No Two Ways About It, That’s Strange. (Part 4)

The following facts about me are important pre-requisite knowledge for reading this particular blog. Most of you will know at least two out of three, so don’t get excited.

I was a vegetarian from birth until I was 18 years old.
I have always been strictly Kosher.
I am an infuriatingly and nonsensically bad eater.

So you can probably see where I am going with this. My attitudes to food are not exactly adventurous. I generally don’t order things in restaurants unless I know every ingredient inside it, and can see as few of them as possible. Even then, I bother waiters all around north west london on a regular basis with orders such as, “I’ll have the pesto and olive pasta, without the pesto, and with lots of cheese. And y’know what? No olives.”

Generally, my tastes haven’t changed since I was a kid, with a few notable exceptions. I now force myself to try new things once in a while, I now eat salad as long as it hasn’t seen a cut up tomato, (how hard is it to leave the cherry tomatoes whole?!) and I’m an unashamed carnivore, much to my mothers dismay.

But (and here comes my point) in absolutely no world, no matter how adventurous an eater I was, or however irreligious I became, or however little I thought of the animal kingdom, could I ever fathom people who trek to a specialist candy store to purchase the below.

Sour cream and onion Crickets. For those intrigued rather than repulsed, they also offer Chilli, and Sea Salt flavours.

These are basically the dare-devils answer to a bag of Revels. My advice is the same for both. I would recommend not munching through a box at the cinema. Nothing worse than chomping down on an orange treat and discovering its a sneaky coffee flavoured horror. I would imagine its similar when you think you’re getting a delicious beetle and accidentally begin chewing a centipede. Imagine how terrible that would be.

This one is by far the oddest. After all, I obviously don’t know what insects taste like, and for all I know they’re delicious. (But if you’re gonna tell me they’re ‘just like chicken’ my advice would be, eat chicken, it’s not nearly ¬£4 a bite.)
But this isn’t even really eating an insect! It’s just a worm, inside an ordinary lollipop. So you basically are eating an extortionately expensive chupa chup, with a bug in the middle. Do you crunch down on the worm when u get near the end? Is the idea to try and keep it whole?

I don’t get it. I don’t even mean from a disgusting point of view, because I’m in the ‘animals are animals’ camp. There really is no difference in my mind between eating a cow or eating a ‘cute little rabbit’ if kosher wasn’t a factor for me. I was more shocked by the deceit than the ingredients of Tesco’s horse burgers for example.

I just don’t understand why anyone would spend a fortune to eat a bug. They can’t be filling, I don’t really believe that you can taste anything under all the chocolate or seasoning they apparently need to be palatable, and they cost about ten times the price of a regular, delicious, non creepy crawling twix bar.

So I suppose it must be a status thing. Much in the same way that men swig beer, or teenagers down tequila shots, if you have enough wasps maybe they go from horrible to bearable to quite nice really, with the added benefit that you can pat yourself on the back for being part of an elite few, part of the latest fad, part of the new sensation.

Must make you feel bad when you’re watching Pinocchio though. “Always let your conscience be your snack” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, after all.

Would Grandparenting make good Parenting?


Grandparents would make really cool parents. But my aim is not to be cool.

We all know the expression that most grandparents employ, that being a g’parent is great because you get all the fun and sharing, and then you get to give the kids back at the end of the day. Partly, the way they seem to act must be down to this sudden lack of real parental responsibility after all these years of having their own children. I’ve spoken before (Emerging Adulthood) about finally becoming a grown up, and one of the five stages of this being having your own children. Perhaps with this, we cross the line into not needing ‘looking after’ any more, and our parents are free to seize the silliness which theyve spent the last few decades quashing and enjoy not having to be the ‘grown ups’ for a while.

Does this explain why when I’m trying to get my 1yo down for an afternoon nap, gritting my teeth through the controlled crying and trying not to join him in his tears, I have a grandma at my shoulder voicing her opinion of “Well, if he doesnt want to go to sleep, why should he have to?” Er.. maybe because otherwise he’s going to be a huge grouch all afternoon and not eat properly or feel well? And when I’m feeding him, Oh you’re being so cruel, if he doesnt want that mashed potato, why should he have to have it? Because kids (especially babies) dont have any idea what they like yet and its up to us to introduce tastes and different foods? Apparently irrelevant.

It’s not as if I have some magical knowledge of babies that they don’t have. On the contrary, they brought us all up, and I would bet a substantial sum that all of us had plenty of afternoon naps and ate full and nourishing meals, against our heavy protestations. But somehow when the generation gap widens, all responsible parenting seems to fly out the window. I’m sure R would love a piece of chocolate cake.. just a small piece? … Oh let’s wake him up for a quick cuddle… I saw seventeen different toys he doesnt need this week, and just had to buy them all. Where was this when we were growing up? With our strict bed times and dietary mandates and forgotten birthday presents let alone ‘just because’ presents.. Is this just sudden freedom from parental responsibility? Or have they grown up and realised that life’s too short to be so strict?

If grandparents could have their time back with us parents as babies, I wonder if they would be so laissez faire with the rules. Or if it is just a way to build that special g’parent/g’child bond through cake and treats and bending those rules. Maybe I’m crazy to let it annoy me when I know that to some extent all g’parents do the same thing. And yet…