Here we go again! Another mealtime, another battle to get the gruesome twosome to eat anything other than over processed shit, laden with salt, sugar and E numbers.
We took up position on the battleground, with their Dad breaking their line and taking up position on the flank. It was a good opening, but we weren’t ready for how much ammo they they had.
“What is this” says Thing One, poking the pasta suspiciously “This isn’t our usual Pasta!”
Deep breaths from both their Dad and I, “it’s just Pasta Bolognese, nothing unusual. eat up”.
Thing Two, goes for a bold opening gambit, that he has had some success with over the years; “I don’t like it, I’m not eating it”
Calmly, “You haven’t even tried it, what’s up?”
Thing One dons his Great British Menu, Judge face, and critiques all of the meal’s shortcomings. I’m not going to make it to the regional finals, never mind the showstopper banquet. Basically there are three main problems.
- Onion. I used finely chopped onion, but no garlic. Pasta sauce has to have enough garlic to knock over an elephant, this sauce had none. Definitely lost points there.
- There is a distinct lack of artificial flavours, preservatives, E numbers, or salt. They have me over a barrel here, I made the sauce from scratch, there wasn’t a bottle of Dolmio in sight.
- Carrot. I put a finely chopped, small carrot in the sauce, and forgot to turn the light off before they sat down at the table, so the carrot was duly noted. It’s pasta sauce, not a vitamin mule, finely chopped or not – the moment it was spotted, it was a case of ‘Houston we have a problem’.
“It’s healthy” I retort. Sauce from a bottle is full of sugar and salt; cue a short discussion on stroke and diabetes, with their Dad and I working as a tag team, and not pulling any punches.
Thing Two doesn’t care about diabetes or strokes, he is 7, he is invincible, he is not eating this dinner. “I don’t like it! It tastes weird!”
Carpe Jugulum son! (Thank you Terry Pratchett)
Thing Two is emboldened, ‘There is too much garlic in it, I don’t like it”, his brother’s shoulders sag, this is a rookie error. Over confidence has got his facts round his ankles, and Thing One knows that the breaking in ranks has left him vulnerable; he will have to eat more now.
By now their Dad is shovelling food in, and making ‘mmmmm’ sounds, because the dogs have woken up and are circling the table like great white sharks around seal island.
Thing One declares he is ‘full’. This is a gamble, he’s watching my face for any sign of weakness.
“Ok, but if you are leaving that, I’ll put some cling film over it and put it in the fridge, you aren’t getting buns or biscuits later, if you are hungry, you can come back to it”.
My face is being scanned, am I bluffing? I don’t usually bluff, should he risk it or not?
“Could you heat it up? I don’t think I’d like it cold.”
Of course son, I wouldn’t make you eat it cold (this isn’t the 1970’s)
He decides I’m not bluffing, and actually there wouldn’t be any cake later, “I’ll just eat a bit more now” he says, polishing off the last of it.
Stonewall Thing Two on the other hand is a much harder nut to crack.
“I don’t like it”
“You haven’t tried it”
“I’m not eating it”
“Just eat a bit, go on, look, this bit is nice.” He doesn’t look convinced, but eats a bit.
In the end, he eats about a third, but continues to look at it like I have presented him with a plate of live slugs to eat. But thats as much fight as I have in me. he has been unwell for the past day or two, and he has now eaten something nutritious, despite his best efforts not to.
I declare a truce and he disappears off upstairs to the sanctuary of his games like snow off a south facing ditch. currently this is Plants v Zombies, Garden Warfare
“Well done” says the husband, “it’s actually very nice, very fresh, but different to what they are used to”.
At this stage I don’t care. Peace has been restored, it’s time to lick wounds, retire from the field position, and draw up a strategy to do it all again tomorrow.
The joys of parenthood.