Deprived child

In our house, we serve vegetables before dinner.  While waiting for the main course (which Zachary will not eat) we offer up steamed carrots or broccoli (which Zachary does not eat).  Every now and then, Lilah and Benjamin get extra-special lucky and I have no fresh asparagus in the house, so I heat up some frozen peas.

Oh, my God, you would think I was offering Halvah covered in chocolate.  If there is one food my younger two love, it is peas.  Benjamin pops them in his mouth during television time.  Lilah sits on the floor and shovels them into her mouth so fast that, assuming there is a spare grown-up around, we assign someone the task of simply monitoring the situation.

The other night, that job went to my husband.  He sat on the floor with her in the kitchen while I fixed dinner, saying things like, “Lilah!  Use your hands.  Your hands.  You don’t need to pour them directly from the bowl into your mouth.”

Eventually, I finished the spinach soup and we all went in to dinner (which, in case you were wondering, Zachary did not eat).    Usually, Lilah is a fantastic eater.  But that night, she just kept fussing and screaming.  We could not figure out what was wrong.  We gave her some spinach from the soup on her placemat.  I tried spooning some into her mouth.  We gave her the soft pretzels we had made and then bread, both with and without cream cheese.  We even brought out cantaloupe, her favorite dessert.  But she would not stop yelling at us.

Finally, I took her out of her chair and held her on my lap.  Whereupon she lunged for Zachary’s (empty because he had not wanted any soup) bowl.  At this point it finally dawned on me: those were exactly the same bowls out of which she usually ate her peas.  The poor baby thought the entire family had been sitting there at dinner, gorging ourselves on peas, while relegating her to shit like bread and spinach soup.

This is something that is sure to come up in therapy sometime down the road.

17 responses to “Deprived child

  1. My daughter had a favorite bowl when she was growing up. It was like magic; just about anything you’d put in there, she’d eat. No other bowl worked for her.

    Great story!

    Just wanted to drop by and thank you for your comment over at Flutter’s. Allowing myself a space for healing is something new for me, and it’s starting to feel right . . .


  2. my kids love peas too, they are like natures candy!

  3. even when it’s after the fact, I always feel so good when i can figure out what all the fuss is about.

    BTW, we tried the bean muffins. The flavor was good, but the texture was a bit moist & mushy.

  4. That’s some pretty top-notch deduction on the part of Lilah. For a baby, anyway. Too bad the poor thing thought she was being so egregiously wronged, though.

    And as far as special treats go, you could do MUCH WORSE than peas.

  5. Peas, huh? Does she like them enough to eat them frozen?

  6. This just cracked me up! I always assuming my kid would hate peas (ever since I tried to serve him the lovely organic homemade mushed up ones as an infant), but now I’ll bet they seem more like little green Cheerios to him.

  7. Oh that made me laugh. Yes peas are heaven for a lot of kids.

  8. My favorite line is the one about chocolate-colored Halvah — I’m sure you’re the first to use it this way. This post is hilarious and, frankly, weird. But that’s because we are all pea-haters in this family.

  9. Peas, man, peas. Awesome.

  10. Naturally I had a child who looooved peas – LOVED ’em, begged for ’em, jonsed for ’em even. The other? Would give me THAT look – the one that says, sadly, oh mother, are you really going to torment me with this vile legume again? I mean, I’ll choke it down (literally) for you, and because you’re waving the promise of applesauce for desert in my face, but oh, the horror of peas.


  11. A child who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to let you know – can be amazing. It can also be, well, let’s say, challenging.

  12. We used to give Eve frozen peas still frozen — a treat for her because she loved them and they helped when she was teething, and yet another way for us to make our second-born child feed herself everything, because apparently we were just too damned busy to sit down and spoon every bite lovingly into her mouth the way we did with Angus (speaking of years of therapy). Frozen peas, frozen corn, frozen blueberries, Farley biscuits (which we would then scrape off of her and use to make incidental house repairs).

    I love the visual of her screaming “I want the fucking peas, you morons!” in baby.

  13. i love peas, but no one else in my family does, so I rarely eat them. as a kid my mom gave them to us frozen. they’re good that way. try it.

  14. Oh poor baby! I’m glad you figured it out. I hope she wasn’t too upset that no one was getting any peas.

  15. My daughter loves frozen peas too!! In fact that is all she ate for dinner tonight, ignoring the scrambled egg and the english muffin.

  16. Oh my God that’s hilarious! We do a lot of peas, too. Hey, vegetable AND a protein!