Let me make something clear before I start. This is not an advisory post. If you don’t already do this, then it’s probably not the best idea to start. If you do, then rest assured that you are not alone.
Right, well that’s the disclaimers out of the way.
This isn’t a problem when you have a small baby. You can sit down right in front of them with a cake, and they don’t even know what they’re missing. But babies grow up, and then they’re standing in front of you with reaching hands, saying, “Der ya go!” That’s when the secret eating begins.
The problem is, you make something like this:
And you know that you’re going to want to eat at least six times the amount you’re prepared to give the children. Because you want them to be all healthy and shit. I want me to be all healthy and shit as well, but most of all I want to eat cake.
Plus, I’m exhausted. The days are long when the nights are spent settling a baby back to sleep and ridding big kids of nightmares and twisted covers. A quick sugar boost does wonders for that ‘slump’ moment, when all you want to do is collapse into bed and tell responsibility to get to fuck.
Still, the issue isn’t so great while they’re small. There’s always nap time. And if you’ve got a safety gate on the kitchen door, you’ve got plenty of time to stash the goodies before they see you.
After a while, you have to be even craftier. Big kids have an inbuilt sensor to detect the moment you open the cupboard.
And worst of all, they can open the gate.
A head pops round the doorway with big, inquiring eyes and a salivating mouth. “What you eating?”
“Nothing!” I reply. I have acquired great skill in hiding something behind my back without it looking like I’m hiding something behind my back. Or dropping it. I’m unreasonably proud of this.
I can tell that they’re never convinced. They glare at me suspiciously and with such intensity that I’m almost certain they are activating the X-ray function in their eyeballs.
What do you mean, that’s not real? Show me the research!
So you say only Superman has X-ray vision? OK, I’ll take your word for it. But I’m still not so sure.
Eventually, they work out that even if I am concealing something, I’m not about to tell them what it is. They retreat back into the living room, throwing one last searching look at me as they go. Once I’m sure they’re gone, I retrieve my bounty (not Bounty. Coconut <shudders>), and shovel it down me as fast as I can.
Because I’m not dumb enough to think I can get away with it a second time.
The other reason I secret eat is just simple maths. Let me tell you about it in the style of a school maths problem (sort of):
Q: Char has 1 piece of cake. She also has 3 ravenous hell-beasts (aka children) licking their lips around her. If she shares the cake with said hell-beasts, how much will she get?
A: Not e-freaking-nough!
You see, if the kids realised that I was snacking in secret, I’d have approximately 2.6 seconds before they were gathered around me, clamouring for a bit.
Or begging like puppies, if you will.
What looks like an impressive slice will look, at best, a bit pathetic once they’ve had a go at it. Now, I will give anything to my kids. I will give them an essential body organ if they really need it. My time, my love, my pillow space. Even the clothes off my back, if it comes to it. But for God’s sake, not the cake as well.
I spend most of my life trying to instil into the children the values which I want them to have as they grow up. Determination, kindness, generosity…
But still, I don’t want to share!
Here’s a few pointers, to help you to achieve an optimal secret eating technique:
1. If it’s got a plastic wrapper, forget about it! Even a six month old can detect one of these opening from a hundred feet away.
2. Remember to pause the washing machine. You need to be able to listen out for people sneaking up on you.
3. Check your mouth for crumbs before you go back in. This is a crucial one. Forgetting this will be your downfall!
Follow these simple rules and the holy grail of uninterrupted cake-eating will be yours.
N. B. If you don’t like cake then firstly, what the hell is wrong with you? Secondly, sorry about that. Thirdly, cake isn’t essential for this. Just insert your favourite snack and off you go!