I recently had cause to visit the lovely seaside tack-fest that is Glenelg. Little Miss L was going to a party in the Fairy-cave or the Fairy-bunker or whatever it was called, which left me and Little Miss M with a couple of hours up our sleeves (or half an hour up each sleeve if you count all our arms) to spend mooching about the place.
At first, M said she just wanted to lie down in the pram and go to sleep, so I went into the bookshop to see if i could pick up something (book-wise rather than disease-wise) but then, out of the noise of the street, M decided that no, she didn’t want to lie down, she wanted to take her shoes off and run around the store. Fair enough.
So after a few minutes of that, I figured she was awake again so I took her down to the expanse of grass by the jetty and let her run around there and chase seagulls (and isn’t it great that sometimes kids are so easy to please). After a while though, we were both working up an appetite so I figured we should go and look for some food.
Years ago, there used to be a little supermarket tucked in behind the corner of Jetty Rd and Colley Tce but it’s long gone, which meant that some kind of fast- and/or junk-food was the order of the day. And what a choice there was. It seems that with the demolition of magic mountain (big old waterslide/amusement place) and the erection of the beach shack (big new waterslide/amusement place), there has been a growth in the number of tacky fast-food outlets.
The problem is that neither L nor M really likes junk food. The worst thing they’ll eat is hot chips. They don’t know the names of either of the big hamburger chains (actually, Miss L might have picked up the McName a few weeks ago after an afternoon outing with the neighbours, but we never refer to it as that at home) and last week, C & I decided fish & chips was all we had the energy for, so I bought an assortment of “kiddie” things: nuggets and other things that probably contained the same meat product but were shaped differently. They didn’t touch them; didn’t even want to try them. A few chips, lots of sauce and maybe a bit of bread. That’s their limit when it comes to junk food. I think you actually have to train your kids to like this stuff. L’s favorite meal at the moment is a ploughman’s lunch: sliced capsicum and cucumber, some cheese and whatever cold meat we have in the fridge at the time, be it chicken, ham or salami.
But I digress. With M getting hungry and a little bit grumpy (well overdue for a sleep), I wanted to find her something. But anything nuggety was out of the question. I saw some fried rice she might have eaten but it had egg in it and she has an allergy to egg. I thought about bakery food but she won’t eat much of a pie or sausage roll before losing interest.
In the end, I went to the Quick-e-mart and bought a 220 gm can of baked beans. Just bog standard Heinz beans in tomato sauce. I got a spoon and a meat pie for myself, went back to the square, ripped the lid off and boy, you should have seen her go. She loves her beans and she finished nearly the whole can before she was full and couldn’t eat any more.
And I loved the fact that even though a half-sized can of beans cost $1.80, it was still probably the cheapest, easiest and let’s face it, most nutritious thing in Glenelg I could have bought her.