As parents we all make sacrifices, and as you are all aware I frequently moan discuss them in this blog. There are the little things, not drinking whilst pregnant, getting fat, stretch marks, late nights, early mornings, clean tidy houses, the ability to leave the house with less than 20 million hours preparation, the list is endless. However, for me, there is one sacrifice which has been harder to swallow than any other.
Sharing. My. Food. For those of you who don’t know me very well “Aimee doesn’t share food”. This isn’t just me trying to be a character from Friends (apparently I don’t have to try, 99% of the time I’m Monica, just ask my family). Anyway, it’s true. I may have had a rocky introduction to food until I was about 18 (I tended to live on peanut butter and jam sandwiches or pizza and chips). But I’ve always been quite, er, let’s say, protective of it.
A good example of this would perhaps be my first date with Matthew. We went to the cinema – we saw The Faculty for those of you who are interested – and Matt said “we’ll just get a big bag of whatever you fancy and share”. I HONESTLY thought he was joking. I mean, SHARE sweets?! I thought no more of it, picked up a big bag of Opal Fruits (NOT Starburst) and trotted in, my mind on whether he’d try and hold my hand or “maybe more” (by maybe more maybe try and put his hand on my knee). Anyway, half way through a scary scene, he reaches over…my heart beats with excitement, I KNEW he fancied me, I KNEW we weren’t “Just Friends” as we pitched it to each other…I try and pull myself together, then suddenly a rustle. I realise he’s putting his hand in my bag of sweets. Without thinking I slap his hand away. I have to do this three more times before he gets the message.
Yes. I’m surprised he married me too.
Anyway, these days people know not to come towards my plate if I’m holding a knife and fork in fear of getting stabbed, if Matthew nicks a chip off my plate I redistribute before carrying them across to the table. But, since I’ve had children, things have changed somewhat. I SHARE MY FOOD WITH MY CHILDREN.
How did it happen? What changed me? Am I perhaps softening in my old age? To be honest, I’m not sure. Possibly. All I know is that every meal I have with my children, without fail; I share some of it with both boys. Whether we are eating the same, or I have something different, I end up stabbing and passing. I notice that Matt doesn’t do this, except maybe a bit of meat off his Sunday roast. I give up WHOLE Yorkshire puddings (sob), bits of pastry, spoonful’s of curry, bites of sandwiches, handfuls of crisps and nibbles of biscuits. I ENCOURAGE my children to try my food. This utterly selfless gesture goes unnoticed. Often rebuffed by the eldest child, turning his nose up or wrinkling his forehead. Bagels get licked then thrown on the floor; pasta gets stolen from the plate and discarded for a pea. The list is endless.
So why do I make this sacrifice? I want my children to enjoy food and have a healthy attitude towards it. I want them be adventurous with what they eat, to see it as a fun and social part of the day. Oh. Plus, every now and then I break out the “nursery” food, and share fish fingers and potato waffles with them…after all, it’s a two way street isn’t it?!