I want to raise kids who are not picky eaters. So we eat lots of kinds of things; we introduce the kids to lots of different foods. And there is the expectation that they will try everything. If they don’t like it, there will be lots of other opportunities to come around—we’ll be having it again in a week or two. The hubby is always worried about whether they eat their protein or not, but I think the real food battles are won with vegetables. It is so easy to be picky about things like mushrooms, broccoli, peppers, or onions.
So G loves certain vegetables. I love that she’ll practically inhale her asparagus before touching anything else on her plate. When I make pizza, I put mushrooms, peppers, onions, zucchini, and she eats it with no problem. (I think we grossly underestimate what kids will eat—cheese pizza and chicken nuggets???) But she has never been so crazy about broccoli. She always has to eat at least three broccoli crowns (I am mean that way) but it is always with a lot of coaxing and prodding.
Tonight, for the first time, she ate her three little broccoli trees (we pretend we are dinosaurs eating trees) and she wanted MORE! She asked me for some of mine… then asked for more.
I was so proud!
Another wish of mine for my kids is that they learn how to stand up for themselves without being mean. I talk to G about not hitting and not saying mean things and what it feels like to have those things done to you. I hope she learns to be empathetic. Kids pick up meanness so early—it is so disheartening. I love that G is not mean (I am sure it could still happen, but I have my eyes peeled, my ears on alert, and my fingers crossed). I mean, she’ll hit, like any three year old, fighting over a toy, but she doesn’t exclude to be mean, she doesn’t say mean things, as I have seen other kids her age do.
But sometimes I worry that she’s not quite sure how to handle meanness directed at her. Sometimes I’ll see her playing with friends and see her stunned almost helpless expression when something mean is done to her. So I also talk to her about what to say when someone is mean.
Today when I picked her up from childcare, her teacher told me about an incident outside, when another girl had yelled at G. G told her loud and clear: “Don’t you talk like that to me.”
I am sure she picked that line up from me (when I tell her that she has to talk and treat me respectfully), but I love that she used it in that situation. She didn’t hit; she didn’t say something ugly—she calmly stated how she was not going to be treated.
I felt that rosy-warm inner bubble of pride well up: That’s my girl!