There is an undercurrent of conflict. The Toddler does not want to eat her Big Soup.
“I cooked that for you especially,” I warn her. “You said that you wanted some soup, so I went to the cupboard, and I got out a tin of soup, and I showed you the tin, which has a picture of soup on it and the word ‘SOUP’, which I spelled out letter by letter, and I put it into a saucepan, and I cooked it.”
“I went to all that effort,” I continue. “So you are going to eat it.”
The Toddler dons her strop expression, sitting motionless with a face like a slapped arse. I am not prepared to compromise, especially as her contribution is just “don’t want my soup.” If she had bothered to be a bit more articulate with something like “daddy, this soup is essentially shit and a truly worthless nutritional exercise,” then I would be more sympathetic. But no.
I do not back down. She does not back down.
“I’m sorry,” I state finally. “You have to eat your soup. There are children starving in Africa.”
I have used the children starving in Africa line!!! This is a first for me. I immediately worry that I am being culturally imperialist, and perpetuating negative stereotypes which will stick with her for the rest of her life. I wander over to the laptop and put on ‘Drive’ by The Cars to emphasise the soup point.
The Toddler picks at her soup. “I tell you what,” I say. “If you eat your soup, I’ll change the music to that song from Disneyland about dreaming it.”
She eats her soup. I put on the song from Disneyland about dreaming it. I die inside.