Kids these days are picky eaters.
There. I’ve said it. I speak in broad brushstrokes of course. But I have seen this, time and again, with my limited exposure to kids.
Whether we are with friends, or family, or even at a restaurant, there seems to be a very narrow field for error, when it comes to what is on their plates.
Typically, it must be fried, and Ketchup must be involved in some capacity.
I heard a mother say, “Oh, he’ll only eat chicken nuggets from McDonald’s, but only with Ketchup from their packets.”
Hmmm. Now that is one demanding kid.
Just for the record, here: I am not a Mother.
It is not because I have killed all my children, or even that I’ve given them away.
No. I made the choice, at some point in my life, that I didn’t need to bring more humans into this already overpopulated world. There didn’t seem to be enough to go around as it was. I did not want to add to this planetary failure.
Besides that. I was busy. And gay. Finding a good man to artificially inseminate me seemed like a daunting task. It never quite made it on the “To Do” List.
Please, do not misunderstand me. I don’t fault others for having children. I only feel reproach when they do it poorly.
And that brings me back to the food issue. I have to mention our kitchen table at 134 E. Bruce Street. That is where I grew up. There were seven kids sitting around that table, along with Mom and Dad. We all ate what was gloriously offered to us. We could eat until we were full, or until the food ran out. But we had to eat everything we placed on our plates.
Most of us were stark raving hungry by the time we sat down for any meal. So the food went quickly. Lickety-split. I was the youngest. The older kids ate faster, and heartier. I can remember a few times wishing there was more.
None the less, there were not seven separate plates with seven different dinners of chicken nuggets, cheese puffs, pizza, and hot pockets. There wasn’t any complaining either. I’m not sure how my parents came to this Universal Rule, but we all abided willfully. In fact, sitting down to dinner was one of the most joyous occasions of each and every day.
I know parenting is not easy. But there ought to be some method to get kids to eat what they get. And be grateful.
Here’s the other thing. I write all this with the big awareness that I have 4,987, 231 faults. That makes me far from perfect. I shouldn’t be casting stones, and all. But I have to write about something. And today, this is it.
But I know it is hard. For instance. Of all the dogs we’ve owned over the years, we’ve had one fat dog. All the rest of them have been fit and trim. No matter the breed, they have always been slim. But not our Ollie. She is, as the groomer suggested, a little “sausage dog.” And. I’ve tried everything with Ollie. Different foods, much less, no treats, and on. She gets out and exercises. Pilates. Nothing seems to work. Personally, I think she has a faulty thyroid. If dogs have thyroids. At any rate, my dog-parenting skills have not been able to fix her. She is fat. Happy. But fat.
So it is with picky-eater-kids. I’m sure the parents have tried the old, “You don’t know unless you try it. Just give it a try.”
Unfortunately, I find argument with this reasoning too. You see, I have never tried bungee jumping from the edge of a volcano, or sleeping on an abandoned mattress under some bridge. But I can say, unequivocally, that I would not like either one of those things. Giving them a try will not change my mind.
So, once again, I come to this.
Today. We should go out. And be. The best that we can be.
And if it takes extra ketchup packets to do so?
Well. Then bring it.
“In the end you should always do the right thing even if it’s hard.”
― Nicholas Sparks, The Last Song
“You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.”
― H. Jackson Brown Jr.