My young daughter takes after me. She is very slim and needs fattening up a little.
Nobody likes to eat cereals with water, not even a milk hater but I do add cold water to my skimmed milk.
Sarah got wise of this one day when I accidentally gave her my jug instead of hers.
From then on, she insisted on having mummy’s special milk instead of un-tampered skimmed.
She loves cheese and chocolate, which my doctor says is good as it’s a happy source of calcium for non-milk drinkers. But I had a secret scheme in place.
When the season turns to Autumn/ Winter, Sarah swaps her cereals for good old sloppy porridge. It’s then covered in drizzled honey, mixed nuts, apricots and raisins.
She laps it up every morning. So I decided to swap her red milk carton for the blue one; fat, greasy cow juice.
She sat at table playing with the porridge. “Eat it up then.” I mused, trying not to sound too excited.” A great big sigh escaped from her lungs while she propped up the side of her head with her left hand. Swirls of creamy stuff swam around the bowl as she circled her spoon in the gruel. “What’s wrong?” I asked. “Why aren’t you eating your breakfast?” “It smells milky and it tastes different too.”
It was no use. Her palette sensed a change and it was making her gip.
I guess I did try to force her to go cold turkey. I could have done it gradually by omitting the water from the skimmed, then trying watery semi-skimmed, then un-diluted skimmed, and last of all, watery whole milk.
But, no. I made the wrong choice by deciding to deceive her into thinking she had the same composition in front of her.
She has also been watching too much television of late. That’ my fault. I have let things slip by being preoccupied elsewhere in the house.
So this week we decided to curb things a little. Again, rather than confronting the issue by either doing things gradually or better still, talking to Sarah about things, I chose the lazy way. The deceptive ‘I can’t be bothered to have a conversation about this’ way.
I pulled the plug out and hid it behind the TV set. It was well covered and I thought she’d never guess what I’d done.
It seemed that my plan had worked. This morning, after putting on her school clothes, Sarah pottered around her bedroom doing constructive, useful things and only half- heartedly mentioned that the television wasn’t working.
However, just before we left the house, she said, “Mummy, I think I’ve solved the problem. It’s that plug there, see? I think it’s come out of somewhere, that’s why the telly won’t work.” A cord had been traced to behind the television and the culprit was discovered.
I though about how we tell out children not to lie, deceive or exercise selective integrity. Yet here was I, trying to avoid sensible, mature conversation by hiding things so I didn’t have to confront the matter.
If she found out about my two misdemeanours, would she trust me ever again? Not for a long time.
Anwar has opted to consume the remaining litres of fat milk and I’m going to sit Sarah down and have a gentle talk about how I’d like her to do other things in the evenings to occupy her time. I will explain how television should be watched in moderation and suggest alternatives such as some if her great dvds for when she’s feeling tired.
Life is so much better when we tell the truth isn’t it?