I Am That Girl Now

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Three things, quick like bunny

Before the three things, though-- thanks, you guys. ::hugs and kisses:: I'm feeling horrible about the whole weekend and it helped to get it out there and have y'all react kindly. You're all terribly sweet.

First of all, Free silver jewelry. No, for serious. This company is looking to build a customer base. Three different people have told me that this thing is for real, and that the stuff they got is fantastic. You pay for shipping & handling, and that's it. I'm not really one for the bling, but I'm keeping an eye on it just in case. I've already "counted coup" on a pair of earrings-- got all the way to the PayPal payment screen and then backed out. (I don't really need 'em.)

Second, I got to hear the five most beautiful words in the English language from my Hub today: "I think you were right." This in regards to our discussion (er, heated discussion) this morning over why he never eats breakfast, and how dumb it was for him to not plan ahead for breakfast or mid-morning snack and then be all martyred over how good he was for-- in spite of being ravenously hungry-- not going downstairs and buying a bagel or stopping at McDonald's for one of their grease-packed Value Meals. He thought he was being Super Dieter because he skipped breakfast and snacks and ate a lunch that was equal sizes with mine. I told him he was a dumbass and was depressing his metabolism and [insert any number of "why it's good to eat breakfast" and "why eating breakfast helps you lose weight" articles here]. I told him that he was eating less than I was, half the time, because I made sure I had a morning and afternoon snack AND I ate breakfast every morning.

He showed up in my office halfway through the morning, looking pitiful. "I think you were right. I should eat breakfast. I'm starving. This is stupid." I gave him one of my apples. (And now I don't have an afternoon snack. Damn. I'll have to grab a banana promptly upon getting home.) I'm going to try to get him to stop at Trader Joe's after work so we can pick up some cereal; I need some more Kashi anyway.

Third, we have this article from the Washington Post, entitled "Hey, Mom, What's For Dinner?" The gyst of it being that children are very monkey-see, monkey-do when it comes to food and exercise, and that the best way to make sure they have good habits is to instill those habits in yourself and the kids will pick it up from watching you.

Considering the number of bad habits I picked up from my parents, and that I'm having to knock myself silly to break, I'd like to say "duh!" I'm also going to take time out for a short rant.

I have no children. I don't intend to for quite some time, since I have enough trouble dealing with just me and the Hub. So yes, I am completely talking out of my ass on this, and any mothers have the perfect right to point at me and say "Fuck off, kid, just wait until you spawn your own little hellbeast and have to deal with feeding it!"

That said:

One of my friends has a stepson who is a supremely picky eater. She complains about this constantly. Oh, the trials and tribulations of trying to get him to eat anything. Oh, the insane number of limits this puts on the things she can cook.

Folks, this woman is a walking catalogue of food quirks. "Picky" doesn't begin to describe her. She's married to a man who does the same damn thing. The number of times either one of them has set out to learn to like something new, or expose themselves to a new taste? Very low, and the number of successes is zero, because after three tries they're OUTTA THERE.

My guess is that her stepson is a picky eater because he sees that as normal. He has special quirks because that's his way of exerting control and independence and individuality. He doesn't know how to expand his food horizons because he's never seen it done. He has no examples to follow. I can only hope he falls in with a culinarily adventurous crowd as he grows up, because otherwise he's going to have to do all the work himself... if he ever wants to.

Another friend has a three-year-old and agonizes over the fact that he only wants chips, juice, soda, crackers, doughnuts, cookies, etc. Guess what primarily makes an appearance in Mommy's diet? Yup. Little boy wants to eat like his mommy does. Small wonder he's showing little interest in healthier fare.

Seriously, I could just shake them. Kids can smell hypocracy. It's unlikely they'll fall for "do as I say, not as I do". When I was pressed to exercise as a pre-teen and nobody else in the family was doing it, I didn't see any reason that I should've been singled out; it felt like unfair punishment. Good grief, a little bit of sanity on the subjects of food and exercise in my family would have gone a LONG way toward saving me from years of work re-programming myself. Grrrr.

End rant. Hrmph.

8 Comments:

  • That Washington Post article is so true, and I agree with your take on your friends who complain about their picky eating kids. I grew up loving veggies, seafood, and all kinds of weird ethnic stuff because my parents both encouraged me to eat a variety of foods and ate them right along with me. (Can we say sushi at age 7? How about calamari at age 5?) My father was big into fruit, too, which was also a good thing, although I still don't like red apples.

    On the other hand, my boyfriend HATES almost all veggies because--guess what?--his father always made the "yuck" face at the table and pushed his own veggies away.

    Parents really do have a lot to answer for when it comes to their children's taste in food.

