A couple of weeks ago I had to take the car to the mechanics. The required new brakes, and the mechanic we love several suburbs away, conspired to mean I had to sit and wait hours for the car to be ready. With a toddler and a new born. Oh what fresh hell would this be?
The night before I packed a bag of toys, downloaded a Justine Clarke DVD onto the iPad, made toddler snacks and braced myself for the long day ahead (it was actually only going in for a service, but it was pretty obvious the brakes were in a bad way).
The only shops and entertainment nearby were a Bunnings, a fruit store, a service station and a park. We broke the day up by starting at Bunnings. My toddler helped me chose and carry seedlings. I must write about how awesome the Bunnings staff were. Baby decided she needed a feed while there. I asked a garden centre staff member if there was somewhere I could sit and feed. She not only told me to use the comfy outdoor setting displays, but came and checked I was okay. All the staff who passed me smiled warmly and a few asked if I needed anything. What a wonderful experience breast feeding in a store. Thanks Bunnings. After feeding, changing nappies and chasing the errant toddler, we purchased our herbs and returned to the mechanics.
The next trip out was around lunch. I wanted to get some fresh food and yoghurt and head to the park. I let Boo guide me on which fruit to buy, and she chose cherries, red grapes and a mandarin. We walked over to the park and opened our bounty.
Watching the pure enjoyment on Boo’s face as she tucked into juicy mandarins, then devoured those fresh seasonal cherries was just bliss. It brings up the question: what makes a treat? Why do we associate treats with junk food? To my toddler that day, running round a park while enjoying fresh fruit was every bit as delightful as eating a chocolate bar. Maybe more, as the energy and nutrients from the fruit provided her with lasting energy, instead of the crash from the processed sugars. One of my favourite treats is a bag full of lychees. I love peeling those little fruits and feeling the burst of juice and natural sweetness. So, so good.
Maybe what we need is to redefine the idea of a treat. And fresh, seasonal fruits are the perfect place to start.