Sunday, August 26, 2007

Discerning Tastes

So today the Crown Prince, as my mother in law referred to Cade when he was first born, provided an addendum to my grocery list. Both his grandfather and his babysitter share a preference for Boars Head Maple Ham from the deli and have, on occasion, shared sandwiches with Cade. Unfortunately for Cade, his father is in school working on his MBA and the family is on a student budget so we typically purchase Oscar Meyer deli sliced Honey Ham (in your grocer's refrigerator!). Unbeknownest to me, Cade has been mooching off the babysitter's lunch and today informed me that I need to buy "better ham" when I went to the grocery store. Oh, and by the way - could I get some of the "spicy cheese" that Ninny (the babysitter whose name is Cindy but answers to Ninny) has on her sandwich. Needless to say, I was shocked by these specific culinary instructions from a boy who prefers to eat his watermelon dipped in ketchup.

Thank goodness for Drew - the boy who will eat anything. And I do mean ANYTHING. Drew's appetite is so rampant that Aaron jokes about the fact that he ate his twin in utero because in very early pregnancy my hormone levels were so high that the doctor's office told me I might be having twins. Needless to say, we were relieved to find out that Drew was a singleton and even more relieved when we were introduced to his appetite because we could not afford to feed two of him right now. And we are already worrying about what Teenaged Drew's appetite will be like! Fortunately, his taste preferences are a little more pedestrian than Cade's (think Rice Krispies and Kraft Mac and Cheese).

While we're on the subject of toddler eating habits, has anyone figured them out?!?!? While toddlers are notoriously picky, I am confounded by the fact that they will insist on eating one particular food (say, oatmeal, for example) for three meals a day for three months solid and then all of the sudden, one day it is completely unacceptable and they will no longer deign to touch, more less consume, anything remotely oatmealish-looking. Aside from the wrench this throws into meal planning and the secondary ramifications it has (ensuring they eat enough raisins to break up the binding effect of the oatmeal), it is just plain annoying. I mean, really. I signed up to be a mom, not a short-order cook.

It's funny how reflecting on this, like many things parenting-related, I am amazed at how the cycle of life comes full circle. One of my favorite foods has always been Alaskan king crab legs, since my dad introduced me to them as a young child (he has pretty much instigated and fed all of my preferences for the finer things in life). I can remember shoveling down king crab legs as fast as he could crack and peel them for me, with no reverance for the delicacy I was consuming at lightning speed. I think of this every time I share another one of Cade's favorite meals with him - Sushi. With plenty of wasabi - the spicier, the better. If anyone figures out the method to the toddler taste bud madness, let me know.


Barbara said...

This comes from a child who for one solid year would only eat hot dogs, thinly sliced with a dollop of velveta cheese on top and microwaved for exactly 30 seconds. I'm certain that all the nitrates she consummed have altered her in some unexplained manner. Cara is living proof that if you continue to introduce your children to all kinds of food (that was up to her Dad not me....I'll just have the quesadillas), their tastes for the exotic will eventually evolve. Who is the world eats SHOOOSHEEE?

Bubbe said...

You need to train him to eat CHEAPER! For instance, when Norbert's son was little, he loved to go to Taco Bell. Not, however, for the actual food; he preferred eating the sauce packets!