My daughter, for years; happily embraced the preferred foods of Old Spouse and I. In fact, like Old Spouse, she gets positively cranky if a three-day period passes without the appearance at table of a bean-and-lentil casserole.
She’s drawn curious stares in restaurants, this little girl; ordering cucumber maki or dipping her ciabatta into balsamic vinegar. For five years, she set off happily in the mornings with her tubs of chopped fruit and a peanut butter on whole-wheat sandwich.
And then; new city and a new school, with new friends presented us with a completely unexpected development: she became aware of processed food.
She had her first play date with one of her new friends and I knew immediately, when I fetched her, that she had something momentous to tell me. She could barely contain herself and burst out the minute she was strapped into her seat: The Van Rensburgs are so rich; they have white bread and they buy it already sliced!
Oh! There followed a stream of reverent praise for this family; they also – I heard – had pink, sliced meat to put on this heavenly bread and a little machine that just needed a squirt of syrup and you could make any cold drink in the world! Could she please have a sleepover at their house; they have chocolate breakfast cereal and Mindy Van Rensburg doesn’t even know what Jungle Oats are. (Heck, they must be quite a constipated household).
After a brief bout of panic, Old Spouse and I came up with a little defence strategy and we invited young Mindy over on a few consecutive weekends.
Mrs. Van Rensburg was quite cross with me. Mindy took to complaining and telling her how she wished her mom would bake muffins and pumpkin fritters … like Chelsea’s mom does.
Now, I wonder if an invitation to share some Merlot would placate Mrs. Van?