I'm sitting here at an outdoor cafe, eating my second banana porridge of the day, wondering what to do about the newly anorexic Dumpie. He is refusing to eat and his Gap 'Age 2' clothes are hanging off his skinny little body.
I suppose he's not properly anoroxic - in that he will eat chocolate, crisps or 'candies' - but he is certainly keeping those rosebud lips clamped shut to anything from one of the four basic food groups.
Part of me thinks he's doing it for the attention, as he thrives on the attention and loves the pleas the husband and I are issuing on a near-constant basis.
"Dumpie PLEASE eat? Pretty please? You're going to get sick if you don't eat...." (note the pleading and barely disguised begging)
And when that doesn't work...
"Dumpie, if you don't eat you're going to have to go to the doctor and have 'pop-pops' (injections) and you won't like it..." (issued in a slightly menacing tone)
And when that still doesn't work we pull out our last trick: predictable nonchalance (which fair enough will probably come into its own in the teenage years)
"Okay Dumps, don't eat. See if we care." (But we DO...we so desperately Do)
All out of emotional arsenal, we sit here, frustrated, looking at his knobbly little knees and his now non-existent tummy (it used to be so high and rotund, we couldn't keep our hands from occasional stroking it was so delicious).
The husband and I have no such problem ourselves. There is simply too much Kingfisher beer, savory cheese and garlic naan bread and strangely moreish Nutella (a desperate substitute for the lack of any decent chocolate) about for us to develop a proper eating disorder.
Saying that, we have done so many countless rounds of the many beach cafes and restaurants round here, that we're starting to get (dare I say it?) a wee bit bored with the various menu's (which we now know pretty much by heart). We're on a first name basis with most of the waiters here, and in some cases, they even have our 'usual' orders mesmorised (fish n' chips...dal fry...2 roti...malai kofta...one bottle of water...one LARGE Kingfisher - two glasses).
Although the food is delicious, I'm craving a delicious stone-baked baguette...some old cheddar....a bold Rioja...a bowl of spicy Spanish olives...and a giant scoop of Haagan-Daz Belgian Chocolate Ice-Cream.
Saying that, we did discover the most delicious homemade samosas the other day in the little nearby town. Straight out of the hot oil, they were a mega-calorific and spicy revelation of potato, filo pastry and mustard seeds. They were so divine as to illicit audible groaning from the husband and I, as we kept motioning for 'more' and washed them down with cold water.
Even the resident anorexic deemed them scrumptious enough to warrant a tentative nibbling round the edges.
Which reminds me, if anyone has any advice on how to deal with anorexic three year olds I'd love to hear from you (although I'm sure Channel 4 in the UK probably has a one-hour special in the pipeline).