The other side is that I need to alter things slightly. Dinner is dinner. You try the things on offer and eat as much as you need to and you may be offered a fruity style dessert. Once dinner is done, that's it. There is no fruit lingering in the future, no slice of freshly baked bread, there is dinner and then there is bed.
For some time Ella's been wanting to try won tons. The only time I've eaten them is in soup or deep fried and not very often. When I asked Ella how she knew about them, she said she'd read about them in a book called "What a mess Fang Fang". I must have missed that one.
So, today, that's what we did, we made deep fried won tons and gyoza. The girls did all the chopping, all the mixing and with a little help from me the making of the actual dumplings themselves. I'm afraid that even with direction I could not perfect the neat little folds on the gyoza. I couldn't even understand the directions given for the won tons.
The upshot, we all had fun. Did it take a long time; yes it did. Did I keep my cool and enjoy myself; yes I did. Did the girls try anything new; yes they did. Did they like what they'd made; 50/50, Ella wasn't sure on the filling, but she did her best. Leila tried but wasn't keen.
Someone close to me has a child who has had very real and threatening issues with food, for many years. It's such a heart breaking condition and one that has lasted well beyond childhood. This person emailed me some advice, things that for the most part we have already tried, but hearing it again from her, being reminded that food is a journey and should not be a chore, especially knowing how someone they love still struggles with food, well it made a difference. I'm the adult and I need to find the patience, the strength, the energy and understanding, to remember that, even when it's very challenging.
Tomorrow night, family dinner, fajitas.