Monday 28 April 2014

Hands Off!

Look at that finger mark in the cream!
When our oldest was but a baby he survived on a litre of milk and a yogurt every day.

Oh, I should also mention he had a taste for cardboard.  Of every and any description.  Toilet roll tubes.  He wasn’t particular about the tissue being on it either.  In fact I think he rather liked that.  Hard backed books.  Telephone books.  Any books. Milk cartons.  Cereal boxes.  You name it, if it was made from paper, he would eat it.

I have since learnt it’s a condition called Pica, something pregnant women can experience.  In its severest forms ladies can chow down on sticks of chalk and lumps of coal.

I was demented by it.  By him.  All I wanted was for our boy to eat something.  Something proper.  Real food.  An apple.  A mini corn on the cob.  A quarter of a slice of toast.  Anything.

Of course, in time, he did.  He is much better today.  Much better. And so am I.  I have since accepted no child allowed themselves to starve when food is on offer.  Our oldest is living proof of that.

Yes, both of us have come a long way.  Granted, at present he might have a slight sugar addiction instead of a cardboard one but I am working on that. 

Once upon a time I used to utter sentences such as: “Please try it.  Just a teeny tiny little bit?” and “It’s yummy.  It really is.  Look.”  Followed by me tasting the vegetable I so carefully roasted and then pureed the absolute shite out of.   

I also used bribery.  “It’ll make you big and strong.  It will.”  

I may even have pretended to be an aeroplane one or twice to try and get him to eat something that wasn’t cardboard.

Nothing worked.  Absolutely nothing.  Except time.  A dentist told me the extraction of five teeth might help.  I was hugely sceptical about that but low and behold his appetite for food has vastly improved.

Fast forward 7 years and we are in the habit of enjoying a family breakfast each Saturday at our local cafĂ©.  I say different things now when we are eating together.

The lads have pancakes and hot chocolates.  Sometimes I order a blueberry muffin and a little bit of cream on the side.  For no reason other than I am the mammy and I can order what I want.  Also I get a bit shaky in the morning and nothing but a good old dose of sugar will cure that.

These days this is what I sound like when the same boy who once reacted like food was a conspiracy theory to poison him, reaches across to eat my breakfast.  “Don’t you dare!  That’s my breakfast.  Do. Not. Touch.  It.!  Step away from the muffin. If you stick your finger into that cream, I’ll chop it off!”

Today I held my (blunt) knife up in a stabbing, threatening gesture in order to keep all four of them off my breakfast.

It didn’t work.

The poor blueberry muffin didn’t know what hit it. 

It was confectionery carnage before midday.  Crumbs everywhere and little faces smeared with cream and blueberry remains.

There was nothing for it.  I had to go ahead and order another one. 

Then I moved to another table to protect eat it.  

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