I write this sitting alone, Bryn having stormed off in an impressive 8 year old flounce, muttering incantations and the usual stuff about this being the worst day of his life etc, etc. What could possibly have happened to cause such an outburst? Has a close relative died, the cat been told he has a incurable disease? Are we moving home and forcing him to leave all his friends behind? Perhaps I have banned TV, football and ipods for a year? No, my crime, dear reader is this. I put a tiny sliver of cucumber and a morsel of tomato on the plate next to his cheese sandwich. NEXT TO, you understand. Not IN. Not even TOUCHING.
I really don't know how I ended up with such a fussy eater but no doubt it is my fault. As someone who will try any food and enjoy 99% of it, it just doesn't really cross my mind to not like something. OK, I prefer some things to others, and the time I tried sheep's brains was not my finest gastronomic moment to date, but I survived and apparently it's very good for you.
When Bryn was tiny I did all the right things. I slaved over Annabelle Bloody Karmel's toddler cookery book and rustled up fish pies, fruit compotes, rice puddings and the like. He ate most things as long as they were fairly mushed up as babies do. Then, one tea time when he was about 18 months old I was happily spooning homemade food into him when he turned to me and uttered his first phrase. "Broccoli, off!" Stupidly, I took the broccoli off and never put it back on again and that, I suppose, marked the beginning of the end of my wholesome eating regime and also the start of my son trying to boss me around!
The thing is, as a busy mum, you just want to make sure they eat...something...anything. Fill them up so they sleep through and you don't get any calls from social services. I can remember being very reassured by a friend whose first born ate anything. She told me she would look on in disgust at the parents feeding crisps and chocolate to their toddlers as she smugly thought to herself "Well, Sam has just eaten shepherd's pie with cabbage and carrots followed by fruit salad." A few years on she had another child, a girl, and soon found that she became one of the crisps and chocolate brigade, just desperate to get something into her daughter.
Anyway, my eight year old appears to be fit and healthy. He would cheerfully eat nothing but cheese sandwiches, on white bread of course, but I do manage to get chicken, carrots, parsnips and fruit smoothies into him too. I do hope that one day he will eat a more varied diet, but if not at least he could get himself a place on 'Freaky Eaters' long with those poor souls who eat only potato-based products or jam sandwiches.