Why is it that some mothers seem to be permanently convinced that their offspring are on the verge of starving to death? When my wife & I were still living together, I often returned home from the office to see the battle of wills between Mrs Kyknoord and Kyknoord Jr over a half-finished supper dish. I learned very quickly that “Maybe she’s full?” was roughly equivalent to saying, “You’re the world’s worst mother and by the way, your bum looks absolutely HUGE in that”.
A far more effective approach was, “You look tired. Why don’t you let me take over for a bit while you have a break?” After Mrs K had retired gratefully to the lounge to put her feet up, Junior and I would exchange a conspiratorial glance and I would surreptitiously scrape the remains of dinner into the bin under the cover of simulated feeding noises. Father/daughter bonding at its best.
About the only thing my mother has in common with my (soon to be) ex-wife is this skewed viewpoint where food is concerned. As a consequence, I was a rather rotund lad when I was at school and it took me years to get my weight under control. My mother has never forgiven me for this and even now she still tries to undo the “damage” I have done to her greatest work.
I had lunch with my parents on Sunday. Much as I enjoy seeing my folks in their twilight years, I always do so with trepidation because without fail, some variation of the following conversation takes place:
“Have some more”
“Er – no thanks, Mom. I’m quite full, thank you”
“I am aware of that, but I’ve had enough, honestly”
“Are you sure?”
“Mother, has it occurred to you that I may actually be satisfied and my refusal to indulge further isn’t, in fact, a subtle jab at your parenting skills?”
“There’s really no need for you to get sarcastic”
“And there’s really no need for you to keep trying to rupture my abdominal cavity, so I’d say we’re even”
“Hilarious. Do you want pudding?”
“Ooh, yes please”
Some habits die hard.
* My mother doesn’t think the feeding of the 5000 is a particularly impressive miracle