yesterday B1, the bean and i went blackberry picking, dodging the wasps for the last of the seasons pickings (blackberry, apple and frangapaine tart to come). B1 just casually dropped a question into the conversation.
"Mum, if you died, would i get to choose where i want to live" ( yikes, this is my biggest fear in life)
My brain went through about a million permutations of were to begin an answer in about three seconds. Where do i start? So i started with a qualified yes...court would take into account age, school, your wishes, family attachments, ability to provided care, current arrangements...etc. Its not a black and white answer; theres no stratght forward yes or no. She basically said she had a better relationsip with Si than her dad and she would want to live here, in her home with him and her brother and sister, go to her school, keep her friends and be near her grandmother. Fair enough. I said i would make her wishes known and that Si would be only too happy for that to happen.
It led us to reflecting on how her dad chooses to live and how we live and food control came issues came up. He has lots of soft drinks (soda), cakes and biscuits and other fast food available and we dont. The kids can help themselves; no limits at his place, but at home they ask first. Her argument was that if you have lots of 'crap' around you learn to not want it, that you can regulate your intake when its available but if its not around you want it more and so eat it more. All her friends can help themselves, its normal. Agghh. Peer pressure. I disagreed but remembered using the same argument on my mum. I said if you dont eat it very often then why buy it? why have it around ? and that if its there it will get eaten.
Control of children and food is interesting. Over the years i have tried to teach them what kinds of food they need to ask about. The last avocado (might be guacamole for dinner) , leftovers (maybe enough for another whole meal) fruit no need to ask but they invariably do. I just cant imagine a household where they just come and go from the pantry or fridge eating whenever, whatever. Im thinking dinner time would be met with "Im not hungry" or when i go to make dinner the key ingredient which was there, is no longer. Im not a "nevermind, its 6.30 but i will just run out to the shop" kinda girl , i like to make sure they are eating a healthful diet and its also a home economics issue for me too. I do think food control may be more of an issue when you have children who are overweight, i think thats where my zealousness may have come from. Since the girls dad moved they have each lost well over 10kgs and now sit in the healthy range not the overweight/obese for BMI. But am i limiting their ability to develop self control by teaching them to ask? Is democratic parenting in the food realm an ideal or a trap? Do you control food in your house? Why?