I've journaled before about my childhood in Iowa, when my parents operated the local switchboard. Any phone call placed in our community had to go through "central", unless a person was calling someone on her own party line. So, somebody in our house had to be within running distance of the switchboard located in a corner of our living room at all times. When Mother had a big meal to cook, or when she was canning the abundant produce from our garden, Daddy would don the headset and take over for her. When we went to Church (three times a week), my parents paid someone to stay at the switchboard. In other words, my mom was very much tied down to that thing, and it wasn't always convenient for her to get up and satisfy my every whim.
Back when I was a toddler, Mother worried whether I was eating a balanced diet and asked the doctor, "What kinds of foods should she be eating? All she wants to eat is bread and gravy."
The doctor told her, "We don't care what she eats, as long as she eats."
That remark was repeated to me like gospel, the rest of my life; and it may be the cause of my weight problem. (It's much easier to blame a long-dead doctor, or my dear departed parents, than to take personal responsibility.)
So after that, if I wanted a snack a half-hour before dinner, that was fine with my parents. I was eating, wasn't I? If it was Christmas fudge, that was super, just so I was eating.
In those days, however, handy snacks weren't as easy to come by as they are now.
"There's nothing to eat," I'd whine to Mother.
From her throne at the switchboard, as she plugged one person to another so they could talk, she'd recite, "There's bread and milk, crackers and milk, graham crackers and milk... why, when I was your age, I was glad to have bread and lard and sugar."
I can still hear my mom saying these things.
And although, as a child, I wished for something more interesting, I usually ended up eating something-and-milk as a snack, and I fixed it myself.
If I was sick with an unsettled stomach, I was given toast and milk, with sugar sprinkled over it. I loved it.
At least once a week these days, I'll get a yen for something and realize nothing but crackers-and-milk will satisfy my craving. But you know, it's been years since I've had toast-and-milk: I may have that tonight.