Thursday, April 14, 2011

Fear Factor: Dinner Edition

Do I have picky toddlers when it comes to new foods?  No way…at least not if they have a napkin to spit into on stand-by!  

We are always trying new foods around here.  In fact, just the other day I made them try something new, their daddy’s favorite dinner: Green Bean Casserole.  I think casserole is a code name for any food that could do moonlighting in little glass jars and be sold as baby food.  Don’t get me wrong, I love casseroles!  And the leftovers in my fridge are always happy to find a new home in my 9x13 pan and a new identity with a last name of “casserole”! 

Here’s how tonight’s new food tasting went down:

My four-year-old, Gideon, was the first one to sit in the electric, I mean, dining room chair.  He poked at the Green Bean Casserole (a delicious mix of green beans, rice, ground beef and cream of mushroom sauce) as if it were home to a live alien that would at any moment jump off his plate and attack him.  It took a bit of gentle encouragement (such as, “Eat it or else, kid!”) before he finally took a bite so small it would take a microscope to identity what actually traveled the 1,000 miles from his plate to his frowning mouth.

Once the ¼ sized granular of rice with one microgram of sauce hit his tongue, all hell broke loose.

There was great convulsing as he franticly flapped his arms, gasping with great difficulty around the piece of food in his mouth, “Need napkin...napkin PLEASE!!!”

My eyes were rolling as my hand supplied him with the requested emergency extraction tool.  Soon all was right in the world again as he sealed the offending morsel of food in the napkin and politely placed it on the edge of his plate.

“Okay, I tried it!”  Gideon smiled broadly at his shocked audience.

Hmmm…not exactly what I had in mind!

Thankfully, his younger brother, Judah, had missed the Broadway production since he had been using the restroom while Gideon had been risking his life on the “Fear Factor: Dinner Edition” show.  Little did Judah know as he plopped into his chair the road of great peril and danger that lay ahead for him.

“What’s this?”  He asked as he poked at the casserole pile on his plate.  Yes, they are definitely brothers!

“Me not like this stuff.”  

An evil eye from his mother did an amazing thing to his transform his choice of words.

“I mean, this is not my favorite.”  Judah decided he wanted to live to tell about this dinner.

Gideon rushed onto the scene to save the day for his discouraged Momma and said, 

“Just try it, Jude.  I took a bite!”  Wow, that was surprising.  I was feeling good about Gideon’s encouragement and just as Jude was about to try it, Gideon added,

“I just spit it in a napkin after I tried it.  Just have a napkin ready!”

Okay…I just lost that loving feeling.

Judah’s fork was emptied quickly…back onto his plate as he shook his head, 

“Me not want that!”  After numerous attempts by Judah to place the food into his mouth, the brave, brave boy finally succeeded with a bite that was actually followed by a swallow.

We all waited with baited breath and my heart soared with hope: here my toddler is, trying a new food and I think he’ll actually like it!

This soar of hope was followed by a quick crash landing as the napkin he had on stand-by (per his brother’s recommendation) was suddenly filled and sealed, joining his fellow regurgitation-holding-buddy on Gideon’s plate. 

“Now what’s to eat, Momma?”

Our lives are certainly never dull on “Fear-Factor: Dinner Edition” at the Cole place.  Next casserole I have in mind: Thai (you-up-to-get-you-to-eat-it) Casserole.  Stay tuned for our next episode…

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