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My young son wants to eat things which don’t yet exist | Parents and parenting

My son is inconsolable, his jaw clenched, fists tight like little doughballs. We’re late leaving for nursery and he’s extraordinarily upset, the form of upset which, often, I’d treatment by merely giving him no matter he needed so we may be on our manner. Sadly, as occurs extra often nowadays, the factor he wants doesn’t exist.

‘Tomaaaaaato yoghurt,’ he screams, for the tenth time, ‘I need some tomaaaaato yoghurt.’ I inform him he can’t have tomato yoghurt, and for the next causes. F irst, to the very best of my data, tomato yoghurt will not be one thing that exists and is actually not one thing to which he has change into sufficiently acquainted that its denial needs to be scary such a response. Moreover, if tomato yoghurt did exist, I’d be keen to guess folding cash that it will not discover itself throughout the 1% of foodstuffs he really likes, since he has by no means actually loved tomato within the first place. And eventually, he’s already had a really sizeable breakfast of meals {that a}) he likes and b) have beforehand been recorded within the historical past of human civilisation.

As traditional, my phrases haven’t any impact and he stays, each actually and figuratively, unmoved. He stands there welded to the spot, crying tears of rage, as if I, his doting father, am refusing him water or insulin.

To some extent, that is higher than these instances I had to cease him from consuming precise, current things round the home (bathroom water and the soil from our plant pots). However in different methods, it’s worse. When he asks for one thing he’s not allowed to have, I understand how to speak him down. However when he asks for solely unimaginable things, it’s arduous to know what to do. It was the identical along with his week-long obsession with ‘aeroplane bagels’, a foodstuff we predict he could have skilled in a dream and which bears so little resemblance to commonplace, shop-bought bagels, that he felt pressured to scream screamed in our faces any time they had been provided in comfort.

As at all times, I’ve to remind myself that he’s three, and subsequently doesn’t know that there’s no such factor as tomato yoghurt, or aeroplane bagels, or milk burgers, or paint pies, however I can’t assist being appalled by the power of his futile conviction. It’s demanding and complicated to see him diminished to livid sobs on the thought ofby illogical, horrible meals combos, like a drained, confused Heston Blumenthal scrolling dejectedly via his drafts folder.

At nursery, he runs into the arms of his carers with delight, as if lastly free of his growling dictator of a father. On the way in which dwelling, I Google tomato yoghurt and discover one Japanese stockist who invoice it, considerably winningly, as ‘the tomato yoghurt that makes tomato haters faint in agony’. I handle to resist the urge to purchase it simply to know what’s in my son’s head or, if I’m trustworthy, so we will feed it to him and have him admit his folly. As an alternative, I present it to my spouse who says, ‘Huh, that’s humorous, I used to be simply telling him the opposite day that tomatoes had been a fruit.’

‘How great,’ I say, clenching my very own jaw this time. ‘You’re doing breakfast subsequent time.’

Did Ye Hear Mammy Died? by Séamas O’Reilly is out now (Little, Brown, £16.99). Purchase a replica from guardianbookshop at £14.78

Comply with Séamas on Twitter @shockproofbeats

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