What shall we cook today?

Every working parent goes through the daily routine of what we should have for tea that night. And with three teenagers, there is a range of likes and dislikes. K is quite fussy, but loves any form of pasta, J eats anything and L, well, since anorexia came to live with us, there is a fourth member of the family. With strong opinions..

As soon as the What to eat, debate starts, it feels more complex than the Good Friday agreement. Any deviation from the safe foods and the negotiations start. To reduce fat, remove cream, avoid cheese, oil and all the foods that scare her. Any suggestion that we order pizza and the anorexia klaxon goes wild. Add in the boundaries of what we have in the fridge or cupboard and we go round and round and round. In the week, I come home for an hour before going out for another meeting. The talks open. I suggest an easy pasta dish with cream and mushrooms. C chips in with his views about whether we have the ingredients in. K agrees, L suggests chicken. Pesto chicken pasta, asks C. L looks scared, and tries to think of how she can say something that sounds credible, but really means plain chicken salad. It has been a long trying day and I have to go back to work again. I just don’t have the energy for this. I suggest pizza, K rejoices, L vetoes.

I have had enough. I don’t lose my temper. I just go out. I want us to live on powdered sachets with no taste, just a medicine we take to keep us going. I am sick to death of food. Yet, I love food, I love cooking, but anorexia sucks every last drop of joy out of meals. On Friday, L goes to her Dad’s. The night we planned to have pizza. K, C and I sit and eat our pizzas while L eats with her father. Once upon a time I would have checked what she was having. But I haven’t the energy. Food is a minefield and many days I am sick of the battle.

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