"I'm making a shopping list!" I shout generally.
When my lot were little, I'd write out shopping lists and find them full of additions as soon as my back was turned - chocolate chip ice cream, chocolate, Penguin multi-packs. My daughter would also decorate the lists with small pictures of cats. Or, less charmingly, rude descriptions of her brothers.
But nowadays I can't get anyone to contribute.
My younger son wanders into the kitchen.
"What do we need from the shops?" I say.
"What kind of food?"
He stands there, considering. Seconds stretch into minutes.
Elder son joins us.
"I'm going shopping," I say. "Is there anything we need?"
Elder son screws up his face. "Shreddies?" he says.
Every little helps.
The next morning, Easter Sunday, I'm in the kitchen making a cup of tea when elder son finally emerges from his extensive sleep research. There's what I think is a companionable silence while the kettle boils until I realise he is opening and shutting all the cupboards.
"What are you looking for?" I ask.
"Cheerios,"he says. "Have we got any Cheerios?"
"You didn't ask me to buy Cheerios," I say. "You asked me to buy Shreddies."
He shrugs, sadly. "Shreddies are nice," he says, with the air of someone trying desperately hard to look on the bright side.
I open my mouth to remonstrate. Then change my mind and take a deep breath instead.
Keep calm. Keep calm.
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