Dooce and the Lima Bean

This site is one of my favorites. And this post reminded me of somethings.Dooce suggests that some children don’t like to eat all of their food…hmmm…really?? Could it be? She also suggests that sometimes parents engage in small bouts of torture to their children just for a laugh.

To my knowledge I was never tricked into eating anything (I was the good baby who was open to new foods—I swear!) I hated two things though. Finger paints (I know, not food, but it was a bit odd that I hated it so much) and broccoli flowerets.

When I was two my mother gave me finger paints. All kids love finger paints, right?? Smooshing their hands around in ooey gooey stuff, being allowed to make a fabulous mess, fun times. Well I smooshed just enough to get the paint ALL OVER MY HANDS AND WRISTS…oh that was WAY too much. I hated it. I hated the mess. I hated the ooey gooey. I hated the slop that was being subjected to. I was miserable. And my mother, no doubt laughing hysterically at my pain, took a picture. Today, it is one of my favorite pictures of me as a child, but I am sure I thought at the time, “what a horrible, horrible mommy!! Why is she taking a picture of me in this terrible pain!” That is the look that is on my face anyway. That, mixed with “get this Sh*t off of me!!”

Then there was the broccoli. I loved broccoli stalks. I hated the flowerets. When I was three or four I made my mother cut the tops off all of my broccoli, but I also made her leave a small stem on the floweret. Everytime. It had to be there when I sat down at the table. I wanted the flowerets, I just didn’t want to eat them. I needed them to make forests. This was crucial to the broccoli eating process. I would sit in my chair and take each floweret one by one, and carefully, delicately place the flowerets at the edge of my plate. I stood them upright so they looked like trees. They would be in a perfect line around the front edge of my plate, carefully spaced and placed in just the right location—not any tree could go anywhere, it would throw off the composition! Then I would study the trees, and drift off to some imaginary forest. I created stories with my trees. And occasionally a tree would be uprooted and become a person in the forest for the sake of the story.

At some point I ate a tree. I guess I didn’t think it was as bad as I had thought it would be because soon, I would not eat the stalks. Those icky icky stalks. One day my mother cut up the broccoli like a had always liked it and I made a dead forest of just stalks. That wasn’t as fun. Dead trees just aren’t cool. So then the game stopped. But the flowerets were yummy, so I kept eating them. I didn’t eat stalks again until I was almost 8. I think to this day my mother is still puzzled about how she got a three year old to eat broccoli.

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