So there we were in the supermarket this morning, supposedly sharing a delightful family shopping expedition before heading off to the playground in the autumn sunshine.
Recently, Littleboy 1 has been allowed to walk around in the supermarket; he is a) really too big for the trolley, b) highly likely to fight with Littleboy 2 if sitting in a ‘2 seater’ trolley and c) at three and a half could, we thought, be trusted not to cause too much damage in the aisles.
To keep him entertained, I let him help to pick out the food, name it and put it into the trolley. I once read in some book on fussy eating that one should encourage them to take as much interest in food as possible, to get them used to the idea of different ingredients. I was impressed that he knew broccoli (God knows he’ll never eat it, but it’s a start) and he was most excited at being allowed to pick out a pumpkin (result: we are having roasted pumpkin tonight. Mmm). It worked well at first. OK, he did throw a mini-tantrum at not being allowed to put ‘red milk’ in the trolley (skimmed seemed unnecessary in addition to the 16 pints a week of full fat and semi-skimmed we seem to get through anyway) but all was fairly harmonious until we reached the fruit aisle.
Littleboy 1 insisted that we buy blackberries (inspired by a recent country walk on which he virtually ate his weight in juicy berries) so I gave him the punnet to hold. Whereupon he hurled it, with great force, into the trolley. Blackberries exploded all over the floor, the trolley and the copy of FT Weekend that the Doctor had meaningfully placed there (ominously lying in wait to tell us about the horrors of this week and how stupid we were, along with half the world and his wife, to have an Icesave ISA.) Both the Littleboys roared with laughter.
The Doctor was uncharacteristically furious – whether because of the laughter, the reckless throwing of soft fruit, the wastage of horrendously overpriced blackberries, because everything was covered in sticky black juice or because his precious copy of the FT was soiled, I am not entirely sure. Anyway, Littleboy 1 got a real dressing down from both of us – cue surprised stares from all the other parents shopping nearby. We then had a rather bad-tempered debate over whether we should own up and pay for the berries and newspaper, or go and get replacements and leave the soiled ones surreptitiously at the checkout? (Reader, we left them at the checkout.)
Well, it’s been a strange old week all round, quite frankly. Perhaps blackberries exploding on the FT in Waitrose are a metaphor…..