"Can we have these pleeeeease Mummy," said The Youngest on a trip around the supermarket.
"No, because you won't eat them."
"Oh but I will, these are my absolute favourite in the whole world." Even the arms are fully stretched to emphasis the size of the love of Coco-Pops that the child has.
"Ok," says Gail weakly as the massive box of chocolate rice that will turn the milk brown are added to the trolley. "But you are going to eat them, do you understand?"
"Yes," says The Youngest firmly.
"So just to be sure. You are going to eat every last pop in that box before I buy any other cereal. Is there anything you have not understood about this contract we are making?"
That afternoon just before dinner both The Youngest and The Teenager enjoy huge bowls of Coco-Pops while Gail is ironing in the other room waiting for the dinner to cook.
"I'm not that hungry," they chime as Gail produces the meal. Gail rapidly looks around the kitchen and sees the two dirty bowls in the corner. "Did you...?"
Dinner is postponed an hour because Gail will be buggered if she is going to throw the food away.
The next few mornings go according to plan and the never ending Coco Pops look like they may be eaten, until one morning The Youngest declares that they are no longer the most favourite in the world. Gail reminds the child about the contract they made and the child says sorry and even cries a little bit, but "please please could I have something else". The child then dashes up the stairs and returns with a handful of coins from the piggy bank. "I'll pay for them."
Gail's heart melts and she relents. How on earth is Gail meant to be lean and fabulous when she is faced with this? She could bin the cereal but it cost nearly as much as weekend away, and there's starving people, and Coco Pops are quite nice actually. Gail pictures Joe Wicks and Davina McCall shaking their heads as Gail tucks into a bowl of chocolatey goodness.