Thursday, 17 July 2008

Mainlining Chocolate

I have just been saved by the bell. One spoonful, I told myself. Just one spoonful of Green & Black's chocolate ice cream. I'll even stand up whilst I eat it, to burn more calories. Oh, the lies we tell ourselves.... And then I will return it to the back of the freezer, and walk away.


I mean, I can resist chocolate - most of the time. The problems start when I have a taste of it. Then, I can't stop. Which is of course exactly what was happening this evening. One spoonful turned into two. Then into Three. It wouldn't have been long before all that was left was me, an empty tub, and a whole lot of regret.

But luckily the phone rang and snapped me from my chocolate trance. Grabbing the life-belt with both hands, I left nothing to chance and put the lid on, threw the tub back into frozen oblivion, and slammed the freezer door shut before running to answer the phone. Thank god for girlfriends calling when the kids are in bed!

But why, after a month of control (and, to be frank, precious little visible result from all this self-denial; my waistbands are still too tight), was I in search of a chocolate hit?

My children do a lot of things, but one they can normally be relied upon is to behave in public. In fact, I would go so far as to say that they are usually model Boys when they have an audience. This may be changing, however.

This afternoon, Boy #1 was due to go home after school with a friend for a playdate. My plan was to sneak into the nursery at pick-up time, collect Boy #2, and get the hell out of there before I was spotted by my older son. It was a plan hatched in full knowledge of Boy #1's potential for suddenly deciding that it would be much more fun to stay home with his mum and brother than it would be to go and have a blast at someone else's house. It was a good plan. It almost worked.

But I was busted. Moments before I left the house on the school run, the mum hosting the playdate called to ask if I was happy for her to take Boy #1 swimming, and if that was OK, could I pass his swim-kit over to her at pick-up time? Absolutely, I said, not thinking that of course meeting her to hand over the bag would probably also mean seeing my gorgeous boy. Who, once he spotted me, burst into tears, announced he was not going anywhere without me, and that he only really wanted to spend the afternoon playing with his brother.

Why? Who knows or can understand the workings of a five year old mind? Obviously, I should have just bundled him into the other mum's car, kissed him goodbye, and watched them speed off to the Harbour Club for an afternoon of swankiness with, no doubt, Boy #1 doing a passable impression of The Scream from the back window of the people carrier as they left. From the disapproving looks on the other mum's faces, that was clearly their expectation, at any rate.

But I couldn't do it, and took him home. In disgrace, yes, but I still took him home. Actually I think it was probably me in disgrace, giving in so easily, but sod it, it felt like the right thing to do at the time.

I'm wondering why. I mean, why be subject to the foibles and tyranny of a pre-schooler? I know I shouldn't let it happen. But come September when Boy #1 starts big school, I suspect there are going to be enough tearful partings. So home we went.

He didn't get off scot-free, however. To make clear to him the enormity of saying he would do something and then changing his mind, resulting in one of his best friends also becoming upset since she had been looking forward to an opportunity of uninterrupted Boy #1 time, I told him that he was not allowed any television today.

Finally, he got the point. But he still wouldn't go on the playdate. And of course, who really benefits from the Boys watching a little television?

That would be... me.

Television as babysitter whilst you get some chores done - we all do it, even though we promise ourselves we never will. Tara at From Dawn 'till Rusk has just posted on it, in fact. So with-holding it as a way of disciplining your child is really cutting off your nose to spite your face. I carried it through, of course; in this situation consistency is king, yes? But man, I could have done with a quiet 5 minutes with the Boys tuned into C-beebies this afternoon.

If nothing else, it would have given me the chance to make my grovelling phone apology to the little girl's mum in peace...

And this evening I could always have opened a bottle wine on my own (Husband is travelling), to take the edge off just a little, but this would probably have had an even more disastrous effect for my sticking to the healthy eating plan. No doubt I would not only have finished the bottle, but I would then have lost all willpower and finished the tub of ice-cream as well.


  1. Hi Potty - I'm sure it took more then a month to gain the weight so it's not best to expect much in the first month. What is likely happening is you are losing weight in various parts of your body that are not so obvious. The most annoying thing is it never seems to come off so quickly where you want it to. Cheer up - chocolate after a month of grueling work out is fine.

  2. Ahh! Samurai beetle is very wise! It did take more than a month to gain that patience.

    Here - well the weight loss is slow as well while The Man has dropped over 30 lbs in the same amount of dieting time as myself.

    I've lost 13.5. I don't know how he does it....

  3. Apparently the nine-month weight gain of pregnancy will take nine months to come off....sigh. It's a good thing I ate all that ice-cream before I read your post. The freezer was defrosting and it would have been a shame to waste half a carton of Carte d'Or chocolate something-or-other! xx

  4. the problem with children is that they just do not know when they are on to a good thing ... tsk. and i would have definitely given in to the G&B. you are a strong hearted lady.

  5. Ah, the old turning up at nursery without being seen trick. It never works, at least, not for me.

    Witholding tv - now that is brave. You deserve the icecream for carrying that one out.

  6. Hi SB, yep, it certainly did. But it's definitely not coming off yet; I think I've lost the princely total of 1lb after a month. The weekdays are fine; it's the weekends that let me down. Oh well - at least I'm not putting it on...

    Aims; 13.5? That's fantastic!

    Kelly, yes, I think it took 9 months to come off after my first baby too. Note use of the word 'first' however... Boy #2 is now 2 1/2. Hmmm.

    Ah, but Grit, I did give in. It was only good timing on my friend's part that saved me from seeing the bottom of the tub.

    Hi VG, yes, it was tough, but you have to carry through, right? Mind you, I won't be using that deterrent again any time soon!

  7. am feeling sad as T11 has just, today, left primary school - tears gather at the eyes. Can but dream of nursery school. Sob. If I liked icecream (which thank God I don't - too cold) I would wrestle if from you in serach of comfort. Is half 4 on a friday too early for wine instead?

  8. PM - you are an inspiration... just a few mouthfuls of ice cream, sticking to your guns about no TV, AND resisting the wine! I am pathetic in comparison.

    You have nothing to worry about - that weight will start dropping off in no time. i lost half a stone and it has all be found again, plus some more.

  9. Hi Milla, half 4 is definitely NOT too early - especially on the day one of your darlings has left primary school. Red, or white? I'll pour.

    Elsie, if only you knew. After yesterday's triumph on the strong willed front, today was disastrous. I've eaten half a quiche, there's a bag of chocolate buttons I discovered in the top of the fridge that are calling my name, and this eafternoon I turned the television on early - and took a nap. Inspiration? I don't think so....

  10. I'm stuck back at the words "Chocolate Ice Cream"...

  11. We use the TV as punishment too. If Misses E or M get three warnings they lose their TV privileges. Miss E, who is nearly eight has, however, developed a sneaky habit of 'telling' on Miss M for every little thing, especially if she has already had two warnings. But I am wise, so I ignore her and giggle to myself in the other room.


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