He poured the strawberry icing sauce onto his oatmeal, making the shape of what was probably (hopefully) a dinosaur. It was his fourth attempt this week. He'd learned to be quick before the lines blurred and faded into one another.
It was his favourite meal. Not for the taste - which he likened to sludge, until the proper amount of sugar (brown) and milk (1%) had been added - but for his love of the magic that came out of that strawberry packet.
Already believing him a constant disappointment, his mother dumped the same No Name brand porridge into the same bowl morning after morning, without ever bothering to watch as he slowly, painstakingly tried to draw for her something that would elicit the smile he had seen her bestow upon others.
As he was only six (and how perceptive can any child really be?) she didn't feel the need to pretend he was not a mistake. Unfortunately, she never quite got into the habit.