Saturday, 8 March 2008

Go on, you know you want to...

There's chocolate in the house.

And what's worse, I know where it is.

This is a potentially disastrous situation. Husband left for Russia this morning, so I have been home alone with the Boys all day, with only a diet coke as a treat for solace and consolation. Consequently there's a little voice in my head telling me how good I've been, reminding me that he's gone until Wednesday evening, and pointing out that even should I weaken and consume some (oh, alright, all) of it, I can replace it and no-one will be any the wiser. Except my waistband, of course. Oh yes, and a certain little African Bird who apparantly loves my consuming sugar and will reappear the moment I do.

But even so, I can hear the siren voice of the chocolate calling me from the top of the fridge as I sit here trying to ignore it.

Oh yes. It's in the fridge. That means it's The Good Stuff.

Normally I wouldn't be foolish enough to have such temptation in the house, but we went to Selfridges on Thursday morning. It was ostensibly a trip to the Oxford Street John Lewis to pick out some housey-housey stuff for long-overdue furniture renovations, with a only a 5 minute side-trip to the Shrine of Shopping for Husband to stock up on coffee for his Nespresso machine.

However.... once it had taken him 20 minutes to make the purchase of what had originally been planned as two cartridges of coffee pods and ended up as rather more than that (think presentation display box of every variant of coffee under the sun), we had no time left to schlep down to JL.

(I wouldn't mind, but I don't even drink coffee. This, by the way, is why I call it 'Husband's Nespresso machine', which he purchased in a moment of extreme stress shortly after he got the bad news about his job. He calls it a 'money-saving device', and claims it will stop him from being forced to consume his body-weight in coffee at one of the 4 Starbucks outlets situated less than 5 minutes walk from us at all points on the compass. I call it 'retail therapy', and wonder what's wrong with the machine we already had. But whatever, if it keeps him happy, I am prepared to give up precious counter space in the kitchen.)

So anyway, there we were, standing in Selfridges with time to kill and I couldn't help myself. I had to check out the food hall. And on the way there, we happened to pass the Leonidas stand. For the uninitiated amongst us, I've included a link, but think Belgian chocolate, praline, deliciousness and extreme opportunities for over-indulgence and weight gain. (It's not quite as good as Rococo, but it will do...)

I can't help it. If it's chocolate, and expensive, I'm addicted.

But only if it's in the house. I am capable of walking past these high-end outlets without so much as a second glance - well, maybe without so much as a third glance - but then Husband pointed out that it's Easter shortly. And also that his mother loves this brand and will need a pay-off for looking after the boys for us next weekend when he and I scoot off for our illicit weekend away (hurrah!). It made perfect sense to stock up whilst we were there, he said.

Before I knew it, I found myself unwillingly dragged to the holy of holies. Doesn't he know what this stuff does to me?

Thankfully, we were unable to buy any eggs for the Boys due to issues with nuts (and let's face it, what 2 or 4 year old wouldn't really prefer a £2.99 milk chocolate Thomas the Tank Engine egg from Marks and Spencers - guaranteed nut free - over a plain, boring, unlicensed, totally delicious - oops, getting carried away again - one from Leonidas, Prestat or Rococo?), but we did come away with a box of chocolates for Mother in Law, and - crucially - 2 bags of mini-chocolate praline eggs 'just in case' we needed to give them as presents at Easter.

Presents? At Easter?

If they make it to Good Friday it will only be because I have suffered a blow to the head and have forgotten what the yellow Selfridges bag tucked so obtrusively on the top shelf of the fridge contains....

I would like to think that I could rely on some vestige of willpower to see me through, but with Husband out of the country and sugar levels low following a restricted diet in an attempt to cut out visits from the Bird, resistance is low.

Or should I say futile?

Add to this the fact that we dropped Husband at the airport mid-morning. Picture perfect as it was, this is not a mistake I'm going to repeat. Whilst Boy #1 got the point that Papa was only away for a few days, Boy #2 (at only just 2 years old), didn't. Airports, to him, mean family trips. Holidays. And most importantly, planes. (Or, 'paynes' as he calls them). When he realised that we weren't accompanying his father through the International Departures gate, and that no plane ride was in the offing, all hell broke loose.

He did a more than passable impersonation of Houdini with the straps on his buggy whilst Boy #1 and I made a rush for the exit. The air of chaos surrounding us was not helped by Boy #1, affected more than I'd realised by Husband's departure (silly of me really, but he'd been so matter of fact about it all up until then), getting confused over who is who and starting to wail that he wanted his mama. Yes, mama.

Now, he meant papa. Clearly. You know that, and I know that. But if you were standing in the check-in queue, looking at a harrassed woman rushing two small boys out of the airport, one of whom is crying fit to break your heart, and the other of whom is shouting for his mother, wouldn't it raise an eyebrow?

