I haven’t posted on this blog for a while.
Haven’t had anything foraging-related to talk about lately. Until now.
About two years ago now, I was teaching my oldest two kids how to identify wild edible plants. They were 7 and 8 at the time. Perfectly old enough to begin learning how to identify simple and easy wild edibles. (I learned from birth, thanks to my dear old departed Dad.)
When their mother (who I parted ways with many years ago now), found out that I was teaching the kids how to identify and eat ‘weeds’ as she called them, she about went ballistic. I mean full metal jacket, in my shit, nasty too. Not just casual disagreement.
“That’s disgusting. That’s what POOR people eat. I don’t want to be embarrassed by having our kids pick nasty WEEDS in a park or something. And what if a dog peed on them?” On and on and on.
After that kind of reaction, I didn’t dare to teach the kids about edible insects. In fact she actually threatened to turn me in for ‘child abuse’ if she ever found out that I was teaching the kids about edible insects. Yes, she was serious, and yes she absolutely would have done so.
So, on top of all of that, she ‘forbade’ me from teaching my kids how to identify wild plants when they came over to visit. She also ratcheted down on the kids and told them that they would get severe corporal punishment if she ever caught them eating a ‘weed’.
This totally shattered my oldest daughter, who was doing very well at learning how to identify wild plants, and who’s favorites so far were plantain and dandelion, which she could identify accurately 100% of the time.
And now, on their mother’s Facebook, I read that her and her husband had my kids eating WORMS.
Uh…. excuse me?
Now don’t misunderstand me. I’m not complaining so much about worms, or any other edible insects. But that’s not what this was about. It wasn’t being taught in the context of survival skills or learning.
What I’m talking about here is the utter hypocrisy of this whole thing.
It was a prank where the adults had fun at the expense of the kids by the juvenille practice of betting them money (which most kids love) that they will or won’t do a certain behavior.
Not for learning, not for an increase in knowledge, but for a fun ‘prank’ on the part of adults who are acting like 5th graders. This is the equivalent of betting a college kid they won’t swallow the goldfish.
This is the truly disturbing world that this woman lives in. Learning how to identify dandelions, dock, plantains, thistles, sorrel, etc, is ‘horrible’ because it’s teaching the kids to eat ‘weeds’ and ‘poor people food’, and they need to stop doing so immediately under threat of physical violence from their mother. But it’s somehow OK for their mother’s husband to bet them $10 they won’t eat a worm and then for their mother to find it perfectly acceptable and hilarious when they do. Then my son, who always has to outdo his sister, proved he was more ‘macho’ by eating FOUR worms instead of one, all at once.
I think the words of my wife sum it up best: “That hypocritical CUNT! Having the kids eat worms on a bet when she threatened to turn YOU in for ‘child abuse’ if you simply taught them about edible insects for basic survival skills!”
Yep, that pretty much sums it up. And that’s the kind of bullshit I have to deal with daily.
And that’s what the fuck is wrong with this country. One set of ‘rules’ for one set of people, and one set of rules for another set of people. When one person does an action, it’s wrong. When another person does the exact same action, it’s perfectly OK.
If *I* had done this and posted video on Youtube, Facebook or whatever, it would have been the horror of horrors and I’d have people crawling all up my ass over it, and saying what a horrible Father I was. Even if I’d done it purely in a survival/learning context and not as some childish sophomoric ‘bet’ like they did.
I’m really getting awfully sick of double standards.
P.S. The kids’ mother also nominated her husband for ‘Father of the Year’, apparently.
All I have to say on that one, is if this is how the ‘Father of the Year’ behaves, thank God I’m not.