One of my favourite things about being grown up, in fact the thing that makes me feel like a grown-up, is the knowledge that if I want to I can eat my dessert first, before the main course. Now this is something I don't do very often, in fact I am struggling to remember whether I ever have actually done that, but I do like knowing that I can, if I want to.
I was thinking about that this evening as I ate Charbonnel et Walker drinking chocolate with a spoon direct from the tin (try it - it is very good) to satisfy my post dinner urge for something sweet. It's another thing you can only really do as a grown up. And I realised that the ability to do this kind of thing at will disappears somewhat once you have children.
I already have to eat my treats when the baby is napping or in the buggy and I am hidden from view, otherwise she wants to share it. It's not that sharing it would be a problem, but I am not about to give my ten month old any salty or sugary snacks, even though various relatives have tried to feed her chocolate buttons, KFC and wine. No, we'll save that for when she is old enough to actually want them, and even then we'll try to get away with the trick my mum managed of persuading me that chocolate was only allowed on Tuesdays and Fridays. So successful was she at this that if I went to a friend's house on, say, a Wednesday, I would turn down any chocolate because I wasn't allowed it on that day.
Anyway, I realised that the dessert first thing has come full circle. Because it's not my parents that I need to hide such wanton disregard for order from, but my daughter, and that being grown-up isn't about being able to have dessert first, it's about being able not to.
Related post: The secret life of parents