Thursday, September 13, 2012

Your Choices are Take It or Leave It

Is there a magical age at which kids learn how to eat around the stuff they don't like? Like, without whining, crying, shoving the plate away, or various other theatrics?

Or is there some secret technique to making it through dinner without tears, eye-rolling, threats, begging, bribing, or timers? (Actually we only really use two of those as a general rule - timers and eye-rolling - I think I saw my brain the other day.)

I understand not liking certain foods. Nobody can ever convince me that I like cilantro. Or onions. I've tried, oh Lord, I've tried. But they are just not for me (but somehow I love all other Mexican food. Weird, huh?) I'm totally ok with my kids not liking certain things, and I do a pretty good job of remembering what they are and ensuring I offer choices that don't include them too, or making it really easy to pick them out. That is, for me or Hubby to pick them out of course, because somehow these offending particles just send our boys into a severe tailspin from which there's no return.

Sometimes I dream about what it might be like to be in a different family. Where the food preferences look something like this:

Doesn't that seem reasonable? Everyone has their own little realm of preferences. There's usually two or more people that like a decent amount of items. But everyone has a nice big repertoire and there are plenty of options to serve that make everyone happy.

This is what it looks like in our family:

Dad is not the problem. I am not the problem. We are pretty much garbage guts, and we agree on the breadth and depth of our range. There's very little the boys like that we don't either. But note the relative size of the circles? That's not an accident. I am a graphy, market research sort of gal. See how their bubbles do not overlap with each other's? The fact that I can pretty much guarantee that someone or another will say "I don't like that!" is indisputable. 

At least now we have it in Venn diagram format. My little anal geek world is now complete. Even if I still don't know what the hell to make for dinner tomorrow.

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