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"Grandma Food Boundaries 101"

Updated: Feb 4, 2021

I love our granddaughter- her fault lies in the naïve trust that Grandma's love for her extends to my plate. Once the food hits the plate, all I ask is that it is mine and mine alone! Of course my love for the child includes feeding her almost anything she pleases (with or without her mother’s consent… Grandma power is fun). It isn't like I'd let our poor curly headed nugget starve. But reach for my homemade grilled salmon street tacos with crunchy slaw and the kid will learn real quick her Gran ain’t here to play. No matter how many crocodile tears you conjure up in those big hazel eyes. Grandma Shaney does not. share. her. food.

Think about it though, I've already shared and sacrificed my body to create three adult humans of my own. (Topher has hair in funny places now so he technically qualifies.) Every ounce of my being has been renounced, molding them into their own free thinking forms. Literal decades of setting myself aside to ensure the betterment of their lives, make dreams come true, be their ride or die. My skillful guilt-instillment technique ensures they know the depth of my unconditional love for them. This in turn trumps all, for all time! I’ve cared enough to reserve every one of the fucks I ‘care’ to give, for my children… still not going to share my plate of food though.

Now, Clover has been food adventuring with the Mr. and I ever since her very first visit to Hall's Corner Bar in Genesee, Idaho. She was out to lunch with her pride-filled bona fide Great’s, making her official debut at just one month old. Today, with new-found ingenuity, she will pull up my ottoman to the kitchen island (pretty adorable) to confidently test what her mama or I concoct and openly share her feedback. So far there seems to be no fear of any flavor, or texture (except avocado, just like her mother). I hold Clover’s opinion in high regard; as the official dog food aficionado of the house, she must have quite refined taste!

The issue is when we get to sitting down for our meal. Turn your head for even a brief moment; no plate is safe that rests within her reach. She's either switched plates with you, without shame and maintaining direct eye contact, or gone full stealth mode. As if with some magical three year old sleight of hand, she’s disappeared with your steak in exchange for her gummy carrot sticks. I do not recommend eating them. Lesson learned.

I must say however, her table manners far outshine those of her Uncle Topher’s. It will take years of grooming to reach the level of her Auntie A, whom is a seasoned professional and lives to tell tales of childhood dinner table anguish. From forks scraping teeth, the ‘not leaving the table until you’ve cleaned your plate’ rule, and dare I mention the can opener incident of 2003.

Grand-mothering calls on us to stretch imaginations, teach respect and reasonable caution. One must first survive the growth involved in sharing a civilized meal with others. This means recognizing attributes of an uncivilized meal. As you know, being improper lives and grows deep within my soul. *Grinchy smile* A far flung spoon of mashed potatoes shuts a young one up quickly, yet also teaches them proper aim. (See, I am reasonable.) If it’s a food fight you want Ms. Clover, it’s a food fight you’ll get!

Fellow improper Grandma’s, beloved readers, there are boundaries. Mine as I have just shared may or may not be considered a healthy or practical set, but one thing is certain. While sharing may in fact be caring, after preparing enough food for each mouth and set of hands present for any meal I host, all I ask is the food on my plate remain mine.

Protect your plate Grandma's and happy boundary setting!


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