There are a few blogs that I actually remember reading for the first time and thinking, "Wow. I totally relate to this chick." And that is how I felt when I read Jo from the infamous Under the Influence. She wrote about her love for prescription painkillers and what can I say? I love 'em too. I remember being sent home with Percocet after having my first kid as a true highlight. I'm actually not sure what I was more in love with - my newborn baby girl or my pain meds. Okay, I'm exaggerating. I think. Anyway - Jo is always on my radar and I love her fresh, frank approach to life. She likes to wear sexy red lingerie for her man (right?) and she is responsible for my current love affair with Hanky Panky thong underwear. She's a proud affiliate of MWOB and I'm thrilled she's gracing our space today on "Affiliate Friday." Check her out if you don't already. Happy Friday.
I don't know how it is in your house, but it seems most families have at least one picky eater. I don't mean a little fussy. You know, those kids who don't eat much or try something and don't like it. I mean P-I-C-K-Y. As in refusing to eat anything that is not a piece of breaded, processed chicken meat, pizza or a hamburger. Along with some chips and chocolate. All with ketchup, except the chocolate.
Well, I have that kid. I blame myself, really.
When he was a baby, I think I waited too long to introduce solid food. Shortly after I did, we were out to dinner and he choked on a carrot piece that I had not cooked long enough. Just as my husband and/or I were about to yank him out of his wooden restaurant high chair to perform the baby Heimlich Maneuver, he coughed up the carrot piece and proceeded to vomit all over the restaurant floor. Oh yeah, we were dining with friends who didn't have kids. It was a lovely moment and I quickly developed a fear of him choking. I'm sure had I entered therapy for this, it would now be a real mental disorder with a real name, like "Fear of baby choking" disorder, and my picture would be next to the definition in the medical journals.
Fast forward to age 12, and that kid has got to be the pickiest child I know when it comes to food and eating. The ketchup thing? Ketchup ON.EVERYTHING. My in-laws live in Pittsburgh and every year they buy him a Heinz Ketchup t-shirt so he always has one that fits him. For Halloween, two years in a row, he was a bottle of ketchup. It was perfect.
After years of beating myself up, wanting to beat him up, threatening him with liver and onions (which no one in this house even eats!) and many missed meals on his part because I long ago stopped making a separate dinner to suit his palate, he came up with the idea of once a week allowing a family member to pick the dinner menu for a night. Everyone in the family has to eat what is on the menu. Well, at least taste it. If you don't like it you can choose to sit at the table with the rest of the family and NOT EAT or you can choose to choke it down, but there are no additional foods made.
All three kids loved the idea and hubs and I thought it would be a great way to get them to try some new stuff, with their buy-in since they all agreed to it. It hasn't stopped the griping, complaining and whining, especially since Picky Eater thinks I shouldn't get a menu night since I choose dinner menus 99% of the time anyway. We still hear "I don't like that" or "Yuck, that is gross!" or "This stinks!" or "Who eats this shit?" (that would be me). But it's something we all agreed to do and the griping, complaining and whining and the comments are minimized with a reminder of who wanted to do this in the first place. The one big caveat is if you choose not to taste the food, you forfeit the next time you are supposed to choose a meal.
Let me tell you, people, this picky kid of mine will not hesitate to give up his menu night in order to not have to taste something he THINKS he doesn't like. As for me, if anyone actually ever picked liver and onions, I would be choosing NOT to eat, or even taste, our dinner that evening. I would sit quietly at the table, knowing I was forfeiting my next menu night. Then, after everyone went to bed, I'd eat a bowl of cereal.