Why Marmite is an essential - Janet Christie

Mum's the Word column

Tuesday, 22nd September 2020, 6:33 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd September 2020, 6:34 pm
Marmite, tasty or traumatic?
Marmite, tasty or traumatic?

“Just going to the shop,” I shout to Youngest, working away on her new college course online in her bedroom. She’s happy, but for me the walls are closing in again and I need to get out to give my raw eyeballs a screen break, recalibrate.

“You’ve already been to the shop earlier today,” calls The Covidpolis from her room. “You’re only meant to go for essentials and if you go again that’s TWICE in ONE day.”

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“I know. But I forgot Marmite, and that’s an essential. Did you know the drop in beer sales causing a lack of yeast extract which they need for...


I’d lost her at ‘Marmite’.

“Sorry forgot. You HATE Marmite.”

“Do I?”

“Yes, bad experience with it when you were small...” By now I’m standing at her bedroom door, hovering (I really do need a screen break and I don’t smoke anymore, so…).

“Don’t remember,” she murmurs under the door, hoping I’ll go away.

I return with the almost empty jar of Marmite, bound into the room and wave it between her nose and laptop.

“OMG! That’s disgusting! She pulls a Marvel New Mutants Demon Bear face. “Take it away. Bleuuuugh. What is wrong with you!”

“Sorry. Shouldn’t have done that. Don’t want to reawaken terrible childhood traumas…”

I wait. And wait. Finally she cracks: “Ok. I don’t remember and I know you’re dying to tell me…

The ‘and won’t go away till you have,’ is silent.

“... so go on,” she says and sighs.

“Well, you wouldn’t stop breastfeeding and there was no help for people trying to stop it, only for starting and keeping it going until the child decided, so it was the run up to you STARTING SCHOOL and I had to resort to applying Marmite to myself to put you off. And it worked! Immediately. Weaned overnight. I thought that was genius.”

She pulls the Demon Bear face again then says, “Just go to the shop. Again.”

“No, you’re right. It’s a risk.”

“Just go.”


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