I reach home before my wife three days a week. On these three days, I make dinner for my family. As I have mentioned before, I am not a cook but a preparer. I can defrost, boil, and throw food into the oven with the best of them. In addition, my use of kitchen utensils ends at the strainer. So, yes, I keep it simple.
My children are particular eaters (I know many of you are shaking your head thinking, “I know just what you mean, buddy”). They have a few foods that they like to eat (luckily, they enjoy fruit) and are content as long as we stick to their tastes. Fortunately, their limited tastes match up with my limited skills. This symbiotic relationship is probably not a coincidence.
Tonight was one of my nights to prepare dinner. I decided to make eggs. Both boys like eggs, and they are always happy to eat them. Before BR went off to karate, I told him we would be having eggs for dinner tonight. He requested I put bacon bits in the eggs. He would put bacon bits in just about every food, so his request was not a surprise. For SJ, however, bacon bits have not secured a place in his limted diet. I had three options: make two helpings – one with bacon bits and one without, deny BR’s request, or take my chance that SJ would adjust. I decided to go with option number three, hoping I could sneak the little red flakes past my fussy eater.
When BR took his plate, he said, “Hey where are the bacon bits?”
“They’re in there. Just don’t tell SJ, or he won’t eat them.”
“Oh yeah, there they are. Okay.”
SJ had taken his plate first. He started with his bagel. With the bagel eaten, he was on to his eggs (why he can’t eat two things at once is beyond me, and I leave it as one of the great unanswered questions). He finished his first bite of eggs while watching Spongebob and said nothing. Bless that yellow sea creature. With his helpful distraction, SJ was becoming flexible.
Then, the serenity was broken. “Hey what are these red things?”
I tried to ignore him.
“What are they?” he repeated.
“It’s nothing. Just eat em.”
“What is it?”
“It’s poison. You have some, BR has some, mom will have some, and I have some.”
And we will all go down together.
“He’s kidding. You’re kidding daddy. Daddy’s kidding.” BR was convinced.
“No, I’m not. Now, just eat. Look, I’m eating.”
A moment passed and SJ informed me, “I don’t like poison.”
Uggh, sigh. I told you my kids were picky.