Chips with Mayonnaise

We’re going to the parent conference at school. It seems a bit heavy to call it a conference. My daughter is five years old, how serious do we need to be? It’s just a chat with her teacher. In any case, I love it. I am not an idiot, I know the teachers are banned from telling the truth. I know there is a positive propaganda machine. If a kid is a pain in the ass, they’ll tell us he or she is “energetic and inquisitive”. Whatever, who doesn’t want to be schmoozed? What parent could resist a bit of sweet talk about their source of pride and joy. And at A’s school they are particularly versed. We’re told cute stories of fun and creative wizardry. I come away beaming with pride.

I’m still normal me however, I get home and reach for the fish-fingers as usual. It’s not as if I’m going to turn into some all singing gourmet super mum sensation just from a half hour of being gently buttered up by the teacher. However my parenting has been given just enough positive charge and I’m going to stretch myself just an inch further than normal. I’ll leave the frozen chips where they are and make my own! Yep and organic too!

Potatoes chopped, chunky, skins left on, drizzle of olive oil, pinch of salt. There. They come out looking oven-crispy-good.

We sit down to eat. S is two and a half and he’s already learnt the crucial Dutch art of eating chips with mayonnaise. In fact I’m a bit of a convert myself. S has a huge splodge of mayonnaise on his plate. He holds up each piece of fish-finger for me to “blow it”. This continues with every chunk of broccoli etc, until he’s absolutely sure that everything is stone cold as is my entire untouched dinner.

When you’ve just had a baby where’s the greeting card that tells you “Welcome to parenthood – Hope you like cold food”?

Now S is taking his fork and he’s about to scoop a whole dolop of mayonnaise straight in his mouth.

“What are you doing?” I say “you can’t eat mayonnaise on it’s own! Yuck”

“I want chips” he says

“Here they are, right here on your plate!”

“I want different chips”

“No no we’re having these chips. They’re nice. Try them with mayonnaise”

“I want different chips”

“We’re not having different chips”

“I want different chips”

“We’re not having different chips, we’re having these chips”

“I want different chips” now he’s crying

“Just ignore him” offers P.

I look away. A is being the good example over at the other side of the table. She’s eaten all her chips and she’s munching her way through the veg. It’s tempting to give S a good old fashioned talk down in the style of “why can’t you be more like your sister?” But I’ve read enough parenting books to know that this is a big-bad-outlawed-crime of badness destined to give him a huge CHIP on his shoulder.

“They’re yummy” she tries to encourage him

“I want different chips” he growls at her

If he says “I want different chips” one more time I might have to go and stick my head in the oven.

“I’m taking you up to your bed!” I pick him up under my arm

“Just wait there outside the door” says P. “He’ll calm down”

“Are you going to stop shouting?” I ask with my leg bent towards the staircase so he knows I mean business.

“Yes”

We go back to the table.

“I want different chips” he whispers. Well I suppose I did only specify to stop shouting.

“Just eat them or don’t eat them, it doesn’t matter.”

“I want mayonnaise” he hovers with a knife covered in mayonnaise in front of his mouth.

“Look, you don’t eat mayonnaise on it’s own!”

More tears. Eventually we all just stop talking about chips. The kids brush their teeth and are on their way up to bed.

Suddenly S is hungry. He refuses to go upstairs to bed.

“No wait!”

He wants to try the pale looking cold chips that are still on his plate. He eats them all.

He wakes up in the night crying. I go in to see what’s wrong and he’s sweaty.

“Do you want to sleep in our bed?”

He cuddles up close and keeps shifting around, agitated, but I tuck him in under the duvet and we all go back to sleep. I’m woken up again by his arm on my head. He’s patting my face. I look at him, but his eyes are closed.

“Mayonnaise” he says in his sleep.

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3 Comments on “Chips with Mayonnaise”

  1. Mammasaurus says:

    Ah the joys of children ey? Ozzy finally caved in and ate yesterdays evening meal for breakfast this morning – once they get something into their head it stays wedged there for hours on end!

  2. MissNeriss says:

    This is all too familiar and I’m not even into the terrible twos yet :S

  3. […] morning I came across a post on her blog I hadn’t read yet about trying to get her son to eat something with his […]


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