Into their mouths, out of my hands
Last night I made Indian food and as usual, Nico devoured it all, proclaiming that he loves how the cuisines from countries such as India and Thailand combine flavors that he wouldn’t ordinarily think would go so well together (i.e. cashew nuts and yogurt). I beamed as he complimented the food but unlike in times past (when I deluded myself into thinking that it was in some way my doing), I took no personal pride whatsoever in having a son who will eat almost anything and who loves trying new and unusual foods.
This is because on the opposite side of the table sat Luca, a kid whose idea of a filling Indian curry dinner consists of several cashew nuts dipped in mango chutney. Actually, I suppose you could say that Luca’s tastes are fairly exotic for a two-year old. He loves capers, olives and smoked salmon, and when we go out for sushi, he eats the pickled ginger off of everyone else’s plates. The problem is that he will usually refuse to eat anything else (i.e. pasta, rice, pizza, etc.) and as for vegetables, forget it.
I do like to think that I have something of an influence in my children’s behavior but in this case, I’ve come to realize that it’s completely out of my hands. I have one child who is a “good eater” and another who subsists almost entirely on condiments. So the next time I take Luca for lunch at a friend’s house, only to have her confess in an embarrassed tone that her child will only eat frozen chicken nuggets, I’ll just sigh and ask if they happen to have a jar of capers on hand.