I found my children’s uneaten Easter Eggs yesterday. Even for a nearly-July which feels more like March, the fact that they’re still there, almost three months after they came into the house, has left me unsettled.
Leaving aside the question of what kind of control-freak mother not only doesn’t let her children gorge on their own chocolate as soon as they get it, but then goes on to forget its existence, is the much bigger problem. Why haven’t I eaten them?
I remember as a child being simultaneously awe-struck and faintly dismayed by friends who hoarded their Easter loot. We’d go back to school, the summer term would stagger through sports days and shows to the summer holidays, and still their shelves would boast sellotaped boxes of eggs. When their time came, they would be opened, and the contents consumed carefully over days. One iron-willed child eked her supply out to Christmas, a fragment of shell or three chocolate buttons every few days.
Mine? They were gone by the end of the day, usually; guilt and a surfeit of sweetness mingling in a heartfelt pledge that next year would be different.
So: the children’s eggs. Surely the fact that I’ve just discovered them locked away next to the canteen of for-best cutlery demonstrates the fact that I’ve grown into self-control (as well as the fact that there’s a wedding list somewhere in my past)? I’d like to think so, but the honest answer is probably that I’m just not that keen on kids’ confectionery any more. Had they received Bombay Sapphire, some Spanish olives or anything I actually like – well, I wouldn’t give much for their chances.
Thinking about it has made me wonder, though: how much do our characters really change? How much influence do we have over the characters that our children develop? My will-power is still not my strongest point, while my procrastinating skills are world-class (excuse me while I go and check Twitter; the dog ate my homework earlier and I’m still a bit behind). I would love for my children to grow into the kind of person who keeps their Easter Eggs till Christmas, but I suspect that locking them (eggs, not children) in the cupboard isn’t really the answer…