I spend an inordinate amount of time creating bite sized, bone-free fish balls. They contain attractive flecks of delicate chives, a high percentage of caramelized onions and the smoothest consistency that the Magimix could manage. I decide to play fair and tell them that they are indeed made of fish. The victims look at them with an air of despair.
“I think I'm gonna be a vegetarian startin……right now.”
“No….I am bein dah vegetarian in dis family,” he says sputtering cracker crumbs, exempt from this particular experiment.
“But you like fish fingers.”
“Sticks mom, they're called fish sticks out here.”
“Sticks, fingers, balls, they're all the same. You like them. These are just round sticks without the crumbs.”
“Dah crumbs I like. Dah fish is……..?”
“Diabolical,” adds his little brother with glee and not a jot of sympathy.
“Just think of it as brain food. I can't think why you don't love fish. I love fish. All fish, any fish. I think I'd drop down dead if I couldn't eat fish.”
They both look at me awaiting my downfall with pleasant anticipation. They wait silently. “Just give them a try. Be brave. It's good to try new things, new food, you never know you might just like them.” I fizzle out as my script is over-used and tatty at the edges.
“I wan……can I have…….is…..dere any ketchup?”
I stomp off to the fridge in defeat. He empties half a bottle of sauce over one fish ball and sniffs.
“We're going to have fish once a week, at least, from now on.”
“It is being dah new rule?”
“Er…yes…..good point. The new rule is 'fish on Friday.'”
I beam, smug. We shall join the ranks of the majority at last, by hook or by crook.
“Dat's good!” he cooes as he stands, turns on his heel and wanders off with his sister close behind him, “hey, hang on a minute you two. Just where do you think you are going?”
“You said Friday Mom, today's Thursday,” she mutters over her shoulder. I pout at the one remaining child left behind, still munching his way through several tonnes of Goldfish Crackers, “I am love,” he beams.
“Yes…….I know you love Goldfish dear.”
“I am have a huge brain.”
“I am have fish on Friday. I am have fish every day. I am love my new food.”