So many lessons our two year-olds teach us! Lesson no. 471: consider well the consequences of your choice of gift.
Example: Ava's little shopping trolley. After a conversation about gender stereotyping and how gifts should encourage aspiration and creative thought, I still knew that what Ava likes to do most of all is what mummy does. And, as it goes, unfortunately mummy seems to spend a horribly disproportionate amount of time in supermarkets. It's my own fault. I always bloody forget something.
Anyway, I was right! Ava loved it and I felt suitably smug. I had scarcely imagined, though, before that Tuesday morning in Sainsbury's, quite the battle of wills I was about to experience.
So I had my shopping trolley (containing little sister Ruby) and excited Ava had hers (surprisingly sturdy, as you will see, and containing Hugo Bear). I had my list and Ava, it transpired, had her list too.
This is the (shortened, as I remember) list of items, in order, that got put into the tiny trolley by Ava and mostly taken out again by me, to various levels of disgruntlement/sorrow/fury/obliviousness:
a 'you are 9!' birthday card
non-stick baking tray (didn't fit in trolley)
6 bulbs of garlic (kept one)
2 packs cooked beetroot
1.5kg smoked gammon joint (which got dropped and was apologised to)
3 packs honey roast ham (kept one)
a jar of something that looked indescribably foul and had a label that said 'Pamapol Lard With Meat'
dried sage (tears at giving up this one for some reason)
tin of butterbeans (kept)
4 packs of Organix fruit pots (kept one)
2 Sainsbury's Basics toothpastes
Colgate whitening toothpaste (kept)
Sensodyne something or other
12 pack of loo rolls (didn't fit in trolley)
2 pairs of tights
heavy duty garden refuse sacks
6 soft hotdog rolls
chocolate raisins (conceded and kept)
large pack sweet popcorn
At last (at last!) the checkout, where Ava, on tiptoes, put the mutually/begrudgingly agreed contents of her shopping trolley on to the conveyer belt, as I did mine. The lovely assistant packed for me, while I handed a slightly desperate Ruby snacks (it had been a long morning). I paid. We went home. I unpacked the shopping, and all was in order...
...bar one rogue item.
Given none of us will contemplate eating it (even Ava), that tin of rice pudding ("Awww, poor poo-din") will no doubt sit in the food cupboard for months – unloved, unwanted, watching as tins of tomatoes and kidney beans come and go.
PS. One tin of rice pudding seeks good home. Pick up only.