My dad dictated the menu, but Mom had veto power, because she did the shopping and balanced the household budget. As a small child, I was already addicted to sugar, chewing wads of bubble gum that Mom would find on the kitchen floor and living room. We did not have carpet in any of the rooms. I guess I wasn't being well-supervised, because no one seemed to notice when I dropped the gum from my mouth to the floor. When she would get the mop and bucket out, Mom would have to take a knife to scrape the old gum off the worn linoleum before cleaning with Spic and Span.
I grew up in an old house, built in the 1920s. At one time, the place had been one room, and wasn't haunted because what spirit would want to return to a shack? That was Mom's opinion, anyway. Other rooms were added on well before my parents bought the house. Garbage had been buried in the ground, and my brothers found old Indian arrowheads and various fascinating junk on the four acres of property. The land was almost worth the decay of the house. Dad wasn't one for home improvement in those days, so we lived in a rather indifferent state regarding the house. New carpet and paint were added over the years, and Dad did remodel the bathroom and kitchen by the time I was a teen, along with building a deck to the side of the house a few months before his death. The sudden interest in the house was a trade-off to Mom, because he thought she was thinking about leaving him by then. But that's another story.
My addiction to sugar was always at odds with the menu; however, I do remember eating some vegetables and fruit as a kid. I liked yogurt. I liked hamburgers and chicken. Fast food chains, unfortunately, were on the rise along with the popularity of sugary cereals. When I look back, I wonder if my parents' improving financial conditions, by the time I was eight years old, had anything to do with my childhood weight gain. I got an Easy Bake oven for Christmas that year, and I moved on to baking cakes and brownies in Mom's oven. This way, I could eat what I wanted, not having to rely on the dinners my dad and the budget dictated.