An open letter – from James Jonathan Cartledge

A guest blog written by my husband from James’ perspective….

Let me start with a preamble, or exordium if you will. I am a 2 year old toddler, my name is James, and I am going to author a guest article on my Mummy’s blog. I think it’s high time I told my side of the story following some of the mistruths I have had read to me originating from this blog. It is unfortunate it has come to this, but Mummy’s insolence has rendered this unavoidable.


Firstly, I am NOT a fussy eater, I have a discerning palate. To prove this, let me take you on a narrative journey. The other day started like any other. I held my morning meeting with my teddy bears, discussing the days agenda, the challenges and the opportunities the day may present and agreeing a plan. Then Mummy and Daddy dropped it on me that we were visiting Bath for the day. I have had to get used to finding out these plans at the very last second, and besides, who wouldn’t want to visit the picturesque spa town of Bath, I have been forced to become very adaptable to the flyaway whims of my parents. I adjusted and actually got quite giddy at the prospect. Where would we do lunch? A Michelin rated restaurant? A lovely gastropub? A high-end bistro? Nope! Mummy and Daddy, in their infinite wisdom, insisted on taking us for pizza. Pizza. I think we can all agree I would have had every right to throw my toy monster truck into the M5 in protest, but no, I kept my cool. That’s until what is now known only in hushed voices as ‘the incident’ happened.

I was reluctantly grazing on some sourdough in the pizza ‘restaurant’. I was being courageously civil to Mummy and Daddy, taking in the ambience and enjoying small talk with the waitress when I felt a splodge of something drop on the back of my hand. I looked down aghast. It wasn’t! It couldn’t be! She wouldn’t! Mummy had dropped some tomato sauce on my bare skin. The horror! My hand!

Needless to say I saw red (no pun intended). I took deep breaths and counted to 3 but I was unable to contain my rage. I burst out into tears and raged so uncontrollably at this unspeakable betrayal that Mummy and Daddy had to take it in turns away from their ‘meal’, taking me for a walk to look at buses on the nearby road just to calm me down. To make matters worse, as we left, my salty tears still stinging my reddened cheeks, Daddy confessed to having eaten the rest of my pizza. What a kick in the milk teeth!

The real issue here is that Mummy and Daddy have just never given me food which suits my lofty status. They have never tempted me with a fillet steak, tickled my tastebuds with fresh turbot or even warmed my soul with a perfectly risen cheese soufflé. Now, the humble chicken nugget is vastly underrated and I have had many a happy evening gorging on the crispy little pillows of poultry perfection, but when will I be taken for a 7 course tasting menu? It really is dereliction in parental duty.

The criticism often levelled at me is that I refuse to eat fruit or veg. Well, Mummy doesn’t eat meat so really I am saving her money by splitting one full meal between us. Every little helps! You think she’d be grateful, but instead she slandered me in her blog. Using her public platform for cheap point scoring. Well, her apologies doth butter no parsnips, this is literary revenge! You reap what you sow mother dearest!

Daddy is no better. The other day he accused me of being a ‘mardy-bum’ when I was visibly distraught following the 11:42 to Exeter derailing from my toy train track. Has he never felt the anguish at having to put a train back on the tracks when it has fallen off. Has he no empathy!? I was in full meltdown and his comforting was really nothing other than a token gesture. He also sneaks food from my plate when he thinks I’m not looking like he was some extra from Oliver. No sir, you cannot have some more!!


Here are a few examples aside from ‘the incident’ to better illustrate what I have to put up with. I am not ashamed to say I have been reduced into fits of rage or floods of tears at all the below:

  • Mummy or Daddy not putting hit TV series ‘alphablocks’ on the telly within 5 seconds of me waking from my afternoon snooze.
  • My parents subjecting me to radio 1 in the car (seriously, who even listens to Scott Mills, it’s 2019!)
  • Daddy trying to make me watch ‘Come Dine with Me’
  • Bananas
  • Daddy building a shoe rack which would have made a great castle but was instead used to store shoes
  • Mummy taking toys off me mid-play because it’s ‘bathtime’
  • Not letting me walk unaided around the slippery edges of swimming pools/rivers/motorways/yawning chasms

I could go on, but I want to rise above the allegations thrown my way and be the bigger man. I wish to throw out an olive branch to my parents.

Give me 6 soft play sessions, unlimited spaghetti hoops and a toy suitable for 5+ and we can put all this behind us.

Yours Faithfully

James Jonathan Cartledge


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