Today, as you applied the whipped cream to the two mini chocolate cream frappucinos I'd ordered, you remarked that it was "like giving your babies crack".
When I challenged you about the appropriateness of those words, you stammered that they weren't about me, you apologised "if [I'd] misunderstood what [I] overheard", and when I spoke to your manager, again saying how inappropriate talking about crack babies was in front of children, you told me you hadn't been talking about drugs.
I drove away, my babies were clamouring for their crack (see, I do have a sense of humour, contrary to what hour eye rolling response implied) and I was shaking. Your manager assured me that she would speak to you, that she did not find your words appropriate.
What she may remind you of is that parents generally can't help be revulsed by the imagery that phrase conjures up. Tiny, low birthweight babies, suffering from withdrawal the moment they're born. What she may say is that twisted humour is probably best saved for when you're not representing your global corporation.
What she can't tell you is that I've seen children impacted by their parents' drug use. That I've watched them be affected by this country's overstretched social resources and our tendency to criminalise addiction. She can't tell you about the way my guts twisted when you drew comparison between that devastation and me giving my kids a sweet treat.
Yes, there was almost certainly too much sugar in those mini fraps. Too much fat, too much flavour. But not too much fun for two little boys (I didn't order one for my actual baby, not completely negligent and he couldn't manage the straw anyway) who had a crappy, boring morning.
You don't know they missed a play date because we had to go to the doctor for the middle one's eczema flare up. You don't know that they played quietly and shared nicely while I spoke to the doctor about the right dosage to manage my sometimes crippling anxiety. You don't know that despite their young ages, they are enormously kind and gentle with their baby brother and incredibly patient when I have to tend to the baby first.
You don't know that those sugary, fatty, processed drinks were my attempt at telling my boys that I appreciate just how good they are because words don't always cut it. You don't know how much hearing you pass judgement (I'm 98% sure that's what you were doing) hurt me. You don't know how much it hurt that my four year old just asked me what a crack baby is, and listened to my sugar coated explanation with a follow up of, "we shouldn't have any more frozen hot chocolate if it's crack mummy".
Please, listen to your manager. Please think before casually dropping that phrase into conversation. Please don't dismiss me as humourless, mummy brained, a complainer. Think about how your actions have an impact on those around you.
The Mum Who Probably Won't Drive Thru For A While.