Amazingly, we didn't get stopped.

I consoled Boy #2 with a detour around the Heathrow perimiter road on our way home, nearly crashing the car any number of times in the process as I pointed out various planes to him (who knew they'd changed the layout due to the introduction of Terminal 5?), and then rewarded Boy #1 for not turning me in to the authorities with an illicit viewing of 'Crocodile Hunter - Collision Course' later in the afternoon.

With Husband out of the house I thought I would get away with this excessive tv viewing and that no-one would be any the wiser as to my poor parenting skills, especially as my original plan (which he was aware of) had been to take them to Holland Park after Boy #2's afternoon nap. But no. The first thing Boy #1 did when my beloved called from Moscow this evening?

"Papa! Papa! We watched Crocodile Hunter THE MOVIE! It was great!"


No wonder I want chocolate.


  1. Here's what you do...Go to the fridge. Open the door. Take out the chocolate. Peel off wrapper. Inhale gorgeous chocolatey fumes. Gorge.

    Or am I too late?

    Mya x

  2. Not yet. And you're not helping...

  3. Hi, I just found your blog from a comment left on Suburban Turmoil. I think one chocolate a day is okay; particularly toberline's with apple sauce. I guess I'm not helping either.

  4. Hi SB - I think one chocolate a day is fine too. Now, if only I could stop there.... (so better not to start at all, really!)

  5. I think your blog should be prescribed as a therapy. I stand at the mirror and see the sag and the bags. And then I read your blog and life with small children leaps out with all its vividness and none of the softening blur of time and nostalgia. yep, don't regret it, children remain one of the great achievements and pleasures of my life (in their 20s now) but boy, was it hard. Being 50 is just fine.

  6. And I forgot to say, SB - thanks for the visit!

  7. Please eat it, yesterday I ate an Easter egg that my daughter had bought for her 4 year old friend, so it would make me feel so much better!

  8. ElizabethM, thankyou (I think!). Sadly, I have the sags and bags as well as the young children. Ah well - it all still works. And the chocolate is still unsullied in the fridge. Though not for long, if I listen to the comments on this post!

    Rosie, feel better; of COURSE I will eat chocolate, and no doubt it will be the kids eggs. (Is there any more guilty pleasure than eating your kid's sweets?). Am just trying not to eat THIS chocolate. But it's looking increasingly unlikely I will manage that - especially since I just remembered there's a Leonidas outlet just up the road at High st Ken...

  9. If you ever fly to Edinburgh, let me know, and I'll let you into the secret of where you can stand with plane-obsessed small boys watching them land and taxi, and close enough that you can wave at the pilots, and, best of all, see them all wave back at you (only one didn't, but I think because he didn't spot us, not because he was being snooty). Small boy heaven.

    And the chocolate? It's obviously pointless to comment, as you've already had some, haven't you?

  10. I'm also guessing that by now, that chocolate has TOTALLY been eaten!

    I loved your airport story, too. I laughed out loud, although I'm sure at the time it wasn't funny at all.

    Hang in there.

  11. Iota, thanks for the tip, and if things get really bad we may take a trip to Edinburgh airport just to see the planes...

    Lindsay, it was funny. But I just thought that if started to laugh I would simply look even more like an evil child-stealer, so held back the giggles. Of course, there may have some hysteria thrown in there for good measure too...

    And both Iota and Lindsay, shame on you for doubting me. The chocolate is still intact in the fridge. However, I had a glass of wine at lunch time, so willpower is low right now. All bets are off for the rest of the day...

  12. Honey - try some of that...

    Failing that - eat the boy's eggs - (so easily replaced)..then - if that fails...well um...

    I always keep some chocolate chips in the cupboard - they can be made into supreme chocolates at any given moment with a dash of this and that...

    With all of the above - you're not going to believe me when I tell you I still have some xmas chocolates left! I do! I've amazed even myself - but then - when I look in the mirror whilst putting on my exercise gear - I know why...

    However - hearing the Godivas calling me - it's been tough I tell you.

  13. No, no, no, don't tell me that!!! I'm going to Selfridges on Tuesday. And I have no self control or will power where the good stuff is concerned and even though I've so far avoided all that Cadburys and Galaxy have to offer (hot chocolate doesn't count as you can't actually chew it) I am DESPERATELY DESPERATE for chocolate.

    Okay, now, where EXACTLY is this stand within the food hall?

  14. Hang on Aims - you have Godivas left over? From CHRISTMAS? You better eat those fast - they don't last forever. (Sorry, not what you want to hear, I know). Anyway, you are a better woman than I...

