'FK, do you really need to eat that?' my poor mum used to sigh (and still does, when she thinks she can get away with it). My mum and I are of the same build, with the slight difference that hers includes will power and mine doesn't. Resulting in quite different body shapes.
Anyway, some of my food memories...
Food: My Early Years
Aged 3: Mum had just finished the elaborate icing for my great-gran's 80th birthday cake. I pulled up a chair and stood at the island unit to gaze at the snowy glaze of inch-deep royal icing. I stuck in my finger and crammed in a few mouthfuls before I was caught.
Aged 4: I developed my food Spidey senses to clamber on to the side units and reach the top shelf where my perfect hostess mum kept the after-dinner mint crumbles. Bliss.
Aged 5: When eating something perfect (i.e. any form of cake), I used to walk backwards and forwards, humming to myself. I ate too much Devil's Food Cake (Betty Crocker recipe, the book was food porn) and, after treading the boards of the sitting room once too often, threw up. What a waste of cake.
Aged 6: After my sixth birthday party, I smuggled one of the greaseproof paper 'Going Home Bags' upstairs to bed and fell asleep whilst eating a lollipop. I can still remember my despairing mum pushing my head over the bathroom sink the next morning and attacking my sticky hair with a pair of kitchen scissors. 'You. Are. Such. A. Greedy. Girl.'
Aged 7: Mum must have become fed up with her younger daughter's obsessive sweet tooth. My elder sis was never a problem. In fact, at the time, Sis reminded me of boring Mary, Laura Ingalls' elder sister in Little House on the Prairie. So well behaved, I bet she never stole her baby brother's sweet Farleys rusks from the top cupboard shelf.
Anyway, Mum banned all sweets from the house. She was desperate, but surely she must have known it would never work.
I found 5p on the pavement after school one afternoon. After a brief debate with my conscience, I popped in to the sweet shop on the way to the bus stop. Sis refused to have anything to do with the whole operation and waited outside. Later that night, we were tucked up in bed when she announced that she 'couldn't bear lying any longer' and went downstairs to tell Mum and Dad about my terrible sin.
I clearly remember lying in bed, the blankets pulled up to my nose, waiting for the inevitable summons. Sis scampered back in to her bed and told me that The Parents were waiting for me. I slowly made my way downstairs, head hung low. 'You know what we wanted to talk to you about,' said Dad. I nodded. 'And you know what you've done wrong? And you won't do it again?' I shook my head. Dad scooped me on to his lap and gave me a hug. I looked up and caught him shaking with suppressed laughter.
On my return to our bedroom, Sis seemed disappointed with my reprieve. I was smug. I'd had sweet cigarettes and Hubba Bubba AND extra hugs from Mum and Dad.
You see - sweets and happy times. The perfect combination.