EDitorial ± 15-Jun-2004

Sweet Nothings

Late Saturday afternoon and I'm preoccupied with adjusting the angle of the chair — my chair — for the imminent opening match of Euro 2004 between Portugal, the hosts, and some other team, most likely from within Europe.

"Dad, can we have a marshmallow?" coo the kids.

"Don't see why not", says I, heading into the kitchen and fetching a chair to reach my big birthday tub o' mallows, 475g of Haribo's finest glucose fructose syrup products.

Offering the pot to Ella, she takes one of the longer ones, observed closely by Rose. Moving to Rose, she hesitates, scanning for the same sort now being consumed by big sister. "Come on Rose" says I, "you've got five seconds", and I begin to count.

We like sweets a lot
But they make your insides rot
So remember it's your body
And the only one you've got
— Animaniacs, Be Careful What You Eat (1993)

Time is shortly up and Rose hasn't chosen, so I close the tub and head off to find Theo, who grabs the first one he can. Then I replace the mallows in their ultra-secure top of the cupboard position.

Game now underway with Figo, Pauleta, et cetera, but doesn't take long before I'm joined by an enraged Rose: "Dad, why didn't you let me have a marshmallow?"

"But Rose", says I, "you could have but you took too long."

"But Dad", says Rose, "that's not fair! I want a marshmallow!"

This carries on for around ten minutes, during which time the groovy Grecians score the opening goal. I then cave in and, removing the first two mallows I find, give them to Theo to give to Rose. He can be trusted like that.

All's well until Rose rejoins us: "Dad, those weren't the ones I wanted!"

"Rose", says I, "does it matter? You've had two mallows!"

"No", says Rose, "I didn't want those ones — I gave them to Theo."

(this story carries on well into the second half but shows my parental abilities in a less than flattering light and so terminates here)

Be seeing you!