After the small triumph of day 1, day 2 is inevitably fated to bring a crushing dose of reality.
And so it proves.
And in the style of the worst Hollywood disaster movies it’s impeccably timed to cause maximum chaos.
We’re about to leave the house. I’m just helping him on with his coat.
When he says.
‘Daddy I don’t like pasta and sausage.’
I’m about to add the obligatory ‘well you liked it yesterday’ but he’s already out-thinking me.
‘They make my tummy feel funny daddy.’
In fairness this is actually quite brilliant in conception and remarkably exploitative. There’s just a hint of a health warning in there and it plays on my insecurities around food preparation. He’s demolished my counter-attack at a stroke. He almost looks disappointed at how easily he’s bested me.
There’s simply no time to make anything else so we strike the most hopeless deal since the 1938 Munich Agreement. The pasta and sausage will stay in the lunchbox but I tell him he doesn’t have to eat it.
There’s a part of my brain which reasons at least if it’s there and he’s hungry then he may well eat it after all. It’s the same optimistic part which keeps thinking that someday somebody will again agree to pay me money in return for labour. A nice idea but increasingly unrealistic.
In desperation I stuff a load more breadsticks, crackers and fruit into the lunchbox, just something which might get him through today while I consider the future possibilities.
And it’s getting increasingly grim. As I understand it says in The Bible, ‘Man cannot live by breadstick alone’.
I’m going to have to come up with something new. Fast.