It started out as such a normal day; cloudy, warmish, with a hint of laundry. We ate our toast and jam in our pyjamas, and pottered around the house tidying away the detritus hurridly emptied out of the car last night after we arrived home from a Yorkshire weekend.
Even our trip to town was uneventful, apart from blocking even more people into the greengrocers than usual with my skillful buggy driving.
But then, then we went to the supermarket. And that’s where it happened.
We’d loaded up on nappies, remembered to buy toothpaste, added enough cheese to feed a small army of cheese loving toddlers to the trolley, and were casually sauntering down the baby aisle.
I stopped to contemplate the different flavours of our favourite brand of toddler muesli bars (the nice ones, all organic and no sugar or nasties, and tasty enough that I’ll snarf one for breakfast if I’m hungry and in a rush) which are conveniently located on a shelf about my chest height. And as I debated between Blackcurrant and Raspberry, and wondered whether she’d go for Apple and Cinnamon, a sweet little voice said:
And she pointed.
Down, deep down, way below my perusal range (I’m 6’0″), there on the bottom shelf they lurked. An entire range of Mickey Mouse branded toddler snacks. From beside my knee caps chortling Mickies stared up at me, telling me to bend closer.
I squatted down.
The Oat and Raspberry Chewy Bar Mickey and I eyed each other warily. In his eyes I read uncertainty; would my daughter’s deep affection for his stuffed toy and animated alter egos be enough to tempt me to purchase? He couldn’t tell. I snatched the box from the shelf and flipped it over. A ha! Glucose syrup third on the list of ingredients. On the front of the box, Mickey slumped, he knew he was defeated.
But as I placed the box back, that same sweet voice said, “Mama! Mou!”, and pointed to the shelf above. And there, filled with ingredients that I don’t inherently object to, was a tiny packet of Carrot and Sweetcorn flavoured ‘corn snacks’. I looked up into my Kitty’s enticing smile, and as I rose, I placed into our trolley, one packet of crisp approximations, purchased entirely on the basis of their branding and an appeal from my one year old.
And as the Mickey chorus silently cheered us on our way to the tills, a little more tarnish appeared on my maternal halo, already sitting rather haphazardly on my barely brushed hair.
Addendum: For enquiring minds who wish to know how the story ends, we had them for lunch. Kitty seemed to enjoy them, although most of that was playing with the packet, and ate more than I did. Despite my usual high tolerance for being fed rice and corn based baby snacks (many of which seem to taste like slightly less orange wotsits) I stopped at two. They will not be making an appearance in the trolley again, although I make no such assertions as to whether I will or will not again buy Kitty something unsuitable purely on the basis that it looks fun!