Saturday, 08 May 2021

Everything's a weighting game when you're on hold

THEY say that good things come to those who wait, but in my recent experience it seems as though just more and more weight piles on for those who wait.

It feels like I’m forever on hold for something... waiting for literary agents to get back from international book fairs, their holidays or even just the loo, Cookie to stop bullying me off the couch at 8.30 every evening or fame, fortune and fantastic size 10 clothes to fit me — you name it, I’m waiting for it.

And while I wait, what do I do to pass the time? Stuff my face with whatever’s closest to hand (usually cheese, rarely an apple), of course!

Then I gasp in horror and disbelief when, at my weekly weigh-in at home, I discover I’ve stacked it on.

And after watching that documentary about George Michael, made by the great man himself, I can’t get his classic song Waiting For That Day (off the Listen Without Prejudice album) out of my head — it’s almost the soundtrack to my life these days.

But in my quest to become conscious, mindful and aware — cool, calm and collected to those of you born before the Nineties — all I appear to have learnt on my journey is that I have about as much patience as Scrappy Doo.

Worst of all, it seems The Sunshiney Seven-Year-Old has inherited my lack of control when it comes to foot-tapping impatience and fridge-raiding.

“I’m hungry,” he announces every day at 5pm, mere seconds after he’s demolished his favourite Crackerbread and Philadelphia cream cheese combo, a litre of water and two bananas.

“You can’t be!” I slam the fridge door shut, just as he’s reaching for my...(sorry the) cheese.

“But Mum, I’m thtarving!” His lisp is still delighting us at every turn, even though his two front adult teeth are threatening to come through at any moment.

“Just wait,” I say in that measured way Supernanny says you should always adopt when talking to under-10s, “dinner will be ready soon and you don’t want to spoil your appetite, do you?”

“Yeth I do! And you take for aaaageth to make dinner! What ith for dinner, Mummy?”

Instead of replying with the truth (I haven’t got the faintest clue), I ask him what he would like.

“Tuna thandwith?”

“You already had one for your lunch.”

“But I like them! And you make them tho quickly and yourth are the betht oneth in the whole wide thity!”

A sucker for a compliment — if indeed that’s what it was, his words being so difficult to decipher these days — I relinquish my grip on the fridge door and get out the mayonnaise.

I try not to eat bread at all, but I have to have it in the house for the kids, so I take out the 50/50 stuff and slather two slices in mayonnaise while mixing up a can of tuna with even more ginormous dollops of mayo in a bowl.

I stuff his sandwich with half the tuna and then proceed to eat the rest of the bowlful as though I’m just popping a smidge of it into my mouth on my way to putting the bowl back in the fridge, telling myself I have no problem whatsoever with food.

But I’m fooling no one. Least of all my kids who are always watching and listening and are in danger of developing their own issues around food in response to their mother’s.

So what do I do? Order Russell Brand’s Recovery from Amazon, of course — and wait for it to be delivered to my front door, no walking to the Bell Bookshop required.

I ponder my situation while I wait and come to the conclusion that waiting is a good thing, giving us time out from our hectic lives to reflect on life’s bigger, tricker questions like who am I? What is the meaning of life? And will the guy who’s coming to fix the boiler ever show up?

I often ask myself whether I’ll ever confront and conquer my food demons or whether I will ever stop sighing, shaking my head and calling George Michael a wally for dying on us every time we go over the bridge at Goring.

And my answer? We’ll just have to wait and see.

But that’s another story…

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