffed that a food allergic kid could “ruin” something like random cookie treats on the bus! I feel like I am speaking for other parents of children with food allergies when I post here – this can be a serious and life threatening issue that people seem quick to dismiss. And I am upset and frustrated by people’s expectations that children as young as 5 years old who ride the bus should have the impulse control and skills to decline the cookie and/or inquire about its ingredients!?! This is disturbing! I am truly shocked by people’s opinions here regarding these issues. However, please be clear that I would NEVER have approached the situation with the cookie lady without the utmost respect/tact/appropriateness.

    • JadePanda

      Maybe not every child, but yes, many can (and have to). In my case, I was a diabetic Celiac with a severe milk allergy, so there were pretty much no sweets I could have growing up.

      It’s totally fair to acknowledge some kids can’t say no; just throwing out that many can and have. Respectfully, in those situations, I feel the parents have no choice but to police their children’s behavior if the child is unable to protect themselves.

    • Hayley Shaver

      Actually, yeah, I have met some who don’t like sweets except occasionally, like at Halloween or a birthday. In fact, some of my foster kids didn’t like sweets. And yes, we can expect kids to not succumb to temptations at some point, unless you want your kid to do everything they were forbid to do the minute they move out or go to a party without you.

    • ElleJai

      Why not? I was three and I knew not to eat dairy, egg or nuts. I refused all biscuits and cakes, even at birthday parties. I ate no chocolate. I suspected everything unless my mum told me I could have it.

      Your kids aren’t stupid and it’s perfectly possible for them to fail to eat deadly foods without you. I didn’t expect the other kids to not eat cake for me, I just ate something different.

      I just don’t get this bullshit sense of entitlement you’re instilling in your children, along with a lack of personal responsibility.

      If they’re school aged THEY’RE OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW BETTER and if they’re still attempting suicide via food, then barring some faulty brain wiring, you’re a crap parent. Don’t take my kids cookies away because you can’t teach your own kid autonomy.

    • Gretchen

      Wow. So judgmental. So you can’t believe that there might be a 5 year old child out there who has ADHD and has a hard time remembering to ask about various ingredients in food he is being offered by trusted adults? You can’t imagine that as a parent I work tirelessly with him to overcome his severe attention deficit so he can focus on this life saving skill? This is not entitlement. This is a mother trying really hard to work with a really difficult kid who happens to have a food allergy. He is learning. But that process takes time. Do you mean to say you have NO compassion or patience for other parents like me with very young children trying to learn this very important skill? Good for you for being such a precocious and compliant 3 year old when you were learning this skill. Instead of being so high and mighty, how about counting your blessings and being a little more compassionate?

    • ElleJai

      Which part of the caveat of “faulty brain wiring” was unclear? ADHD can be considered as such.

      And for the record I’m autistic, but that doesn’t mean I’m incapable.

    • moonie27

      But what about when your kids’ friends bring Oreos to school-or someone who’s not in their class brings crackers out to recess-, or if a sub comes in during party day because the teacher calls in sick and no one tells her your kid can’t eat gluten?

      I get that 5 is young, but once kids go to school, you can’t control their diet. If they’re starting school and they have a deadly allergy, they need to be able to say no reliably.

      (and, yup, saying no to food all the time blows – hi from the corner of ridiculously restricted diet! – but that’s the reality when it comes to food allergies and there’s no use sugarcoating it.)

  • lin

    Every Thursday the neighbourhood group sets up a table at the bus stop. All the kids on the bus go to the same stop here. They give out hot chocolate or juice, coffee and sometimes there are baked goods. I think it is great they are trying to create a sense of community and the kids love it. I have rules about when my kid is allowed to have treats, but he can certainly partake in a kind gesture and have a cup of hot chocolate with his friends. If there is some other reason for the complaint, like an allergy, teach the kid to say no. Why ruin it for everyone?

  • Kay_Sue

    It probably would have been a better route to talk to the Cookie Lady, even if the kid had allergies. Someone that invested in the sense of community may have even had an allergy friendly recipe up her sleeve, or been willing to find one.

    If that wasn’t possible, it’s still important for the kid to learn to say no, also, although if it was a kindergartener or younger kid, I could kind of understand it better. I still think talking to her first would have been better than just complaining and getting it banned outright.

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  • Kay_Sue

    I’d also like to add, though, that what do we really know? Most of us are members of a certain club that would OF COURSE be entirely pro-cookie.

    • Andrea

      Wait…did you just call me fat?

    • Marianna

      Read the comments of this post and you shall understand the reference :) http://www.mommyish.com/2013/12/20/honest-toddlers-mom-holiday-school-craft/

    • Andrea

      Oh I skipped that one! Ok, now I get it and I definitely belong to that club.

