There was a time in my life (although I’m somewhat ashamed to admit it now) that I saw children behaving in particular ways – like running through the grocery store isles WAY ahead of their parents, jumping up and down in the booths at restaurants, demanding [fill in the blank] from their parents “RIGHT NOW”- and I actually thought to myself “my child will never act like that.” And there was a time in my life when I saw parents behaving in particular ways – like chasing after their child running, full tilt, ahead of them down the grocery store isle, or ignoring the fact that their child was jumping on the restaurant booth, casually carrying on their dinner conversation as if nothing was out of the ordinary, or pleading with their child to “Please stop begging. I heard you the first time.”- and I actually thought to myself “I will never act like that.”
Then I had a child (and life laughed).
And I wised up (I had to). I’ve learned that if my kid is jumping in the booth, but not bothering anyone else or breaking the seat, then it’s probably okay that she does so, and I have become one of those parents who can casually sit through such jumping, carrying on a conversation as if there wasn’t a 2.5 foot tall person doing acrobatics on the seat next to me.
The one thing I was sure we would escape, however, is having a picky eater. This week for dinner Eleanor happily ate Isreali couscous with almonds, apricots, and mint, poached Atlantic Cod with sweet onions, broccoli and cauliflower, spinach and garlic chicken sausage, and braised brussels sprouts (but not all at once, gross). From day one, Tim and I gave Eleanor what we were eating, and to this day she is willing to try anything – and generally accepts everything (at a wedding we recently attended Eleanor wouldn’t touch the chicken fingers the waitstaff brought her and insisted on sharing my zucchini soup). Of course this could change, and she does have days where she refuses what I’ve made, but those are few and far between.
Recently, outside their room at “school”, Eleanor’s teachers made and hung little bios of all the children. Included are pictures that each of the kids colored, a small photo, and a list of their favorite things: favorite animal, color, place to visit, etc. The kids were also asked about their favorite food. Now, I haven’t done any statistical analyses on these numbers, but 6 out of 15 kids said (I’ll give you one guess)…pizza.
So, remember when I told you that I wised up after having kids, realizing that many of my long held pre-motherhood beliefs simply didn’t hold anymore? I may have spoken too soon, because when I saw the first couple of bios- and when the answer to the “Favorite food” prompt was overwhelmingly pizza, I thought “Geeze. How often are these kids getting pizza for dinner? Surely, Eleanor came up with something more creative than that.”
Again, life laughed. Because what did I see as Eleanor’s favorite food? Yup. Pizza. My quinoa eating daughter – who yesterday spent our walk home from the park chronicling all the foods she thought were “yummy” including strawberries, raspberries, almond butter, yogurt, and avocados (to be fair, she did throw popsicles and cupcakes in there too)- also stated pizza was her favorite food. (I have to wonder if the kids were polled in isolation or in a group; you know how influenced toddlers are by their peers [wink]!)
As we read through one of her word picture books (something like baby’s first 100 words) I asked her again, “Eleanor, what’s your favorite food?” to which she replied without hesitation “Apples. And Kiwi.”
Pizza, apples, and kiwi; now there’s a meal I can get on board with.