Isaac, age 3, has many exceptional qualities. He loves to snuggle and plays well with others. He is easy going and he knows how to share. He doesn’t take naps, but last week, he fell asleep at 6pm and didn’t get up until 7:30am. As Isaac’s mom, I have very little to complain about.
BUT, when it comes to meal time, Isaac’s good nature takes a nose dive. Always starving, but overly picky, Isaac’s dream food pyramid would include fruit snack, cold cereal, dessert and toaster waffle segments with a teeny, tiny little vegetable wedge at the very top. I know…we all are baffled that a child as finicky as Isaac would happily chomp on broccoli, green beans and carrots, but he does.
Lest you fall under the impression that all I only feed my little boy fruit snacks and cold cereal, let me fill you in on our nightly dinner routine. With the exception of pizza night, and the very rare “breakfast for dinner night,” I prepare and serve a healthy meal with a main dish, vegetables, fruit and milk to drink. Everyone gets the same thing and is welcome to eat it or refuse it, choosing to wait until breakfast for the next opportunity to eat. Of course, I encourage my kids to at least try their food, even if they think they won’t like it.
Everyone has seemed to fall in line with this eating routine and I get very few complaints, except when it comes to my sweet little Isaac. Rarely does a meal pass without the words, “I don’t yike dis. Dis is yukky!” uttered by our Isaac. Isaac has a serious aversion to anything that is fruit. With the exclusion of apples and bananas, Isaac is loath to touch, get too close to, or even rest his eyes too long upon fruit.
The rest of the family simply can not understand how anyone could not enjoy a lovely fruit salad (yummy, yummy), a strawberry shortcake, or a nice cold slice of watermelon on a warm summer evening. As a variety of summer fruits become more available and have found their way to our dinner table, I’ve encouraged Isaac to try a wafer thin sliver of one kind of fruit or another with the idea that surely, once he tastes the fruity deliciousness, he will realize what he’s been missing, and join the majority of humanity by eating fruit.
Last week, the rest of the family got in on this encouragement as I plead with Isaac to try a small piece of the most delicious pineapple I’d ever tasted outside of the Hawaiian islands.
“Come on Isaac!” Robert begged.
“You can do it.” Ethan cheered
“If you don’t like it, you can spit it out.” I bargained.
“If you don’t like it, you can spit it in my underwear!” Jonah offered.
Our coaxing temporarily halted to consider Jonah’s proposal. Of course there was a bit of laughing, mostly from mom and dad I’m a little embarrassed to say, but with in a few seconds, we were all cheering on Isaac with the same refrain: “If you don’t like it, you can spit it in Jonah’s underwear!”
Isaac’s dubious façade broke for just a moment to reveal the slightest grin, and he popped the pineapple in his mouth. Suddenly, a look of revulsion came over him and the surprise of the undesirable taste caused him to immediately swallow, momentarily forgetting Jonah’s offer.
Jonah’s underwear was spared the addition of a masticated lump of pineapple, and we all congratulated Isaac on giving fruit a try. However, something gives me the impression that Jonah’s offer is a standing one…at least he will have to stand if Isaac ever takes him up on it.