The macaroni and cheese holy wars
I don't mind at all spending money on quality ingredients for dishes. I hate like heck throwing away food.
For years, the guys have made me crazy on both those points. I know: It's my fault on two levels. First for letting them turn me into a short-order cook and second for letting it make me crazy. If I'm going to be a wimp, I need to at least not get mad about it.
A few weeks ago, though, I hit my last "enough is enough" point. Inspired by a series of tweets that were reinforced by the same online friend's writings about improving your children's behavior, I steeled my backbone and resolved to stop.
Yes, guys, we're going to do it this time. No really, I mean it.
They didn't believe me either.
Big Guy gave me the first opening when he decided the hamburger he'd begged for at a baseball game was "icky." It had turned to "yucky" by snack time a few hours later and "gross" by dinner. Funny but just two days earlier he'd loved hamburgers. Methinks he might be playing me.
For another 24 hours, he balked at the burger. He'd eat whatever side dish was served but stubbornly hold out on the entree, hoping it would disappear by the next meal. It never did, and eventually he decided to eat it.
That evening, macaroni and cheese was the main dish for dinner. Both guys gobbled it.
When it came time for lunch the next day - lunch usually is leftovers - Boots decided to have issues.
"I hate macaroni and cheese!"
Oh, great. We've skipped "I don't like" and gone straight to "hate." Could "disgusting" be too far down the road?
"It's disgusting." Ah, there we go! Game on.
I shrugged. "That's what we're having for lunch. If you don't want it now, I'll save it for your snack."
He tried a variation at snack time. "Can I have more cheeses on it?"
Sure, I said, adding leftover sauce.
"Ewww! I don't like that. Take it off."
Another shrug. "That's what you asked for. If you don't want it now, I'll save it for your dinner."
"You might as well just eat it," Big Guy advised. "This is going to be just like that hamburger."
And so it was for an astounding six days.
Boots would eat his bland Cheerio breakfast while his brother gobbled mupcakes. He had a stare-down with the mac and cheese at dinner as Big Guy ate chicken and rice. That one was tough for Boots - he loves rice. He continued to scarf the fruits and vegetables on the side but reject the main event.
Maybe that's what you think today, but you've never had any problem eating it before, I thought. You're going to eat it if I have to send the container with you when you leave for college. If I have to call the folks who froze Ted Williams and see if they process pasta as well.
On Day Six, mac and cheese was threatening to take over our lives. Boots begged for candy all morning and Big Guy taunted him. "You could have it if you'd eat your good food."
The end finally came at lunch time as I finished frosting cupcakes for a birthday party that afternoon. Big Guy asked for one, and I obliged. I answered Boots before he could ask. "After you eat your good food."
Apparently the icing was more than he could stand. He finally picked up the fork, raised it tentatively and made a "you're trying to poison me" face. He chewed and smiled.
"This isn't disgusting," he said. "This is good."
Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.