One of the strangest, apparently genetic, traits that shows up early in a child's life is his or her palate. It's amazing to me that kids are hardwired from birth to like or dislike certain tastes and textures. It's been a topic of discussion in our house lately because Jameson's nightly attempt to eat, or more accurately not eat, his vegetables is like witnessing a live episode of Fear Factor. Oh the drama! Jameson acts like we're feeding him sautéed cow dung. His body shudders with every bite of green beans. He can barely keep mashed potatoes in his mouth. And peas? Peas!? They nearly had him spewing on the table. No matter the vegetable, each bite is suspended in his mouth just long enough for him to grab his beverage and swallow the mess whole. Sometimes followed by convulsions. It's a circus show that drives us crazy.
But I can't get mad. I feel the same freakin' way.
Julie is amazed that I'm able to relate to this nightly food fiasco. She simply cannot imagine what it's like to experience the gag reflex simply because some vegetables have crossed one's lips. In fact, she can't imagine any food causing such a negative reaction. According to her, even her most reviled food item, pickles, would be easy for her to eat -- she just wouldn't like it.
That's crazy talk. I can list all kinds of food, namely vegetables, that I have to choke down during meals. Just the other night she watched, amazed, as I gave a performance that actually rivaled Jameson's when I tried to set a good example by eating all my peas. Blech! I too had to reach for the nearest beverage to wash those peas down as they sent shivers down my spine. Pathetic, I know! I've been trying for years to like vegetables but nothing has worked. They're gross and I don't know how to get around it. Jameson is in the same boat and it appears that Truman has inherited the "vegetables are poison" gene, as well. Amelia, luckily, seems to like her veggies. Maybe it's a gender thing. I vaguely remember my younger sisters being vegetable eaters when we were kids. I'm the oldest of five kids and I may have been the pickiest eater of us all. And now I've passed this debilitating disease on to at least one of my children. Maybe there's still hope. Jameson loves eggs with soft yolks. I can barely stand to watch him eat those yolks and I'm cringing just thinking about it. So Jameson isn't as bad as me. And on those nights when he's stuck at the dinner table, staring down a plate full of peas, at least he'll have company. Me.
So what does a discerning eater like me actually like? Well, here's what my food guide pyramid looks like.
Maybe one day vegetables will make the cut.