When Your Kids Selfishly Decide To Become Vegetarian

For the third time in her short life, NC has decided to give up meat and become a pescatarian.


tuna-576938_1280She is an environmental vegetarian which is apparently the practice of vegetarianism or veganism based on the indications that animal production, particularly by intensive farming, is environmentally unsustainable. Industrialised agriculture contributes on a “massive scale” to global warming, air pollution, land degradation, energy use, deforestation, and biodiversity declines. It is estimated that the livestock sector (including poultry) contributes to about 18 percent of global GHG emissions expressed as 100-year CO2 equivalents. According to Wikipedia.


As an aspiring climate scientist, who Mr Trump and Mr Turnball should be highly fearful of, NC feels it’s time to make a personal stand.


Which, while all well and good, (and myself and the old man count ourselves as supportive parents), it was predictably hard to prevent the eye roll  when she informed us about it and the telepathic question might have passed between us as to who would buy the bacon this time – a surefire way to persuade our daughter to stop being so selfish making mealtimes hell on earth to plan for.


Unfortunately, she seems more rigid about her principles this time.


I respect and value everyone’s choices in this world as long as it doesn’t affect me too much. I’m happy to go to vegetarian restaurants with my veggo friends – perhaps made easier because I’m quite partial to veggies in general as well as having certain somewhat embarrassing issues with red meat (see this post) – but I refuse to pay an arm and a leg for a piece of wild salmon or get the old man to fish for fresh tuna for our “picky pesky”.


Because although she eats fish, she will only eat certain types of fish now, and tuna, the lazy/cheapskate cook’s answer to getting fish down your kids’ necks, is off the menu completely.


Such limitations have had ramifications for the House Bitch who can be somewhat of a prima donna and is freaking the fuck out because he plans the meals, does the food shopping and occasionally pretends to cook. And for a man who finds Spaghetti Bolognese a stretch of his culinary skills, food without meat is a real conundrum.


In fairness to NC, she has offered to cook more often now and has produced several interesting vegetarian meals over the past weeks, which included a spaghetti dish where the only other ingredient was wilted spinach. As you can imagine, the boys raved about it, rubbing their tummies with glee and satiation until the minute NC turned her back and they ran to the fridge in search of protein.


She seems to be fairing quite well on what is effectively a cheese and egg diet and I’ve only seen any sign of her principles cracking once, when we came together for our traditional kebab night on Thursday. The smell and sight of those juicy beef slices dripping from the edges of our pitta bread, while falafel crumbled pathetically from her own, produced a look on her face akin to that of most of the world when Trump won the presidency. Disappointment at how much political choice can truly suck.

How To House Train Your Teenagers

bringing my towel along
bringing my towel along (Photo credit: hufse)

So the adjustment to apartment-living might have been a little more painful than I envisaged, although it’s not necessarily the reduced square metreage that is affecting my usually joyful disposition, but having teenagers 24/7 in my face.


My timing has never been great. NC is still on uni break and Kurt went back to school today for a mere three hours of minimal pain relief.


Meanwhile I have been trying to work, appease clients, and sort through all of the shit I missed last week – difficult with Foxtel blaring through my eardrums at a forbidden level-twenty-eight on the volume button, and although my clients may well be interested in who is shagging who in Primevel, it just doesn’t sound professional as background noise.


I guess it must be hard for the teens to crunch their way through a 2kg box of cereal and a crusty loaf of bread and listen to the tv at the same time, poor lambs.


Added to which, one of the usual teenage dossers showed up at Dysfunctional Hostel last night looking for board and lodging. He ate all of my food shop in one sitting, slept on the sofa (which required more clean sheets to add to the dirty laundry pile of ski-wear) and then fucked off out the minute the dishwasher needed unloading. I know he takes advantage of the fact that I have a soft spot for him.


Bitter much?


I’m not sure what I resent most about the seemingly impossible task of house-training my particular brand of teenager – the fact that they have no short-term memory when it comes to domestic rules and chores and yet can remember the start time of every mindless show on Foxtel; their ability to live comfortably in their own filth without catching some horrible, terminal disease that might teach them a lesson or the fact that they can eat their way through my week’s food shop in one night without putting on an ounce of weight.


Call me bitterly and dangerously psychotic but these are the unforgiveable teenage behaviours that are getting my vagina in a very dangerous twist at the moment, as if effects of peri-menopause weren’t bad enough.


Breakfast of Champions?
Breakfast of Champions? Courtesy of James at http://www.flickr.com

I had a nightmare about the half-finished, discarded bowls of cereal that are permanently putrefying in my sink and the wet towels last night.


I could write a thesis about wet towels. If the tv programme Mastermind still existed, wet towels would be my specialist subject; although the kids say that I’d be just as knowledgable on ‘nagging’ in the general category.


Then there are the fruit stickers I find stuck to my beautiful painted coffee table and the warm milk that is never returned to the fridge…


I could go on and on but then that would mean that I am letting it get to me.


How do I house-train my teenagers without them hating me?