    • Kay_Sue

      I have Eve to thank for the visual. It’s pretty kickass and I am super glad that I saved it to use now. ;)

  • Madame Ovaries

    Yikes, I guess I’m in the minority here. Stranger giving cookies to kids on the bus reads REAL creepy to me. I’m sure her heart was in the right place and she sounds super sweet but I can imagine wanting to end this as a parent of one of the kids. Put it this way: if it was a man (not a dad you know, just some dude) hanging around your kid’s bus every day handing out cookies, would you be skeezed out? I’m sad it isn’t 1956 anymore too and that it isn’t ok to accept candy from strangers, but thems the breaks.

    • Kay_Sue

      I’d probably have a conversation with them before I jumped to a conclusion, regardless of their gender.

    • mcbirdie

      What I’m sad about is that it is 2013 and yet your go-to fear-mongering example is ‘What if it was a dude, wouldn’t that be pervy and gross?’

      If I found out there was some man out there who was baking cookies because he wanted to make kids happy and form a sense of community, I would want to get to know such a warm-hearted guy who clearly doesn’t care that the world is chockfull of close-minded, mean-spirited people who think his lack of a uterus means he shouldn’t ever make eye-contact with children, lest the good townspeople have to burn him at the stake.

      I mean, really. Ugh.

    • Madame Ovaries

      I wasn’t implying that not having a uterus makes you dangerous. In fact, my point is kind of the opposite: men lurking around children often sparks parents’ concern, while a women behaving the same way is no big deal. In either case, if you dont know the person, he or she is a stranger. We teach kids not to take candy from strangers for a reason, I’m not sure why this should be an exception.

      Having said that, as someone mentioned below after reading the full article, the lady was a fellow parent, not just someone in the neighborhood who decided to show up with baked goods. I agree that this changes things considerably. If my kid came home and said “so-and-so’s mom brings cookies to the bus” I would react much more favorably than if he said “some lady brings cookies to the bus.” I don’t think that makes me jaded or over-protective.

    • http://www.ambiencechaser.com/ Elizabeth Licata

      It sounded weird to me too at first (but I also hate the idea of a “neighborly community” where I have to talk to my neighbors and everyone knows everyone’s business.) but apparently she isn’t just seem random old lady distributing cookies. It says her youngest kid at the school is graduating soon, so she’s been a parent with kids at the school and on the bus this whole time. That makes it seem less weird to me.

      She’s really funny. She told the other paper that she started being the cookie lady so that when her kids became teenagers and started complaining about her, nobody would believe them.

    • Madame Ovaries

      Ok, if she has a kid at the school I totally agree, way less weird (I hadn’t read the full article and based on the quotes here, it sounds like she was new in town and just looking for a way to introduce herself to neighbors). I still wouldn’t begrudge any parent who felt it was inappropriate.

    • lisa

      No I agree with you. Not her kids. Could have allergies on there. Not something bus driver and kids should have to manage with food allergies, fairness, or poor bus driver with all of it. Maybe bus driver complained and not a parent. If had to give out just give to bus drivers and safety guards or drop off at fire station. If you want to talk to neighbors tell them their flowers are pretty or actually talk to them. I have diabetic niece and the sweets issue was a nightmare when she was little. As for my own kids they get so much junk from people I know I can’t give my kids treats because they’ve had their five yr fill in a day so I have to be a grinch and take some or not give it. My kids would never eat breakfast again if they had cookies waiting for them. Way too much drama and outrage folks over cookie lady. And the kids were being taught to take from strangers. How about she move the cookies to church where at least people might know who is shelling out sweets and she isn’t complete stranger.

    • Hayley Shaver

      But she’s not a stranger. All the kids at the bus stop know her because she’s been doing it for 15 years. The church idea sounds good, though.

    • Véronique Houde

      if they’d been doing it for a long time and in nothing every happened in the past except for this man going home after having given out cookies and chatting, it might not be a big deal. I might not take a cookie or talk to him, but I wouldn’t call the freakin school board and complain about it!

    • EX

      So, I live in a friendly suburban neighborhood and if one of my neighbors who I didn’t know was passing out cookies to the kids on the school bus I would want to get to know that neighbor whether I had a problem with them passing out the cookies or not. No, it’s not 1956 anymore, but there are still neighborhoods where people are “neighborly.”

    • elegantapple

      There are actually female creeps and pedophiles too, even more than you thought. Look it up.

  • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

    I think they should have talked to the cookie lady personally. Since she was willing to work with allergies and such, certainly something could have been worked out, if that was the issue. Any other concern and it seems miserly. It’s rather sad that a 15-year-old ritual has ended. That’s a lot of happy kids.
    I’d want to meet the lady who was giving my son cookies, but after meeting and talking to her (Which seems to be her angle– meeting the neighbours), I’d be happy to let it continue.

  • carlos herrera

    Unfortunately this is the world we live in. I recently went back to school to earn a Masters degree at the age of 49. I am sitting in class with kids about the age of my own kids. One thing that troubles me is the way that new generations communicate with one another. I’m seeing it in school now, and I see it at work. We live in the age of the text message and social networking… Younger generations have learned to write their feelings rather than show them…. I know the cookie lady would’ve liked the concerned parent to talk to her directly but unfortunately that’s not the way things are done these days… And I mean unfortunately. A bighearted person that bakes cookies for the school bus would have appreciated the direct dialogue rather than what she received….a thank you but here is the concern would have been the more human thing to do. Maybe…just maybe…if a food allergy was the concern …a quick recipe tweak could have been an amicable compromise … The part that bothers me is that I am seeing more and more intolerance everywhere…… There are also people that are allergic to fragrances, bothered by noise, and other things that are new… The side effect in our quest to make everybody feel heard is that we keep dividing ourselves more and more and more….. Don’t be surprised if in just a few years time we have noise free zones, smell free zones, no foreign languages allowed zones, no religion zones , etc. etc. etc…. Killing all the richness that made the USA the #1 nation in the planet. Tolerance, discussion, and the sharing of ideas has a place in our community

  • Véronique Houde

    Can I just say that if this really was about allergies, had the mom actually TALKED to Kind Cookie Lady, I get the impression that this woman would have gone out of her way to adapt her cookies to the child! She seems like a super caring person who just wants to create a sense of community around her.
    I imagine a world where all children from now on live in little plastic bubbles. No playgrounds because little Jimmy can’t climb properly and he’ll feel left out! No games because Dana has autism and doesn’t like to interact socially with others and could get angry. Next thing you know we’ll all be voluntarily plugging ourselves into the matrix, just to avoid all potential hazardous situations. And then we’ll live in a boring utopia and will end up committing suicide out of sheer misery (like they did in the matrix) and the world will be back to “normal” except that we’ll still be plugged in….

  • SusannahJoy

    This is a tricky one. Obviously little kids can’t always be trusted to not eat something that could be harmful to them, but how sad to shut down such a nice gesture. There should have been a way to work around that.

  • Vicki Lewis

    I’m torn on this one. On one hand I think this woman sounds like a bit of a weirdo. She complains that she hasn’t been inside most of the houses in her neighbourhood…well no, why would you expect everyone to invite you over? Maybe I am just anti-social or something but I don’t think you have to be friends with all of your neighbours. And handing out cookies to bus loads of kids every week seems weird to me, but she is obviously harmless so I personally would not complain about her.

    • pixie

      While I’m sure the idealized suburbs of being friends with all your neighbours exists somewhere, I also get the feeling that she has a romanticized-1950s style idea of suburbia. My parents and I know maybe half of the people on the street. We will stop and chat with them for a few minutes when we run into them, help the elderly/disabled mother and daughter across the street when they need it and we’re around and exchange Christmas cards with our next-door neighbours. However, I have only been in three other of the houses on the street, but only because they were houses of friends when I was in elementary and high school. A lot of our neighbours work, some are retired, but they all have busy lives of their own, and while we’re friendly with each other, it’s not the type of neighbourhood where there are a lot of stay-at-home-parents with young children getting together all the time or many people have lots of free time to organize community bbqs and socials (such as the neighbourhood my dad grew up in during the late 50s/early 60s). It’s a low-to-mid middle-class neighbourhood in a sleeper town for Toronto, so if where this lady moved to is anything like where I live, it’s understandable why the neighbours would not all be best friends.

  • http://www.ambiencechaser.com/ Elizabeth Licata

    That lady is very funny, and she seems nice. But people really seem to be willing to go to the mat over a cookie. It’s just a cookie.

  • Véronique Houde

    Bus stop cookie Nazi looks like this

  • Kelly

    You know, I used to think stuff like this was ridiculous but then I visited the home of a coworker who loved to bake and bring it treats.

    Disgusting doesn’t even begin to describe the condition of her home. There was cat shit on the stovetop of the oven as cookies were baking inside. I never would have guessed it. She didn’t smell. Her food tasted delicious. There was no clue to the horror where those treats were created.

    Now I don’t accept baked goods from anyone I don’t know well enough to know that they aren’t living in filth. I totally get stuff like this now.

