King of Nuts? The glorious Hazelnut
Hot House

Going nuts

Becoming a food-withholding “almond mom”

This article is taken from the August-September 2023 issue of The Critic. To get the full magazine why not subscribe? Right now we’re offering five issues for just £10.

Feeling massively affronted that Minnie and Lyra have accused me of being an “almond mom”. This is a particular breed of terrible mother, currently “big on TikTok”, who basically starves their child in the name of wellness. The original Almond Mom being model Yolanda Hadid, who went viral for telling her daughter Bella to “eat two almonds and chew them really well”.

Anyway, Minnie has based this accusation on my unwillingness to dispense snacks either an hour before or after a meal, my aversion to McDonald’s and the fact that yesterday I questioned whether she really needed a second slice of toast. In my defence, yes, I bloody hate snack requests — purely on feminist principles.

I’m not a sodding air hostess! Get your own rice cakes! My aversion to McDonald’s is snobbery. They’re welcome to eat Byron. Occasionally. I questioned the second slice of toast on punctuality — we were late for gymnastics camp.

When I made these points, they came back with my fondness for Gwyneth Paltrow’s podcast. This did momentarily floor me. I do indeed listen to Goop with the weird love-hate all stalkers presumably feel towards their victims. But I’m definitely not whipping up kale crisps and passing them off as Pringles. I just don’t buy Pringles in the first place.

Okay, yes, full disclosure I did used to dilute Hector’s oat milk when he started looking a touch chubby at five. But only the girls saw, and he didn’t realise. What’s the harm? Why do teenagers have to twist everything you do to make you evil and dysfunctional? I’m also still in the doghouse with Hector after sports day. Basically, amid fears that an “over-competitive culture” is being handed down from parents to kids, his school has decided the parents’ event must be a sedate, “lol” affair. Ergo a walking race with a rubber duck balanced on our heads.

This turned out to be nigh-impossible. They shouted “go”, and the sodding thing immediately slid off. I blame my pre-sports day blow dry, but I could suddenly see all these backs in front of me, and started having a weird out-of-body experience and flashbacks to coming last at school. The only option to get ahead was to keep my hands poised around the effing duck to stop its progress down my extra shiny hair, and leg it to the finish line.

I thought I’d done Hector proud by finishing a respectable fifth, but apparently he was mortified that I had “cheated”.

When I pointed out that a hedge-funder had tied the duck to his head using an excessively sporty headband, and that this was surely fouler play than my hand technique, he said this didn’t count because the hedge-funder had won. I mean, wtf? How do I even argue with this logic.

Appealed to Will for support, and he said he would have been able to win it, headband or not and definitely no hands, “easy”. I said yes, because his bouffant would provide so much traction. He said I was “undermining him in front of the kids”, and I said since he literally never came to any of their sports days, he was not in a position to comment.

Cue further therapy, though sadly not with the dreamy psych Quinn Goodheart, who Will has vetoed because he was too attractive.

He claimed that Quinn did not “get” him, which is Willspeak for “did not agree with him”. Had to stress eat at least 20 almonds after this exchange, while watching loads of almond mom videos.

Enjoying The Critic online? It's even better in print

Try five issues of Britain’s newest magazine for £10

Critic magazine cover