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Food fight!

Submitted by on Sunday, 1 June 2008 No Comment

Originally published March 6, 2007, thehive.modbee.com

The Mupcake Scam started around Halloween.

I had made muffins for a party and, just for fun and to pretend I still had time to decorate pastries, I topped each with a squiggle of purple icing and a smattering of ghost sprinkles. I put the leftovers on a cake plate, figuring I’d take them to work.

It took Big Guy 3.6 seconds to lock on the next morning.

“Cupcakes! I want cupcakes!”

Though I hadn’t finished my first cup of coffee, I had enough wits about me to run with it.”

“Cupcakes for breakfast? I don’t think so.”

“Please, Mommy, pleeeeeeeease!””

“Oh, all right. But only this once.””

Every morning since, he’s had mupcakes. Mupcakes made with evil things. Banana or pumpkin. Whole-wheat or graham flour. Low sugar and low fat. I deserve a few Bad Mommy demerits for allowing trans-fats before sunrise, but the nutrition in the mupcake outweighs the ick in the icing.

It’s one of the few battles I’ve won in the food war. Sneakaroni and cheese was another. Big Guy was almost 3 before he discovered the green in his macaroni and cheese was from the broccoli I’d spiked it with for two years. A baby-sitter once served a box of the orange stuff and almost blew it – it took weeks to convice Big Guy that, in our house, macaroni cheese is, and will remain, green.

Still, two scant victories in almost four years is not impressive.

That’s why Ty Phillips’ recent column, about the lengths he’ll go to get his oldest son to eat, hit home. Convincing Sky “sweet corn” has tons of sugar – brilliant! Getting a 7-year-old to believe sugar snap peas are so sweet that people grind them for sugar – pure genius!

But what really struck me was Ty’s description of his younger son, Murphy: “He’d eat tree bark if we served it on a plate.” As would Little Guy. Bark and a lot of other things no self-respecting toddler eats. Loves creamed spinach. Recently scarfed an entire can of asparagus.

Sky and Big Guy: Risk starvation rather than let a vegetable touch their tongues.

Murphy and Little Guy: Eat anything that doesn’t bite back.

Anyone else see a trend? Are uptight first-time parents goofing it up for our oldest kids?

I’m an oldest child, and I refused to touch cheese until I was around 6. Went through a spell of eating spaghetti without sauce, then reversed course and ate sauce without spaghetti. My husband’s an oldest child, and it takes near starvation to get him to try something new.

Ty said that since the column ran, he’s heard from three other parents who say their oldest is their pickiest.

Other co-workers have seen it, too. “My oldest son is 31 and he still won’t eat peas,” one father said. A mother also agreed, adding that her older child was pickier about clothing, too. Gee, does that sound familiar. “Where are the rest of my pants?” Jeremy shrieked last spring as the weather warmed and I tried to get him to wear shorts.

Others see just the opposite at the dinner table. One father offered this rundown:

Oldest: Eats anything

Middle: Moderately picky

Youngest: Very picky

Theory: Worthless

For once I’m happy to hear a co-worker tell me I’m full of it. I’m officially absolving myself of Mommy Guilt on this issue. That won’t end the war, but it will make it easier to fight the good fight knowing it’s (probably) not my fault.”

Copyright 2007 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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