These are letters to Jack, my son, and my daughter, Audrey. You have given me the gift of motherhood. This is just a little gift back. I want to share my experiences with you of your childhood from my perspective of watching you grow - of being your Mom.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
So - my latest concern is nutrition, nutrition, nutrition! As you have become more and more independent, you are practicing this in all areas of your life. Most recently, you have become a bit of a picky eater.
Don't think I'm being critical! You come by it honestly! I am one of the pickiest eaters that you have ever met. People always used to tell me "you'll grow out of it! When you get bigger, your taste buds will develop and you'll like more types of foods that you don't like now." Well, guess what? I'm STILL waiting for that to happen!
I think what happens instead is you reach an age where you realize: if you don't want to have an ass the size of Texas, you have to start to eat more than just the things you like like macaroni and cheese, hotdogs, and pizza.
This is kind of hard to explain to you right now - language barrier aside - since you won't be able to relate at all to what I'm speaking about from the perspective of an adult. Instead, my approach has been to try to come up with ways to make the food I want you to eat more appealing to you.
A couple of techniques that I have used I discovered because they were successfully used on me - both by others and by myself.
You are a cheese lover - again - just like your Mom! So I have taken to putting a little cheese sauce on your veggies in order to get you to eat them.
Another thing I have tried is to make food faces! I organize your meal into some concoction that resembles a smiling face and put it in front of you. Your first reaction is usually to pause with hand in midair reaching for the fork and look at your tray in disbelief because your food is smiling at you with obvious enthusiasm to see you about to eat it.
You look up at me as though to ask me if I'm for real. I must have an expression on my face when you look at me as though I'm holding my breath - and usually, because I am. This makes you laugh and then you turn back to the face with a new perspective that: this is funny! You dig into that face launching the eyeballs to the sides of the tray, the nose falls in your lap and you carefully pick the string cheese mouth off of the face, because you recognize this as something you really love.
By the end, I'm not sure how much you actually ate of the face of the items that I was aiming to get in your system or what items dissappeared down the gullet of the canine vultures that lurk below you, but I will not give up in my quest to get your vegetables into you. I know you won't grow into them, so I need to convince you that you like them.
Maybe in the process, you can help convince me, too. What do you say, buddy?