The other mom was nuts. I don't think it's the same as hogging the ice water in a crowd of thirsty people because there's no reasonable expectation that everyone in the toy aisle is starving, and there's no reason to think that should couldn't get her own hungry child some food.
You are of course under no obligation to do so, but I might have asked the mom if it was ok to offer the little guy a french fry.
I secretly hate it when people do this. I say "secretly" because I am grateful that they are being generous and kind, so I show those emotions, not the irritation. However, if my kid acts like a brat, I don't want it to be rewarded. I know the other person in the store doesn't think of it that way, but that's how it will come off to my kid. I think it just puts the other parent in an awkward situation.
This is an interesting point and leads to a tangental question:
What do you do when another adult offers your child something that they would normally be allowed to have, but that you don't want them to have for some specific reason or another? How do you enforce your wishes without embarrassing the other adult or creating an awkward situation?
I am finding myself in this situation more often than I would like - mainly because I do have fairly strict rules regarding LK's behaviour and because she's too smart for her own good sometimes (she's entirely too good at figuring out a way around mommy's 'no'). I don't want to seem like I'm chastising the other adult, but neither do I want poor behaviour rewarded in my kid. It's an extremely awkward dance.
I want LK to say "please" when she wants something, and if she doesn't say "please", she doesn't get it. In the last 2 weeks I've gotten really strict on this - with the result being some very stubborn temper tantrums when she wants it but doesn't want to say "please" (but also getting a very sweet "please" as often as I get a temper tantrum). We were out on the weekend and LK wanted a cheesie. I told her to say please, she didn't want to. She didn't get a cheesie. She was pretty mad about it. She walked up to another random acquaintance and pointed at the cheesie and say "more?" But no please. I said "No, LK, you have to say please." She walked over to a different adult and did the same thing. By the third adult, she had a cheesie (she was really determined to NOT say please). The thing is, I don't know if the adult who gave her the cheesie had heard me say "no" or not. I just said "next time, please don't give it to her unless she says please. It's really important that she learns to ask nicely."
I know they thought her very sweet "More?" was asking nicely. But Please and Thank You are really big deals to me.
I had another acquaintance comment that she seemed awfully young for me to be worrying about manners with her. I just shrugged and said "she can
say it, and she does most of the time, so I expect her to." (The conversation happened because LK had just toddled up to me to ask for a muffin, and this time she initiated the "please" herself.)(and on an utterly, almost completely unrelated note - I've discovered recently that apparently I apologize way too much, as I witnessed my kid apologize to her hat for tripping over it. I haven't even started working on teaching her to apologize yet - it's a mimicking thing. I say sorry to walls, doors, chairs, etc, all the time. And so my kid has started picking that up. Ugh!)