    N-H Mum, I'm not going to tell you. It's for your own good. And frankly, if you find it in spite of that, then you will have burnt off some calories looking, so you deserve it. (And I KNOW you won't be interested, but they had a sample bowl on top of their counter for whilst you were waiting to be served... Obviously, I didn't partake. But Husband did. The rat.)

  15. I feel your pain with the chocolate - stay strong! Or if not - eat it all at once so that the guilt is confined to one day :-)

    Suburban Turmoil Blog Hopping Weekend...Virginia

  16. Hi Virginia, thanks for hopping over and commenting. Are you visiting everyone in Lindsay's comment box? That should keep you busy... As for the chocolate, it's still there; I am holding on by my fingertips and eating an apple as I type. Boring, or what?

  17. It's a well-known fact that chocolate and crisps survive only momentarily in our house. In times of strife, nothing else will do. Go on ... EAT IT!

  18. Loved your airport scene. We don't take him to the airport anymore - it's would be a 90-100 minute round trip and with a little one in the car? I don't think so. It's enough that he's getting up at 5am and leaving me with a consumptive cold till Thursday, and a possible trip to the doctor's with pink-eye 4 year old tomorrow morning. I remember a school Latin phrase that works well now - O Me Miserum.

  19. How COULD you! I mean HOW could you possibly NOT have scoffed the lot by now????
    Chocolate si a sin and all sins MUST be eradicated. It is your duty as a mother....
    Brilliant as usual and just perfect to start my working week with!!!!

  20. It seems to have struck a chord, this chocolate situation, doesn't it? Can't imagine why...

    GBS, I know what you mean, which is why I normally don't let the stuff through the door unless I'm feel super skinny. Or very weak willed. Guess which is the more usual situation around here? (Haven't felt super-skinny since, oh, around 1995...)

    EPM, those early morning starts are a killer, aren't they? Must admit that this airport drop-off on my part was a very rare occurrence, and following Saturday's performance, probably won't be repeated for a while. Hope the conjunctivitis doesn't appear!

    Hi Tattie, good to hear from you, hope all is a bit calmer at yours now. As for the chocolate, I know, I'm a failure as a mother. Must try harder - to eat all the chocolate. For now though, G&B's hot cocoa is keeping me going. But it's a slippery slope. Now I've got the taste for it, it's just a matter of time until the Selfridges bag is in shreds all over the kitchen floor.

  21. Is it dark chocolate? If so, then it's good for you. All that iron - I'm sure you'll find you need it. Which reminds me, I have a bar of Coop Fair Trade orange oil & spices chocolate in my rucksac which I neglected to eat at Red Tarn yesterday. And I know I have no haemoglobin. Time for a chocolate break I think. I will if you will. gpm

  22. Oh gosh....I have no will power with this kind of stuff.

    God bless you and enjoy the chocolate. I know you'll cave. you will.

    And I will live vicariously through you!

  23. That's the thing, GPM. It's milk chocolate - so it has very few redeeming features other than it's complete deliciousness...

    J's Mommy; I note that all this encouragement to eat the stuff is coming from people who freely admit they don't have any in their own homes!

  24. You're not telling me it's still in the fridge?! My hubby has gone to India until FRIDAY (i see your wednesday and raise you friday), that must entitle me to all sorts of internet chocolate purchasing musn't it?!

  25. OK Pig, your Friday definitely tops my Wednesday but I'm afraid internet shopping for chocolate does not top actually having it here, available and delicious, in your own home.


  26. You slacker! I've eaten mine, thinking I was in good company, and what do I find? It's still in your fridge! Well, Ok, I've only eaten half of it - I've hidden the rest so no one else can eat it. My other half's only away Wednesday & Thursday so I don't have that excuse.

  27. GPM, so sorry, I feel I've let you down...

    The thing is though, the main reason for my not eating it is nothing to do with a surfeit of willpower, and all to do with the effect that excessive amounts of sugar have on my body - namely, thrush. And the thing is, yes I know I could just have the one egg, but once breached, that wall will come tumbling down and I will have to eat the whole bag. So it WILL be excessive amounts of sugar. And I've experienced the results of that too recently to want to go there again (sorry, too much info I know). Once the memory of it has dimmed a little though I will be back to my normal chocolate hogging days, don't worry....

  28. Ah yes - the African Bird. Ididn't twig, or follow the link. I am so guilty for encouraging you... I'll go self-flagellate with birch twigs or something to make up. On second thoughts, maybe that's a bit extreme.

  29. GPM, definitely too extreme. Don't worry, I was perfectly capable of going for the chocolate whatever the comments - as you saw...

    And the African Bird thing; too subtle?


Go on - you know you want to...