Things not to say #2

pastie boy

I heard this exchange last week between a father and his four or five-year-old boy after they’d just boarded a train with hot pasties in paper bags from the station cafe.

Boy: I only eat the bit round the edge. That’s my favourite bit.

Dad: What? Just the pastry round the edge? But the bit in the middle is the best bit. Daddy LOVES that bit. Mmmmmm. [Makes orgasmic noises while taking over-enthusiastic bite of his own pasty.]

[Boy continues to eat the pastry round the edge with sideways glances at his dad to see if he’s noticing].

Let’s face it. That whole ‘daddy-lurrrrrves-the-bit-in-the-middle’ or ‘mummy-lurrrrrves-brussel-sprouts’ tactic aint never gonna work! Even a one-year old can see through the hammy acting. The pasty’s THAT good huh, dad? They know 100% that it’s just another way of us trying to get them to eat something – and that gives them something to react against.

Yep, that pasty just became way more than a pasty. It became one big, fat, juicy handful of power and attention. Power to wind you up. Attention for not eating it. What’s the chance of the boy venturing into the middle bit now? Nil, I’d say!

Let’s rewind and see how the conversation could have unfolded in a way that didn’t make matters worse.

Boy: I only eat the bit round the edge. That’s my favourite bit.

Dad [bites tongue with all his might]: Oh, right.


Have you read Things not to say #1?