Pepperpotomus used to eat everything. Oh, he was such a good eater, which of course means I was such a good parent. But then, one fine day, he was bitten by a radioactive spider, grew some mutant tastebuds, and became intolerant of all but 4 foods–which does not make me a bad parent. All children’s good behavior is a reflection on their parents’ excellent stewarship and skill, while all children’s bad behavior is stuff they picked up at preschool or inherited as a recessive trait from an unsavory progenitor.
Fortunately, there’s a Dr. Seuss book for that. Ah, Green Eggs and Ham, we would read you on a goat with a boat, and with whole grain on Lake Champlain. We started reading Green Eggs and Ham to Peppers at night. He LOVES it. The first time Unnamed Picky Eater Protagonist took the bite and liked it, Peppers not only did the wave and held a swaying lighter, he got on the field and spiked the ball and did a forward backhandspring. You heard right. OMGosh it was totes adorbes, y’all!
So yesterday, I spent hours making Flufferella’s favorite soup which is a pretty big commitment. I let it develop overnight and then served it today. Fluffy has always loved this soup which is straight delicious by any standard, but she requests it way more since I started making a smiley face of maple syrup on it. Sugar and facial features, what’s not to love?
Salty who is on fevered hunger strike, poor baby, refused all sustenance, but Peppers actually asked for a bowl of syrup smiles. Wow. I gave him the tiniest little bit, made sure it was Goldilocks approved being neither offensively hot nor cold, and made a generous syrup smiley face on it. I even said, “Try them, try them, and you may. Try them and you may, I say!”
With much trepidation, Peppers dipped his spoon into a maple eyeball trying 80% successfully to scoop up only syrup, pressed the spoon gingerly to his lips, and Presto! He broke into a big smile, said, “I like it!” and ate the entire bowl–then asked for more! I’m a parenting genius.
The instant he touched the slightly squashy syrup to his lips, he went into this hacking impression of an Ebola patient coughing up his pancreas. (Is that insensitive?) Refused to touch it again. What more could I have done for you, my child? You used to love squash, and now you have it before you literally smiling up at you from your plate. At this point, I’m out of ideas.
Thanks a lot for getting my hopes up “Doctor” Seuss, if indeed that is your real name. I’m beginning to think the whole story is fictitious, and that in reality when Unnamed Picky Eater Protagonist finally took the bite, he spit it out immediately and said, “Pkhuh! That’s disgusting. There are legitimate reasons not to eat protein after it has reached the green stage of putrefaction.”
Meanwhile, Peppers is having difficulty saying “It’s yucky!” as many times as he would like while still miming vomiting. “Okay, okay, don’t hurt yourself. Drink some chocolate milk and settle down. I get that you don’t like it. There’s no need to shoot for the academy award.”
And then having polished off her own big serving, Fluffy grabbed Pepper’s bowl and ate his portion, too. Man, I love that girl.
What I love even more about this picture than their awesome smiles, is that it looks like Peppers is holding a doll on his lap, but it’s actually a girl in the background.