Thursday, 22 September 2011


It’s the simple things that make it all right. The little things other people probably don’t think twice about.

Like our breakfast routine.

Having a daughter with Prader-Willi Syndrome, who’s always physically hungry but has to be on a strict diet, means you have to keep a close eye on her in the kitchen.

But being obsessed with food means she wants to help with the cooking and preparing of meals. So I've started letting her make her own breakfast.

This doesn’t sound amazing, but it is, it really is.

I open the cupboard and lift down the cereal boxes and line them up in a row. My daughter gets her bowl, a spoon and the milk. And makes herself a ‘mix-up’, which is her name for having a little bit of everything. 

I keep out of the way, until she presents me with her bowl for inspection. “Is that too much, Mum?” she asks, anxiously, worrying I’ll take some away. I’ve never had to, so far. She has a knack for judging just the right amount.

Then it’s time for toast. And, incredibly, she’ll stick a slice on for herself, and one for her brother. She’ll spread some marmite on hers, and some chocolate spread on his. And so far, she’s not even sneaked in a crafty lick of the knife. Her desperate need to feel grown-up and independent is so important to her she chooses not to give in to her hunger. Although she knows I'm watching, so I suppose it's like forcing yourself not to kick the centre forward right in front of the ref.

She’s very nearly a teenager. I don’t know how many other mums feel quite so happy at the sight of their awkward, spotty offspring sticking some bread in a toaster. Mostly I think they want to swear at them and their mates for making yet another loaf disappear. 

I bloody love it.

Video is Morecambe & Wise's Breakfast Sketch

Video is Streetband - Toast. This really is a terrible, terrible, song. But it's about toast. And features an unfeasibly young-looking Paul Young, bless him.

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