0 comment Thursday, June 19, 2014 |
We've just had Easter, did you notice? I can tell by the fact that one of my kitchen cupboards is groaning from the weight of the many Easter eggs kind people have given my kids.
I am humbled sometimes by just how these two children have been welcomed by my family. It's harder to introduce older adopted children to people you know because their stress levels remain very high for the first few months and meeting new people had a sort of rocket-fuel-on-bonfire effect. But slowly, over the last 18 months, they've got to know my close family and meet all the extended family that were part of my life growing up. Not one of them has been as nosy or judgmental as I feared they would, and for that I am grateful.
Anyway, one of the ways that people have expressed their welcome of the children is to send them gifts of chocolate. Christmas and Easter are obviously peak times, but random packets of Aeros and Maltesers have also trickled our way throughout the year. A friend of my dad, one of his dog-walking friends whom I've never met, was at one time sending regular dispatches of chocolate like you would to front line troops during the war.
Grandparents have, of course, been the worse offenders. Only with them it's sweets too. You know, sweets, those awful chemical concoctions packed full of E numbers and sugar, that stain the inside of your children's mouth. And cakes. Cakes that fill bellies that haven't yet had their lunch.
Now, let me say before I get any further that I am not a health-freak mother who feeds my kids hummus and home made ciabata. My kids eat jam sandwiches and packets of Monster Munch when the occasion arises, and a trip to the park in summer is never complete without a flake 99. If we go to a friend's house or to a party, they can eat what they like. And sometimes, when I want a break from cooking and washing-up, we go to McDonalds.
But, on the whole, this family eats healthily. On a daily basis we eat our fresh veg, salad and fruit, and our puddings are relatively healthy too. No unhealthy snacks are allowed in their lunchboxes by the school; after school they have a wholemeal chocolate pancake for their blood sugar levels; and after tea they have either fruit of a yoghurt. At weekends we have fruit and yoghurt too, though on Saturdays we have ice cream in the evening for a treat, with attendant sprinkles sauces and wafers.
All of which begs the question just where do I shoe-horn in all the chocolate we've been given? And it is a lot of chocolate. Well, my first answer was to eat a lot of it myself. When the kids were in bed I'd stuff my face with maltesers meant for them, and so would my husband. It was an attempt to eat away the problem. But I got a bit fat and decided to cut it out and so a new way had to found.
My next proposed solution was to complain to people when they gave us chocolate. As a lot of chocolate arrived via my mother, I often had to complain to her. I asked her if she could please please please ask her family and friends to stop sending us chocolate as we didn't eat much of it and we were going to have to start storing it all in the shed.
Big mistake.
Don't you know that depriving your children of tons of fat and sugar products with zero nutritional value makes you a meanie? What kid of mother are you, that you want to stop kind, loving, caring people buying up half of Cadburys for them? They just want to buy a treats for the children to demonstrate that they care.
It was then that I realised that the giving of chocolate was as much for the benefit of the giver than it was for the receiver. These people wanted to show their generosity and giving chocolate was the easiest, cheapest, least offensive way they could think of.
So we get lots of chocolate. It is dispensed in modest portions at weekends or during holidays. In desperation, annoyance and sometimes jealousy, some of it is redirected towards me and husband. I thought the full quota of chocolate eggs for Easter had been received by Sunday, but then my brother dropped by with two more and a friend came around with a cookie making kit. I smiled sweetly, but secretly vowed my revenge.
Still, there are worse things in life than having too much chocolate. It would be awful if nobody bought them any Easter eggs. That would feel very lonely for us all.
AddendumTook my mother shopping today and there waiting for me were two more Easter eggs for the children from a kind aunt, massive great big Mars motherfuckers. I accidentally left them behind.
Addendum #2Two more from the next door neighbour!

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