My two are so naughty at the moment. They have both realised that they can get attention off of the other one and onto THEM far more easily if they are naughty. One of the problems with having 2 so close is that they learn each others bad habits rapidly as well as good. I am usually very good at ignoring behaviour rather than pandering to it and only intervene when necessary (blood, wounds, screams that rouse neighbours). I want them to learn to get attention from good behaviour, not bad.
Unfortunately, the time when my fuse is short and they win out every time is over the dinner table. I am torn between my sensible desire to ignore them and my desire to shove something, anything down their throats. Daughter has learned to get a reaction from observing her brothers sleek "I don't actually like this now, I liked it the other day but not now" and copying it. From one day to the next I never know what they will actually eat. They will both blankly refuse the meal presented to them and then say "it's horrible, I won't eat anything tonight". I know I can ignore it. I say "Ok, wait till we have all finished and then you can get down". I ignore their pleas for snacks and milk. "No, you did not eat your dinner", but the next morning, after a night without food they are VILE and it is impossible to get them dressed without screams. So, they need to eat something.
I have spent weeks buying old 60's , 70's and 80's cookbooks from charity shops. The photos are vile, the food looks awful. But it was what I ate. And I ate it. I even remember liking some of it. Either way, I thought a week of "What mummy used to have to eat with no snacks" would do them, and me some good. Stocking up on mince was probably needed.
So, take this cookbook from 1973. I remember this from my Mums' kitchen. Nobody, I think, would now want to eat the "Savoury egg pie" consisting of bread, canned oxtail soup, cheese and , get this, peanuts, or the terribly names "Cottage cheese and orange mould". They probably didn't eat it then. But, as a challenge, here is my proposed week from a 1973 cookbook. I'll tell you how it went next week.
Mon: chicken croquettes with grilled tomatoes and cheese salad. (As this is late posting, I can tell you, this went down VERY well)
Tues: Family Cornish Pasty (Likewise!)
Weds: Macnamara pie (seriously, a pie made with powdered tomato soup!) and lamb chops
Thursday: Somerset Chicken Casserole
Friday: Spaghetti Moussake. A recipe involving canned, yes, canned spaghetti and mince. And you know what, I bet they eat it.
Saturday: I've had enough. Back to River Cottage.