Oh, curses. My days as a totalitarian mother are numbered: it has finally dawned on my little boy that other children get stuff he doesn't.
It started last week when (cue tragic face) he complained that 'everyone else has squeezy yoghurt in tubes.' Under questioning, 'everyone else' turned out to mean one little girl at his childminder's, but nonetheless it's clear: peer pressure has landed. He's since forgotten it, but I suspect the days of fobbing him off with natural yogurt plus fresh fruit and no E-numbers - or brown bread instead of white, or water instead of juice, or raisins instead of sweets, or anything instead of the stuff that kids with less drearily self-righteous parents allow them - are drawing to a close.
And as he gets older, I now see there will be trickier issues than lunchboxes. He can't read yet, but has recognised brands for at least a year: he doesn't watch TV adverts, but pounces on the endless toy catalogues coming through the door (despite me religiously ticking the 'no don't bombard me with your literature option' when ordering online) or anything featuring a picture of Fireman Sam. Advertising has its hooks in him already, like it or not: now comes the tricky job of explaining why you can't always have what you want - and why not everything that glitters (or squeezes) is necessarily gold.
I don't want to give in: I recognise that part of good parenting is teaching children to accept the limits of desire. But adults are subject to peer pressure ourselves: it only takes a few parents to buy their five-year-old an iphone for Christmas (and yes, unbelievably, some will) before everyone starts worrying their child's the odd one out.
For parents who are broke, it's torture: and even the comfortably-off could do without being dragged into the arms race.
So given this will be an anxious Christmas for many parents whose jobs are uncertain, it seems a good time to try and relieve the commercial pressure. Any ideas?