I hate the way my children eat…
They don’t like green things, won’t try new stuff and squint suspiciously at anything in sauce.
If it’s not beige or shaped like a toy, they won’t try – not hardly a nibble.
Then splat, splat, splat. There’s ketchup everywhere. Surely it all tastes the same.
And they’ll spin and tip, elbows sideways. “Ooops, silly me,” when another dollop drops.
“Put your cutlery down between bites. Not there – on the plate.”
“Shut your mouth when you chew.”
“Sit up. Don’t grab. Elbows off the table.”
How many more times must I say the same old thing? They clearly don’t think it’s worth hearing.
When I was little you ate what you were given – whatever colour it might be – cleaned your plate and said “thank you very much” afterwards.
It’s true the family pet may have had the benefit of breakfast crust and gristly bits, but at least we knew what we should have been doing.
For a while my son’s relationships with food were on the autistic spectrum, but I can’t believe that’s entirely the case now. Or was the damage done in the early years and now it’s bland and breaded pap forever?
Actually that’s a little unfair, one of the Boys has grown up game enough to have a go at new dishes.
And they do. Or, at least, several times every week I produce something off menu, a variation on a theme or a twist that takes the acceptable somewhere healthier. But there are often sighs, eye rolls, nibbles so small they can’t be measured by science, and eventually the new thing abandoned after a light mauling.
“I’m fine,” they mutter edging away from the table. “No you’re not, I think. You’re ill mannered and have the palate of an infant.” I don’t often say it because when I do, they flee faster looking at me like I’m a ticking bomb.
Do I care too much about food, what and how it’s eaten? Are they really doing it to wind me up and elsewhere they have the manners and appetite of angels?
Of course, you can’t make someone like something, but it shouldn’t be too much to ask that food is greeted enthusiastically and eaten properly? Just because it’s not on your Top Three Favourite foodstuffs list, doesn’t actually mean you dislike it.
And it’s not as if I haven’t asked – I’ve lost count of the number of ways.
Is it time to say “OK, eat the rubbish you want, become overweight and unhealthy, suffer the conditions that come with that. Forget decent table manners. You’ll learn quick enough that there are others like your mother who hate slovenly table manners and they won’t want to eat with you”?
Please help – I need to call time on the chimps’ tea party.
|By Cheryl via Flickr.|