T is a big fan of CBeebies. I always swore I'd be one of those mothers who only let their child play with organically produced battery-free fair-trade wooden toys until they were six, and that the telly would be reserved for special occasions only, but then reality bit. Admittedly we've never watched quite as much of Auntie's offerings for under-5s as we do now, but my exhausted, elephantine state is temporary (I hope!) and we do balance a couple of hours in front of the goggle box with plenty of runs around the park or trips to the library. And at least there are no adverts.
There are perils though. T loves the hideous 'Big Cook, Little Cook', a programme I regarded with suspicion even before I saw its presenters moonlighting on Nuts TV, and I can't get the Numberjack's theme tune out of my head. Then there's Timmy. Timmy is the epnoymous star of an Aaardman animation about starting nursery school ('he's a little lamb with a lot to learn'). Like Gromit before him, he doesn't speak, but communicates via noises and expressions. It's very clever, and although in the 'bright and loud' camp, unlike other new favourite 'Waybulloo' it's nowhere near as offensive as 'Lazy Town'.
In an attempt to get organised and save money I've spent this afternoon batch cooking meals for the family. Mash and home-made potato wedges have been bagged and put in the freezer and a giant pan of T's favourite, lamb curry, simmered on the stove.
I served up a giant portion for tea. T tucked in with gusto. I sat next to him in a halo of smugness, gleeful he was consuming a lovely giant bowl of lentils, sweet potato and kidney beans. I'd even managed to sneak some spinach in there this time. Then came this exchange.
T (holding a piece of meat): 'what's that Mummy?'
Me: 'that's lamb darling, it's lamb curry'
T (regarding bowl suspiciously): 'lamb? lamb? Timmy?'
His bottom lip began to wobble. I panicked. Thinking of the huge vat still on the hob, cooling before being transferred in portions to the freezer, I did what every mother in the same circumstances would have done. Distraction.
'Oooh look darling, there's a cat outside the window'
Momentarily distracted, he continued to wolf down his tea. I watched nervously, half expecting him to turn up his nose at any moment.
He didn't of course. In fact in the end he had seconds. He has obviously inherited his mother's fickleness rather than his father's hard-core vegetarianism.