The Hulk is a fussy little shit. Like most toddlers he’d happily survive on fish fingers, chicken nuggets and baked beans. He’ll tolerate the odd pea, and he has been known to show genuine appreciation for a carrot, but largely he prefers beige food.
He’s been at a daycare style nursery since he was 9 months old. Only for one day a week, but in that day, he stayed staunchly true to his food based beliefs. He was not one of those kids who would eat broccoli at nursery but never at home. If the nursery had sardines on toast for tea, my son came back hungry. He is nothing if not stubborn. But they had cooked the food. They were responsible for finding things he would eat, and feeding him. They had to load his fork up (he’s far too lazy to load his own) they had to tolerate his looks of disgust, they were responsible for the food, so they had to manage his monkeying about.
At home he spends the duration of every meal time getting up from the table to get “his favourite toy” If you’re really lucky he might even shit himself mid-meal just to have a reason to get down. Basically, when it comes to meal time, he’s a pleasure. I brought him up the same way as his sister (who eats most things) but he’s not her, he’s him. And he is generally suspicious of most food-stuffs which can’t be purchased in Greggs. I accept this. He is fussy. But he is 3, there is still time.
However we appear to have reached a real stumbling block. He’s moved on to pre-school. Now I have to send a lunch box and two healthy snacks. The healthy snack guidelines are fruit, veg or breadsticks. We were even sent an instructional video on the correct way to cut grapes to prevent choking. When the Diva went there, this was never a problem. She chooses fruit as a snack item, and I cant actually name a fruit that she doesn’t eat. Alas, he only eats bananas, grapes and pear. The only vegetables he eats are hot. So what the fuck am I meant to put in his lunchbox? Seriously. There are lunchbox guidelines sent home from nursery. I’m trying to quietly ignore them for fear of lunchbox repetition.
And so the task of making the lunchbox has become a stone around our necks. I busy myself with other important tasks (like tidying my sock drawer) in order to force my husband to make it. I just dread having to fill it, because being faced with his narrow range of food preferences leaves me feeling frustrated. However, I caught my husband putting a pack of Pom Bears and a Barney in there one day. This is a clear contravention of the lunchbox guidelines. Crisps and cake are not recommended, so combining the two is a clear example of parental negligence. We might as well pack him off for his day of fun with can of Special Brew and 20 B&H. And lets not even mention the peanut butter sandwich I just had to remove (what planet is the husband on??) Let’s just send him in with a test tube full of Ebola and a shotgun. I think they have sniffer dogs on the door these days, which are trained to spot a peanut or an uncut grape at 20 paces, he might not even make it past the foyer.
God help me people. I’ll continue sending him down the “nothing to declare” chanel, but if you spot my 3 year old being wrestled to floor by an armed guard brandishing an illicit pack of mini chedders, send help. Call the consulate, just make sure they know that he didn’t pack his own bags this morning, there is a very real chance that Mummy did it. You’ll find me in Bangkok Hilton. I’ve heard you get a 12 month stretch for smuggling in a penguin biscuit, but it can get reduced to 3 months if you volunteer for Forest School.