  • Sarah

    I guess I’m in the minority here, but I think the cookie lady was thoughtless and rude. I don’t think it’s appropriate to give strangers children food. I personally would have been upset if it had been my child. My husband an I have struggled for years with obesity, we have managed to keep our bmi under 30 bits its been a real struggle, and it probably will be for the rest of our lives. We don’t ban junk food in our house, but we are trying to teach our daughters moderation. Yes we have dessert sometimes but not every night, we have cookies sometimes, but it’s usually yogurt or string cheese, we have cake on someone’s b-day, but not on a random Tuesday. If I learned someone was giving my daughters junk every. Single. Day. I’d be pissed and I think rightfully.

    And it isn’t just me. Maybe instead of obesity, the parents are veggies, or the kids have gluten issues or diabetes or hyperactivity. Its just not socially acceptable to give children who’s parents you don’t know, food. These are some of the reasons, and these are the reasons for a lot of families.

    And I have more sympathy with the parents who’s children don’t have allergies, they just don’t want their kids eating crap Every Day before school. Because most kids, when faced with that kind of temptation on a daily basis, are going to take one at least sometimes, whatever mom and dad say.

    As for talking to the lady personally, sure, if its convenient, but what if its not. I work the night shift, I get off at 8 and get home at 8:30. By then any buses are long gone. So should I call off work to meet some lady who almost certainly won’t change her ways because I point out her thoughtlessness, and maybe expose my children to ridicule if she mentions it to others? I probably would have done the exact same thing, and complained to the school.

    • Sarah

      Ok, I just realized it was once a week not every day. That does make it a bit better, but I still stand by what I said before. It’s not ok to give food to the children of strangers

    • Alexandra

      TOTALLY agree. Give cookies to adults if you want, and to your friends, but not to strangers’ children.
      Not to mention ICKY – is her kitchen clean? Did she lick her fingers while baking? I’m not being a Grinch here – it’s gross.

    • elegantapple

      Adults shouldn’t be given anything either, not just kids. I don’t take any food from strangers.

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  • brebay

    My son had allergies when her was younger, and couldn’t have anything with chocolate in it. I told him if someone brought chocolate to school for a birthday treat, just to pass on it and that I would take him for ice cream when he got home. It let him protect himself without being left out, gave him something better to look forward too. Seriously. It’s not that hard to teach your kid to pass on food you haven’t packed him. No reason everyone should have to skip everything!

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  • Mel

    I agree that it’s pretty inappropriate to give food to kids without
    permission from the parents. There are obviously allergy, cleanliness and
    nutritional issues here. Granted the lady seems perfectly lovely,
    albeit strange, and I’m sure her motives were pure, but it’s just not a
    good decision. If she wants to share cookies with her neighbors, even
    though they don’t seem to be BFFs, then she can drop some off on porches
    if she likes.

    Like I said, I have no doubt that she’s fine, but
    it kinda creeps me out to have an adult loitering at the bus stop
    giving sweets to kids she doesn’t really know and without the parent’s
    permission. If she was a guy, we would probably all be thinking that he’s
    probably a creeper or sex offender…

  • Renee J

    I so want a chocolate chip cookie right now.

  • Alexandra

    Yea but what if it’s not an allergy – you just don’t want your kid eating cookies made by someone you don’t know, in their kitchen? It gives me the “icks” honestly.
    I don’t even have any type of germophobia (sorry don’t know technical term) it still grosses me out…..

    • JLH1986

      You teach your kid (assuming they are developmentally able) to say no to food from strangers. Or you talk to the cookie lady, I think it’s fair to ask to see her kitchen/home. If she says no then complain, if she refuses to meet, then complain, if she throws a fit…then complain. You don’t just jump the gun and complain to a school. It seems like it’s making a mountain out of a molehill.

  • matt30fl

    “But, does this parent complain about birthday cupcakes? Free samples at the local supermarket? Who knows, they just might.”-I think the odds are very good that they do. This smacks of someone with way too much free time on their hands.

  • elegantapple

    I don’t necessarily blame the mother for telling the woman to stop. I don’t eat other people’s food either, and I’m an adult. I only eat my family’s food. You never know how clean people are or what they’re putting in your food. I didn’t think she should have stopped the woman from handing out cookies. I just think parents should tell their kids to say, ‘no thanks.’ You’re not supposed to let your kids take things from strangers anyway.

  • Gretta

    The complainer should have gone directly to the cookie lady first and expressed her concerns. Instead of being a scaredy cat and tattling.

  • Mary Catherine Reed

    Excess sugar is a friend to nobody. We keep making people believe it is a treat, but it creates an addiction that is just as bad for your health as many illegal substances. There are many mothers who feel this way, and would rather their children get their sugar’s in healthy raw fruits. I understand the school asking her to stop.