“Oh go no then I’ll be naughty and have a cake” A simple phrase (or variation on a theme) that women across the country have uttered a million times but, stupidly said in front of my seven year old daughter, and it turned into a comment more loaded than Clinton’s reference to Monica Lewinsky as ‘that woman’.
I have been watching my weight for as long as I can remember – I love food so refuse to go on a diet, instead I try to eat healthily and (reluctantly) exercise five times a week. I always thought my relationship with food was pretty good until I saw the look on Megan’s face when she offered me a cake and I said something about being ‘naughty’.
Megan is a really good kid who hates to get into trouble so the word ‘naughty’ has lots of connotations to her, but never in her wildest dreams did she equate a little bun, with sticky icing with something bad. I tried to back pedal, eating a cake and licking my lips but the damage had been done and the questions started coming thick and fast about how something so delicious could be so wrong. I had anticipated having to have conversations with both my kids about body image at some point but never in my wildest dreams did I think the chats would start so young or be instigated by one of my off hand comments.
So we discussed the fact that food is fuel and if you don’t move around to use the fuel up it just stays in your body and can make you unhealthy (I avoided the word ‘fat’ like it was the rudest swear word you can think of!) We then talked about some foods being better for your body than others but that all food is great in moderation!
I think I’ve got away with it as luckily my three year old still thinks the bathroom scales are for measuring his feet and the two kids compete to see who gets the highest number when they jump on them! They both still clear their dinner plates, love their veg and enjoy a treat from the chocolate tin but love nothing more than demolishing a party bag full of sugar laden treats on a weekend.
I am breathing a sigh of relief as it seems I have successfully negotiated another bloody parenting minefield. This is yet more proof, if we needed it, that no amount of preparation can get you ready for being a mum (or dad)! I only hope I am more on the ball (and get my foot out of my mouth) when it comes to the birds and the bees!