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.