    People who join a BFL or other weight loss support group and then make every excuse in the world to not follow the plan--"I'm a picky eater!" being one of the lamest and most common--drive me nuts.

    By Blogger Maggie, at 5:34 PM  

  • Picky eaters drive me INSANE. I mean, good grief, I have a good number of food squicks, but I don't see any good reason for that to bar me from foods that everyone else assures me are good. It takes more than ten tries to get a child to start accepting or liking a new food; why on earth would adults think that they wouldn't have the same ability to change in so little time?

    One of my friends has decided that she "just doesn't like pork" because it's too dry. Being the good Alton Brown acolyte that I am, I asked if she'd tried brining it. Of course not. But she assured me that any other form of preparation wouldn't help because she just didn't care for pork. Hello, if you say "because it's too dry" and then refuse to try the one thing GUARANTEED to make sure you get juicy, succulent pork, are you MENTAL?

    Grrrr. And she's one of the easier ones, too. So many of my friends have a list as long as their arm of all the foods they won't eat for stupid, stupid reasons. I can't eat with them anymore, I swear. I have no idea why they don't bother changing things about themselves that restrict them. Yeah, it takes a little work, but what doesn't?

    By Blogger Meg, at 7:32 PM  

  • Oooh, I totally hear ya sisters on this one. I too was raised in a family that ate and tried everything. I think it's part of the Asian culture, we Chinese who eat frogs (I've seen them live in chinatown!), all of the parts of the animal, and many other "strange" but oh so yummy foods. People just don't know what they're missing when they don't try things at least once. Though, I had a friend who taught me to try things I don't like once in a while just to make sure I still don't like them, and that was some good advice. Things like oysters, olives, and that pickled ginger they serve with sushi I've come to like over the last few years.

    It's too bad for them, more food for us!

    By Anonymous Cynthia, at 11:38 PM  

  • I must chime in here and say that I agree with you 100%. And I *do* have children. And I *do* have one child that is a VERY picky eater. Yes, I *do* blame myself for that little fact. I won't go into the gory details here and hog your comment section. Instead, I do believe you have just inspired my next post in my own journal. (So stay tuned for it very soon.) Suffice to say, you are right! And believe it or not, the damage *can* be undone. But it's a slow process and takes the effort and time. Some people just don't want to put forth such effort and time, though. Not even for the well-being of their own children.

    By Anonymous lee, at 6:05 AM  

  • Great post again! I loved the previous one too - I guess we've all been there, scoffing down food that does not even taste good, for whatever reasons. I have at least /lol/
    I do not have children, but what you said makes sense. My mother baked a lot when I was a kid - cinnamon rolls, cakes, pies, wheat rolls, donuts etc., and I got used to eating that stuff when I was hungry. We never had family meals or any decent food like meat and vegetables, and it did not occur to me until in adult age that there was something wrong with that kind of a diet.

    By Blogger Tracy, at 7:55 AM  

  • Just want to chime in with a dissent... While I totally agree that a child isn't going to learn to like healthy and adventurous food if his or her parents don't, I think it is possible to model healthy behavior for your kids and end up with a picky eater.

    Actually, I know it's possible. My family ate dinner together every night when I was a kid, and there was always a salad, and a green vegetable, and a healthy main course. But my older brother and I refused to eat anything green or anything with strong seasonings. I used to microwave a plain chicken breast and eat that instead (eww) when I wasn't eating a grilled cheese or a hotdog.

    But my twin brother? Ate EVERYTHING. And so did my older sister. They loved veggies and Chinese food and couldn't wait to try whatever new thing was on the table.

    I eventually got over my pickiness, and now eat everything, and love healthy food. But I was a stubborn kid, and despite my mother's best efforts, I didn't get over it until I was ready.

    By Blogger Noames, at 8:31 AM  

  • Okay, granted: not all pickiness is based on the parents. You're absolutely right.

    Still, if you assume that X number of kids will be picky eaters even with the most omnivorous parents, one assumes that the number goes up exponentially when kids grow up with one or more picky-eater parent.

    I think that a lot of kids would benefit from watching their parents go through the process of learning to like something new. The process itself is a valuable tool to have in one's mental toolkit, I think... but then, I'm pretty biased, having had to come up with how to do that all on my own. [Insert rant on the subject of conservative stick-in-the-mud parents here.]

    Just like everything else, though, the milage may vary from kid to kid. WILL vary, I think. Horse, water, impossible nature of forcible drinking, etc. You give 'em the best available and it's up to them on what to do with it. It's the people who limit what they're giving their kids that drive me bonkers.

    By Blogger Meg, at 9:54 AM  

  • OMG! I'm now addicted to that jewelry site! I haven't ordered anything yet though because I keep thinking the next selection will be even better so I keep checking back!

    By Blogger k, at 1:35 PM  

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