Saturday, January 27, 2007

Cheese Pizza, But Hold the Cheese

Mr. Personality is many wonderful things. He brings much joy to my life, and he has an opinion about everything. And some of his strongest opinions are about food.

I mean, I can't say as I don't sympathize, I tend to be the same way myself. But, he has some of the strangest food habits I have ever seen and sometimes I just don't know what to do with him.

I have written before about my childhood and how my mother dealt with our food transgressions. Basically, whatever she put on the damn plate was what we had better eat. If we didn't like it, too bad. We had to eat it, or else be punished.

I have chosen a different path with my child, and some would possibly call it the path of least resistance. Fine. But I just don't see the value in forcing my kid to choke something down that tastes vile to him, or having him go hungry because he doesn't think that brussels sprouts are tasty. Does anyone think brussels sprouts are tasty? Ah, scratch that, my mom does. You see what I was up against as a child? I had no chance.

Even with my leniency, I find Mr. P's food tastes to be at times a bit aggravating. Such as his complete and utter dislike of melted cheese. Shredded cheese? That's good to go. But, give it to him in a melted form, and it's going to be a really tough sell. I have been seen at restaurants having to placate a protesting preschooler by peeling off the cheese from a cheese pizza. Normally, cheese pizza is not the best of foods, but you at least have the tomato sauce and some protein. Not when dining with Mr. P. Needless to say, after the first couple of times, we no longer order cheese pizza for him. Nor are we able to order many child staples such as grilled cheese sandwiches, quesadillas, or anything with cheese that has met temperatures exceeding that of the room.

It's not that he isn't willing to try things, and that is part of the problem. He will try things, after which he will simply smack his lips and make a face. When asked if he would like some more, he will reply, "No thanks, I don't think I need any more." And that will be that. He has a phenomenal memory, and it is impossible to trick him into thinking he hasn't tasted something before that he has. So, I just feel I can't punish him for not liking certain foods, especially after being so willing to try them. We always make a big deal about his willingness to taste different things, it just rarely translates into something I can include into the family menu.

Or, maybe I should just start taking the low road and making up names for food he has already tried and summarily rejected? Don't think I haven't been tempted.

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