‘E’ Is For Eating

I’m a very picky eater. I have a lot of hangups about foods that have a certain texture, odor, or look. There are a lot of things I won’t eat. More things that I won’t eat than I will eat, really.

My husband has threatened to take away my Southern Girl card because I don’t typically eat many Southern staples. Grits, macaroni and cheese, any fried vegetable–no. Biscuits and gravy, eggs of any type, mashed potatoes–no. Lunch meat that isn’t shaved deli turkey, most veggies, cream of wheat–no. I won’t eat American cheese at all, or any kind of cheese on a sandwich or hamburger. My husband is always amazed when we go get subs and all I get is turkey and mustard on mine. Get where I’m going here?

Your Thanksgiving plate.
My Thanksgiving plate.

So, one time my husband and I went out with our two best friends to eat at a local Mexican restaurant. At that point in time, every time I had gone into that particular restaurant, I had gotten treated like I was crazy by the staff. Word to the wise — you will be (rightfully) shamed if you ask for fries and ketchup there.

That particular time, I scoured the menu looking for something that I would eat. I decided to change things up from ordering chicken nuggets off the kids menu, so when I found “Rotisserie chicken” listed, I decided to go with that.

When the server asked what I wanted, I told him, “I’ll have the rotisserie chicken, please,” in a very dignified manner, since I wasn’t ordering off the kid menu or making a hundred changes to a dish, and started to hand him my menu.

“You want what?”

“The rotisserie chicken. It’s on the menu.”

Everyone started snickering, like I was making a joke, but I wasn’t, of course.

“It’s on the menu,” I said sharply. I opened up the menu and pointed to the “Rotisserie Chicken” option. “This is what I want, but I don’t want any rice or beans.” I eat neither (unless the rice happens to be covered in stew beef) and planned to eat chips and salsa with the chicken.

“You want a whole chicken?” the server asked, giving me a look.

WTF? It’s a rotisserie chicken. I had them before at the dinner and a show things we had gone to at the beach — they weren’t that big. Was I catching some hell for being overweight?

“Yes,” I said, and I’m sure that I looked kinda pissed at that point. He wrote it down.

A few minutes later, the manager came over.

The manager said “okay” and left.

We all caught up with each other a bit, and at one point, my friend noticed one of the guys that worked at the restaurant leave and come back a short time later with a Food Lion bag. She said that they probably went to buy one of those ready-made chickens for me, which I thought was joke.

And then the server brought out the food. My plate was filled with what appeared to be a whole chicken cut up.

I looked at my husband. “The one I had at the Dixie Stampede was not this big.” This made my husband and friends laugh even harder.

Finally, after wiping away the tears from her eyes, my friend cleared things up. “That was a rotisserie Cornish hen you had at the Dixie Stampede. This is a whole rotisserie chicken! They probably put it on the menu as an option for a family!”

We all laughed so hard over that damn chicken. I ate a single breast from it and had plenty of leftovers to take home.

It has been three years since that happened, and I still get crap over that chicken.

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Your Vagina Doesn’t Work That Way

Kids can be frustrating. Mostly they’re amazeballs, but they can also be frustrating. They have little quirks that can make getting through the day a little tougher than it has to be. Take Little Man for example. He’s a selective germaphobe. I say “selective,” because he chews on his fingernails and will occasionally eat off the floor. Otherwise, he’ll wig out if he thinks someone has taken a drink from his bottle, has touched his food, or so much as sniffles in his direction. I completely get that, but still — be consistent and keep your hands out of your mouth! He also lines the toilet seat everywhere he goes, even in his own house (and I do clean), which is frustrating mostly because he goes through so much toilet paper and makes a mess.

Now for Baby Girl. Mealtime with the toddler is a struggle because of how picky she is. Even though I know many kids are like this to a degree, especially during the toddler stage, it’s still a source of constant frustration. I understand when someone doesn’t like something, since I’m rather picky myself, but she usually won’t even try whatever it is.

At the behest of our doctor, we’ve tried everything — pleading, bribing, guilting. (“Daniel Tiger will be sad if you don’t try those green beans!”) The promise of a sweet treat doesn’t remotely faze the girl. And don’t bother suggesting the not-so-wise advice of “She’ll eat it when she’s hungry enough” — that’s a big nope. (And the same is true with me — I’d be more likely to cut off my foot and roast it than eat zucchini.)

This is truly difficult for my husband and me, because not only do we worry about nutrition, it has us questioning ourselves as parents, What did we do wrong? Thankfully, though, it has provided a few humorous moments. Always, always look for the humor. It makes everything a little bit better, or more tolerable, at least. One thing that amuses us is when Baby Girl doesn’t want something, she’ll cover her eyes. Yes, her eyes. I’m not sure if she can’t stand the sight of the food or if she genuinely thinks that covering her eyes is the equivalent of covering her mouth, but it’s still pretty funny.

We also recently learned that she has developed some allergies.

She has no allergies that I’m aware of. But I’ve gotta give the kid credit — allergies is a damn good excuse for not eating something.

As I’ve written about before, my kids aren’t too big on the healthy, which came up again a couple days ago.

Girl, that was a fried chicken tender — whatever health is in it is canceled out by the breading and oil!

And just when we thought we had heard everything, this came up:

We pointed out that she actually is a big girl. We told her that if she really isn’t a big girl, then she definitely couldn’t watch Daniel Tiger or go to gymnastics. Naturally she had a comeback for this.

Your vagina prohibits you from eating peas? Nope, it doesn’t work that way. But obviously I’m gonna use that the next time someone tries to get me to eat zucchini.

See? Humor. It’s not enough to weigh out the frustration, worry, and parental self-doubt, but thank god for a little bit of it mixed in with this phase. (I hope it’s a phase, anyway.)

What’s the best excuse you’ve heard for someone not eating something?

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No Health For You

There are lots of ways that you can piss off your kids. Tell them that screen time is over for the day. Mention that bath time or bedtime is just around the corner. Announce that no more fun will be had until the toys are picked up and the house doesn’t look like a tornado came through.

All of these things will certainly make little tempers flare and have them shooting daggers at you, but wanna know the worst thing you can do? Offer them something healthy when they ask for a snack — they’ll treat this as the ultimate act of betrayal, one that is worthy of a spot in the ninth circle of hell.

Now I much prefer snacks of the non-healthy variety, too. My “never saw a gap” thighs can attest to that. However, most of my non-healthy snacks are consumed after the kids go to bed, in an effort to minimize the bad example I set for the kids. Unfortunately, Little Man is catching on to that. He once mentioned how unfair it is that the parents get to stay up and watch TV and eat junk food after he goes to bed. Dude, I just listened to 10 hours of nonstop chatter about Pokemon, Minecraft, Peppa Pig, and farts — you really wanna talk about unfair?

For the record, I’m not a total junk food Nazi; as evidenced by Baby Girl’s love of popsicles, they get sweets. Maybe too many sometimes, especially if we’re going to Chick-Fil-A with their amazing ice cream and follow that up with a trip to Walmart, land of the free cookies. But I do try to make sure that most of their food doesn’t have a lot of added sugar and actually has some nutrients, which makes me a bit of an asshole mom in their eyes.

Despite being pretty reasonable, both kids still try to find a way around the rules (pretty sure they’re hard-wired to do so). Sometimes they think whining will do the trick, which is annoying, but other times their attempts are rather humorous.

This one is from when Little Man was around age 4.

No beating around the bush with him!

Last week, Baby Girl went at it from a different angle.

Nice try, Baby Girl. If only!

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