Dear Helen Hartman
Today in the bookstore I can across a book called French Kids Eat Everything and it made me sick. No not a comment on the book or the author, who I am sure is a lovely, well intentioned person, but I couldn’t help thinking “Great, yet ANOTHER indictment once again on my many failures as a mother.” Love to hear what Helen thinks is the right way to handle kids, feelings of not getting it right!
Dear Loved to Ask the Hard Questions One,
If French kids eat everything then they can just bite my… butter dish.
|Here kids, gnaw on this while Helen opens a can of whop-derriere on this problem.|
Helen agrees with the premise that as the adults we should set the example and be giving kids good, healthy foods but feels your frustration when the things we think are healthy are proved later to be only slightly less dangerous to our children than the glob of old gum found stuck under the table.
|Sally: It was GRAPE! Billy: I Never find nothin' good stuck to the table. Father: I wanted to raise chinchillas for profit but oh, no YOU had to have a FAMILY.|
(Here’s the test of if you are good mother or not. Did you take the kid who ate the gum directly into the washroom and rinse their mouth out or did you just have them spit it into a napkin and tell yourself whatever they picked up from it would only help to build their immune system? If youg child survived the ordeal, either answer is fine.)
But reading over your concern carefully...
|Then the Viscount took her in his strong arms and whispered huskily... That's NOT your letter? Oh, all right I'll read your letter, but I can't guarantee it will hold my attention as well.|
Helen finds herself of two minds
|"Well, you know what they say..." "Being of two minds is a nice change from her usual - being two faced?" "I was going to say 'Two minds are better than one', but yours works, too."|
Oh please, Helen isn't two faced! I never talk behind anyone's back.
|Seriously, who'd be dumb enough to turn their back on ME?|
But I am wondering, should I be addressing the issue of how nutrition has changed, or the angst over what makes for good mothering or how we let the opinions of other enter intrude on our well-being?
Yes, I know that’s 3 things. Helen is a word person, not a number person.
Let’s break it down – what the heck are you supposed to feed your kids? What are you supposed to feed yourself, for that matter? I mean, not everyone is a mother but we are all eaters.
|Speak for yourself. It's the 60s I live on cigarettes, booze and Metrical.|
If you asked the ‘experts’ in 1950, you’d get this.
|6 slices of bread a day - any way you slice it, that's a lot on one kid's plate!|
|Canned soup, canned pudding, canned drinks, canned laughter on sit coms! Ahh, those were the days.|
And it doesn’t get less confusing after that. Oddly enough, if you go backwards from the 50’s (I’ve seen movie stars trying desperately to do this, the results can be pretty scary!) simplicity, common sense and considering the tastes and needs of each individual tended to be the guidelines.
|"In our household we always have choices." "Ours too. Either eat what Mama makes or go hungry."|
Choosing common sense over nonsense would be a good approach to dealing with every body whether you are parenting them, feeding them, working with them or just on the same planet with them. Even if they write books aimed at making you feel inadequate.
Yes, I did notice I didn’t address the 'how do I know I’m a good mom and why do people keep writing books and blogs and articles to make me feel like I’m NOT?'. Looks like a 2-parter to me – more in next post just in time for Mother’s Day.