Sunday, 30 September 2007

Holding my nerve...

Rather a tetchy family meal this evening. This has more than a little to do with the fact that in their own two very different ways, my sons run guerrilla warfare against my confidence as a ‘kitchen princess’. (Not my term; it belongs to my charming Husband. Mostly when he wants something…). I am faced daily with the following MO’s;

Boy #1: favours Food Avoidance Tactics. His first line of defence is always disappointment at what we are eating (It’s too green / dry / wet / healthy / hasn’t enough ketchup / hasn’t any ketchup). This is followed by outright moaning, complaining, and occasionally tears at the thought I could even consider forcing him to eat this rubbish. However, as long as I hold my nerve – and his spoon – I am usually rewarded about half-way through with the exclamation ‘But I DO like it!’ and we are friends again. This way I normally manage to get enough food into him to convince myself that he won’t die of malnutrition (and that I am a good mother).

Boy #2: made a good start in the eating everything stakes, but recently has gone on a Lump Avoidance Campaign. He will eat anything as long as it is suitably sloppy – or if it’s fruit. If it’s fruit, then it could be the crunchiest apple you ever encountered, he will still eat it. If it’s not fruit – and he remembers about the campaign (he is only 21 months old, after all) - then he will chew the food a few times and then push any lumps attractively out of his mouth so they dribble down his bib.

Needless to say, both of these things drive me CRAZY. But obviously I hold my nerve and smile through it, because if there’s one thing all the experts say, it’s not to turn meal-times into a battle-field. Husband says not to let it get to me. He’s right of course, but usual response to that helpful comment is to retort ‘try cooking it yourself, sit through a meal like this, and then tell me that’…

Of course I might also have been a little more sensitive than normal as I am suffering the side-effects of no chocolate. Yes, today, healthy eating starts here. No more Green & Blacks milk chocolate, no more Starbucks chocolate brownie, no more Paul’s chocolate macaroons… can you see a pattern emerging? Am determined that this month I am finally going to shift those lost few kilos (well, 2 if you want to know) that will take me back to my pre-child weight. It would have been more but my recent crash diet (courtesy of a pesky appendix – which paid the ultimate price for it’s audacity) has already shifted 3. Now, the target I’m aiming for still won’t be perfect, but it’s as close as I can contemplate without looking at the back pages of Marie Claire for plastic surgeons.

This is mainly because I would quite like to reclaim my wardrobe, but must admit that it’s partly because we are off on holiday for a week in November and can’t bear the thought of being the frump in the cover-up on the beach whilst I’m surrounded by younger women, all no doubt slim, toned, groomed and plucked practically to extinction. Which reminds me – must find somewhere to get my bikini line dealt with…


  1. I love the way our kids hold this 'guerrilla warfare'(hee hee) against us in the kitchen! it's totally unfair when all we're trying to do is feed them delicious, nutritious food. humph! I share your pain.

  2. I know! Am considering holding the grudge for long enough that when they are grown up and offer me dinner (as if!) I will accept their offer only to use their own tactics against them. But then:

    a)I am their mum and they're supposed to do this to me
    b) what if they really can cook and it's delicious? Could be cutting off my nose to spite my face
    c) I can't remember whether I've locked the front door by the time I reach the street. The chances of mye remembering to hold the grudge until they are grown-up? Pretty slim...
    d) Food dribbled down a toddler's bib? Not unusual. Down the front of a grown woman? Not a good look...

  3. I groaned on both counts...the fussy children at the table, and the thought of having to go to a beach and expose myself! Also endured a tiresome meal with one quarter of my children squealing, howling, crying, shouting, and eventually eating about 6 mouthfuls of delicious, home-cooked soup.
    He then spent the next 90 mins until bed moaning that he was hungry.
    I should just give in and feed them trash every single night. Chips with chocolate sauce.
    Whatever, and buy them an x-box.
    I'm 'humph!'-ing with rebecca!

  4. Hi PITK,
    I'm totally with you on this one. Every evening I vow never to go to such trouble again, that I will reach for the oven chips and chicken nuggets tomorrow, and consequences be damned.
    But do I do it? Do I hell...
    Blast that catholic guilt!

  5. Lovely Potty Mummy, it is criminally easy for a husband who has quiet time on public transport during the day, can go to the toilet alone and have adult conversation even afirmation for his work to tell you to hold your nerve. Poor, poor you. I remember this with both of my children, and I went right off food at the time because of it. I did not lose weight however as I turned to drink!

  6. Me go off food, DM? Unfortunately that NEVER happens. It might be more bearable if it did! And love the comment about it being easy for husbands to make suggestions - that is so true. I may remove our loo door for a day when he's home so he knows how it feels (although on 2nd thought - no.)

  7. Oh, I so have an anti lump one too! It drives me batty. absolutely. I so want him to just eat rice, pasta, a baked potato! Anything in addition to his peanut butter only diet would be such a welcome treat....
    Sorry about the no chocolate zone for you. I am wishing you luck with the last lost 2!

  8. Hi Jenn, thanks for the visit and best wishes for the 'last lost 2' - which was a typo but now I think I might keep it.
    And peanut butter? I would LOVE to have pb at home but my older boy has a nut allergy so we can't give it house room - which is poetic justice really for all the jars I used to empty in one sitting pre kids (and very ironic for the child of a Dutch bloke whose family can't conceive of life without satay).


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