Saturday lunchtime. My wife is at work, and so I am being The Responsible Parent for the day.
My children and I are driving home from town. My son has been to one of his clubs, and whilst this was on my daughter and I ate grossly overpriced cakes in the cafe.
“Daddy?” says Inquisitive Son. “What’s for lunch?”
I do not consider cooking to be amongst my skillset. Not a bulletpoint on my CV. But when it comes to my children, nothing is too much trouble! I’ll move mountains just to make them smile. Work my fingers to the bone if it’ll make them happy. My response embodies this dedication.
“Baked beans on toast.”
He sighs; a resigned sigh. A sigh that indicates the conversation has gone exactly as he expected. He didn’t expect to get much, and that’s what he has.
“But we always have that when you cook. Haven’t you got a badge?”
This is an unexpected turn; I am thrown. To gauge my son’s thought-processes is a complicated affair, and not one I can do whilst driving in Saturday traffic.
“A badge. Granny says you got a badge for cooking. In scouts.”
Oh, bloody hell. He’s been listening to Granny again. When my mother finally shuffles off this mortal coil, my scout uniform is going in the box with her. Including that damn cooking badge. Which I seem to recall being awarded for being able to peel a carrot.
“Yeah, well Granny says lots of things. You don’t want to listen to everything she says.”
We went to McDonalds, in the end. He seemed happy with that. And if he asks, I’ll tell him I was awarded my badge for being able to negotiate a Drive-Thru.