You may remember a couple of weeks ago I spoke of Missy’s dislike, nay rejection, of fruit that is not in a tube. Well, Mum had an ingenious idea about that.
In the weeks before Missy’s third birthday, Mum started introducing the concept, that maybe, our fruitless fun-size female might like to ‘give it a go’ when she turned three.
This proved to be a genius idea. We still offered her the chance to eat fruity delights before the ‘event’, and she would politely decline with a smile and a “when I’m three, I’ll eat fruit”. True, as that date approached, her will did start to waver. Sometimes at night she would wake up, and when I went to pat her back to sleep, Missy would sleepily pronounce she didn’t want to eat fruit when she was three.
Then, like death and taxes, the inevitable arrived. Her birthday. The day was a whirlwind of presents and fun, and any thought of the fruity consequences was forgotten in a blur of leggo, princess dolls and ponies (of the plastic miniature kind).
It also pleasingly slipped her mind that I had previously and foolishly said she could drive my car when she was three, and that I would buy her a giraffe. Phew! Dodged a bullet there.
All was going well till dinner. When it must have suddenly hit her. I asked her if she’d had a lovely day and a fun birthday party; Missy looked up at me with doe-eyes and a trembling lip and announced, “Daddy, I don’t want to be three, I want to be two”. And so, with my lip joining her, we had a cuddle and a chat about being ‘a big girl’.
Eventually, she recovered, and the very next day, while out at lunch, and again, via an inspired moment from my wife, a sliver of strawberry magically appeared with a kind motherly word: “You’re a big girl now, you’re three! Will you try this my darling?”
I had dreaded this moment. I knew the eating of fruit was destined to be a battle of wills. It was going to be an apocalyptic struggle between adult and child. There would be screaming, throwing, thrashing and tantrums; and that would just be me. Missy would act much worse.
I held my breath, and slowly reached for the car keys, ready to whisk a raging child away from the café.
Missy looked at it, and cool as you like, popped it into her mouth, followed quickly by a piece of raspberry. Sure, she was apprehensive. Sure she ate it with a slightly over dramatic scrunching of her face. But eat fruit, she did.
We couldn’t have been any prouder of her.
Since then, admittedly, the floodgates of fruit eating haven’t exactly opened, but she tried it, and is slowly coming around.
My dear sweet little girl is now officially a dear, sweet, big girl.
Cue the trembling lip of admiration from two overjoyed parents.