Snack ATTACKPosted: July 28, 2012
I remember my mum once admitted to me that when she had young children she used to sneak out of view and go into the toilet to eat chocolate in secret. I didn’t understand at the time what she meant. Why didn’t she just wait until the kids were in bed?
Now I get it.
There is sometimes an urgent need for a sugar rush to keep your pecker up through the day’s dips and troughs.
What could be better than a mother who comes out of the toilet a lot happier than she went in, revived, smiling and miraculously even-tempered.
The magic elixir of unflagging patience. And we’re not reaching for the gin.
My children just barge right in when I’m in the toilet, so I have other moments of illicit chocolate scoffing. I have been swiping A’s smarties, two or three at a time while I’m cooking and I have hidden a bar of dark chocolate in my knicker-drawer.
P has suddenly got it into his head that we need to go on a smoothie diet. Since the sun put in a brief appearance the whole of Holland has seemed to whoop with joy and dust off the shorts and flip-flops. Everyone had been obsessively checking the weather and last week the word on the street was that the summer was coming. The Dutch were preparing themselves for flesh-baring. They’re an organised nation and make sure to be neatly waxed and to visit the sunbed just enough to get a head start. Then they’re ready to dazzle and can laugh in our ‘milk-bottle’ white English faces! Ha ha, it may be only short and sweet but the sun is here and we’re going to crank up the happiness. Stock up on bottles of rosé! We’ll get to the beach every day if it kills us!
Consequently P has become aware of his gently rounding waistline.
I foolishly mentioned a woman who had gone down 2 dress sizes after the birth of her child by going on a smoothie diet. The next day P is at the supermarket. He comes back with a blender, mangoes, bananas, spinach leaves and yogurt.
“OK, so I guess we’re starting then” I say
When I open the fridge to decide what to make for dinner, I find he hasn’t bought any actual food.
“There’s only one egg here!” I shout “What am I supposed to give the kids for dinner?”
The next day I am back at the supermarket buying sensible things like rice crispies, eggs, fish fingers, potatoes etc. I also have to buy another giant tube of smarties to replace the one that I’ve eaten in the cupboard. Originally I had been persuaded into buying the smarties as a special treat for A. She had once been given ice-cream with 3 smarties on top for dessert at a friend’s house and she’d been going on about it ever since. I gave in and promised to do the same when the friend in question was at our house for dinner. Of course I had to show off by giving them 4 smarties each. And then the tube just sat there in the cupboard until I decided it was time for another special dessert. This is the third giant tube I have had to buy to replace the original one.
I pass by the aisles of crisps, crackers, and other tempting snacks with my head down. P and I have been on a snack progression. We started a few months ago. We realised that we couldn’t buy biscuits anymore. Or at least not chocolate ones. So we bought cardboard flavoured boring biscuits to try and put us off, but inevitably we managed to get a taste for them. Then we decided no biscuits, so we moved on to crackers, but we ended up smearing them with chocolate spread so we had to put a veto on nutella too. Then it was dark chocolate rice cakes, but they are absurdly delicious, then liquorice, then crackers with goat’s cheese…
P is adamant before I go shopping that I must not buy anything to feed his addiction, but just as any addict would he is riffling through the bags on my return asking,
“Have you got anything tasty?”
It is only the second day of full-on smoothies and he’s getting ants in his pants. This morning we have a mini fight when I suggest that he might be better off making a proper game-plan for this smoothie diet of his.
“Is it ok to eat cereal after the smoothie do you think?”
“I guess so, I don’t really know. And I would say it’s ok to have soups and salads for lunch, just lay off all the bread”
“But this is never going to work, how am I going to do that? At work?”
“OK, well I was only trying to help”
This evening I fall asleep on the sofa for a few seconds. All this hearty summer fun is exhausting me, so after I put A to bed I decide I need a trip to my knicker-drawer for a little pick me up. I come down the stairs rejuvenated and sit down next to P on the sofa. I give him a friendly smile but he doesn’t look up. He just sits there for the rest of the evening chewing his fingernails.