Saturday, October 02, 2004

first we need a chair

i had to post that title so that i never forget the sound of my children saying that.

my children love to bake. if you ask them what they want to be when they grow up they both will tell you bakers. they are going to start a business together, buck will make the food, and pink will decorate it. i don't know exactly where this has come from, but i'm sure it was because when they were little mommy 'bonded' with them while preparing for a binge. toll house cookie dough was my binge food of choice. so 'let's make cookies' was a favorite mantra heard in their early childhood.

pink's never-fail response would be 'first we need a chair' - so they could get near the counter to 'help'. we had a sprawling country kitchen at that time and i remember fondly how i felt so maternal in doing something 'productive' with my children. it was truly a bonding experience, unfortunately polluted by my addiction, but in sifting through i'm keeping the good stuff, and that is definately one of them.

one of the best pieces of eating advice i've ever heard (from oprah i think) was to examine the 'real memory' emotion links to the food that causes me to binge. raw cookie and cake dough was my heroin. i think that it links to memories of a mother who was rarely engaged in my life finally being 'motherly' with me. i also have fond memories of my paternal grandmother coming to visit before christmas and making sugar cookies with her. i linked in my brain the feeling that engagement gave me with that sweet soft sugar rush and tried to re-create it as often as possible.

i also know that pink and buck have picked up on my excitement that comes from the anticipation of a 'fix' - it makes mommy happy, so it makes us happy, because if momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy... maybe i picked this up from my mother too? unravelling this aspect of my memory bank is fuzzy. maybe that's why i have been thinking about it and pondering it so often lately. trying to make sense of these weird shaped puzzle pieces i have, pieces i don't want to pass on to my kids.

buck has been begging me all week to make banana bread. we invented a family recipe that is sugar free and as far as muffins go, is quite healthy. i put him off until this weekend. this morning we baked together. he said 'mom, you know what i like best about these muffins?' 'what?' i asked. 'making them with you', he said. it was nice to honestly be able to agree with him. that was truly the best part. not crazy anticipation, slobbering shakes, just true, healthy bonding with my son making healthy food together. but first, we need a chair.

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