Freddy's blog: Chocolate

Chocolate is not a special treat. Why? Because special things and treats are what we really want. We all know we shouldn’t have too much chocolate, especially on the Tuesday after Easter (I just corrected a genuine typo (for once), ‘fater Easter’).

Before our almost-three-year-old daughter was born we decided to make every effort for chocolate to be just an ordinary thing. Of course it IS a treat, because it’s not an ordinary thing like bacon or potatoes, but it should be enjoyed in moderation like them. We want to be positive about enjoying food but also encourage a good relationship with it.

It’s not easy though. Even well in advance of Easter, when creme eggs had only been back in the shops for about 2 months, we had a problem. TV is also enjoyed in moderation (actually, we may have made it a bit of a special treat) and we decided a little bit of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) would be fun. She loved it. And it quickly got out of hand. She wanted to talk about it all the time, which meant a one-way conversation as we ran through what happened to Augustus Gloop the big fat nincompoop or naughty Veruca Salt yet again. The latter even briefly became a bit of a role model even though we all understood she’s a bad nut and deservedly goes in the bin. Eventually we also had the audiobook on in the car. Enough. If I want to listen to anything other than David Bowie when I’m driving it has to be the Beatrix Potter CD with the pirates singing “I Saw a Ship A-sailing.

So just before Easter, Charlie and the gang were out and it was back to Room on the Broom. (When I was the dragon and said maybe this once I’ll have witch without chips, the reply was “you can have chips without witch!”)

Much like the original Charlie and the Chocolate factory, there is a lot of backstory here before we even get to the real chocolate. And that was Easter. Even before pre-school broke up we found ourselves trying to limit her chocolate overload (by eating some of it ourselves…) and trying to keep the number of egg hunts down. We did ok. And I know our families exercised moderation in what they very kindly gave her. But still, there was a lot of chocolate around the place and we worked hard to maintain that good relationship with food.

The result? We did ok. The evidence came this morning, Tuesday, when we experienced both sides of chocolate. We’d let her keep some white chocolate bunnies from Nana in a gift bag in our bedroom and all weekend she’d been good about asking when it was ok to have one. But today while my wife was showering and I was tidying up after spending the weekend painting her room, she saw an opportunity to ruin her breakfast and ‘sneak one’ (as she says) of the last two.

We didn’t make too much of it – chocolate is nothing special, remember. But then she gave me her last one to bring to work, to say thanks for painting, and I was thrilled. What a special treat.

Freddy works a nine-day fortnight as a kind of deluxe jack-of-all-trades for a trade association in the City. On his day off he and his bright, happy daughter read books about animals, play with animal stickers and go to look at animals!

 

 

 

Category: A Cityfather's Diary

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