While we were in Edinburgh we saw an atrocious case of child abuse.
A parent was feeding their toddler couscous.
There’s no need for that, ever.
“Look, it’s got raisins in it,” the dad said, pointing out the juicy fruit nestled within the unappetising looking balls of crushed durum wheat.
The child then, in a masterstroke of genius for one so small, proceeded to take spoonfuls of the foodstuff, place it in his mouth and then – using his lips as a filter – sort the couscous from the raisins by a process known to many as spitting it out.
You can’t blame him, really. I mean, his parents – who looked the sort of people to say things like “mummy’s terrible stressed” and have named their children after plants or the effects of photons on water droplets – were enjoying a lovely looking salami and cheese sandwich which they constructed right in front of the toddler, before presenting him with his fluffy wheat balls.
His sister, meanwhile, was sitting on a seat crying her eyes out because her parents had not bought her anything that she actually wanted to eat.
It was amazing to watch. It was the sort of parenting where you let the kids do whatever they want to do – in this case, sulk and (when not spitting out couscous) smack a balloon at other people chilling out in the Pleasance Dome. It was only after some time that they addressed the situation of the starving daughter by thrusting some salami at her and insisting she eat something, while the dad started to gather up couscous in his hand (presumably to tuck away in a pocket for later – it would, of course, remain entirely unchanged by anything, including pocket lint, which is the special skill of the cous).