We are at the seaside for the weekend. E and I are in the harbour to buy some fish for lunch. E peers up to the fish stall, coming eye to eye with a rather large, slack-jawed sea bream.
“Look, fish!” he exclaims and reaches out a finger to touch it. I busy myself with buying some salmon, and when I look down he is repeatedly rubbing his finger over the fish’s glassy eye. My top lip curls with involuntary disgust.
Purchase made, we leave the market.
“Carry me, mummy.”
I sigh. “No, walk please, poppet.”
He stops dead. “Carry me mummy. Please.”
I weigh up the options:
a) a long and drawn out negotiation about him walking, ending up in him sitting on the floor in the middle of a bustling harbour with tourists stepping around him with barely concealed irritation,
b) slap him round the chops with a wet salmon for being lazy and disobedient, or
c) carry him and get back to the house before sun down.
Whilst the salmon option proves highly tempting, I reluctantly leave our lunch in the carrier bag and pick him up. He immediately pops his finger into my mouth and wiggles it around. Christ on a bike, what is that hideous taste? And then I remember. Mmmm. Fish eyes. This day just keeps getting better.