Award-winning parent blogger and proud dad-of-three Tom Briggs reveals the unknown dangers of malevolent meatballs...
Last week, I caught Dylan and Xander subjecting Amelie to an immensely irritating episode of Team Umizoomi – entitled ‘Meatball Madness’ – for the umpteenth time. It seems though that, far from just serving to annoy me with its blatant disregard for physics, economics and characters who just can’t hit any kind of note, the unfathomably popular animation was a precursor to two things that were due to happen in our home.
A day or two later, the boys were at the dining room table tucking into their evening meal of, you’ve guessed it, meatballs and spaghetti. That wasn’t the big reveal there, by the way. My life isn’t as exciting as it once was, but it hasn’t got that boring. Yet. Kate was feeding Amelie in the front room and I had a couple of emails to answer, so we left them to it. Five minutes later, I heard a blood-curdling scream from downstairs. I leapt from my desk, sending my chair crashing into our bed and hurtled down – almost going head first for one scary moment – terrified at what could have happened.
Kate and I both arrived on the scene to find Dylan bawling, the cat looking guilty and Xander unable to stop laughing. Yes, the cat had taken advantage of his dithering ways, pilfered his last meatball and wolfed it down. This was a stern test of our parenting skills which I think we just about passed; we pretended that we’d left the oven on and ran into the kitchen to secretly get the laughter out of our systems.
With a straight face back in situ, I returned to Dylan to console him about the evil act he had fallen victim to at the paws of the wicked whiskered one and realised that something else was amiss. One of his teeth, specifically. His first lost tooth. We looked everywhere for his errant gnasher, but couldn’t find it so we had to assume that it had become lodged in a meatball. Which meatball, we didn’t know, but it had been eaten for sure.
As I have better things to do than sift through faecal matter, it shall remain a mystery. The tooth fairy was very understanding and delivered a shiny pound coin despite the absence of a tooth. I explained this to her on the phone in the boys’ presence – which is a win-win situation as I can now call on her as well as Santa and the Easter Bunny to ensure good behaviour.
All’s well that ends well!
Follow Tom’s hilarious musings on family life at:
Image caption: Tom & Amelie