Tuesday, November 25, 2008

“How can you have any pudding if you “dunt” eat yer meat?”

I had an amazing thing happen. A “line” I’ve been dying to say, in context, actually popped into my head at the right time. Krista was fussing about eating her polish sausage. I had made pumpkin pudding for dessert.

How can you have any pudding if you “dunt” eat yer meat?” I said, proudly.

“Huh?” Krista said, but Fred understood and laughed.

Like me, my children have been picky eaters. My boys were picky when they were little, and presently my daughter is the challenge—she really doesn’t like meat. The dinner table, lately, has been a battleground for 2 willful females in a “You-can’t-make-me-touch-that-crappy-stew” match. She usually wins these matches, but after all---she is MY offspring.

My brother and I truly thought Mom’s meals were evil-potions intended to make us robot-android children. Mom and Dad weren’t alone in parenting us 1960s kids using the “Dr. Spock” (not the Vulcan) recommended remedy for “table fussiness”—make the kids sit until the food is gone. The fact that my mother was a terrible cook never seemed to factor in. I NEVER gave in, and would out-sit any adult. While I sat, untouched plate before me, I devised methods of getting out of eating what I considered garbage. The fear of punishment was nothing compared with eating Mom’s “SOIL” flavored pot-roast.

Methods of Avoiding Eating Food on Plate:

Atomizing- a method used by me to break up food into the tiniest possible particles and spread them around on my plate-- giving the illusion of less.

Cheek/Gum Storage- You can put a lot of food under your tongue and next to your gums--upper and lower jaws. A simple bathroom trip following the meal, and the food is deposited where it belonged in the first place.

Napkin-Cloaking- When the meal is almost over, you cover the offensive salmon croquette with a crumpled up napkin and offer to help Mom clear the table.

So in order to change the wretched, meal-torture tradition, when I became a Mom, I only wanted them to eat a little bit of something (a taste, even). True to their heritage, they invented some new methods I hadn’t thought to try:

Barfing on Plate- Both boys used this method—David, after tasting canned, warm German potato salad he said smelled like gasoline, and Jon after tasting a new brand of fish sticks he said looked and tasted like pencil shavings. They were both right.

Pocket Piles- This method was invented by Jon. He was eventually “outted” but not before he ruined a few pairs of pants. He also stuffed his snowsuit jacket in the school lunchroom with stuff I sent for lunch so he could leave for recess sooner.

I’m still picky, but I’m old enough call the shots. Sometimes, though, I make something new and terrible and have to cover it with my napkin.

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