Monday, March 10, 2008

Ewwwww! You like *what*?

Sometimes, as moms, we know what we do is going to backfire. The fun is figuring out how exactly it's going to backfire.

I've been pretty strict with my kids in making them try new things. Our rule is that if Mommy makes it, you have to try it. It's ok if you don't like it, but you have to put a bite in your mouth, chew and swallow. You won't get anything else until you do. From that, my kids have eventually discovered that they love things like salmon and edamame and carrots.

As a corollary, when I bake with them, I encourage them to smell all the ingredients we use. It's become a fun little ritual, especially when I break out the good vanilla. Sometimes they want to taste the ingredients, too. In keeping with the above rule, I won't discourage the tasting, unless it's something that isn't meant to be eaten (e.g., chewing a nutmeg nut).

Last night, I had some baking soda out. My son wanted to know what it was, so I explained that it helped make my cakes and pancakes and other goodies go from flat to high and bouncy. Then he asked to taste it.

Side story: I should know better. I really should. When driving back from St Louis after Christmas, DH had stopped to get gas and gotten me (unsolicited even!) a Starbucks Frappachino thingie. Of course, DS wanted to taste it, and I was sure he wouldn't like it, so I let him have a sip. Of course, he loved it and wanted to drink the whole thing. That's when I broke out the "Caffeine Is For Adults" speech. Fortunately, he's a logical little rascal and was amenable to instead just drinking some water. Silly me for thinking he wouldn't like a sugary sweet drink that doesn't even taste like coffee!

I had no issue with him tasting the baking soda. I explained that he probably wouldn't like it and that it's an ingredient, not something we usually eat by itself. Then I let him lick his finger and dip it into a tiny pile I'd made on the counter. Immediately the face wrinkled up in disgust and he tried to get it off his tongue. Smart Mommy had a glass of water just waiting for this reaction, and all was well.

Of course Little Miss I-Can-Do-Everyhing-Anyone-Else-Can-But-I-Can-Do-It-Better also wanted to try. So I let her try, as well, although I did the licking and dipping for her. Some things I just don't quite trust a two year old to do. The result? "Mmmmm, Mommy! Can I have some more?"

At that point, I was sure that I hadn't actually gotten any of the baking soda on my finger, so I tried again. This time, I made sure that I could see white powder quite clearly on my finger before wiping it on her tongue. And she asked for more. This went on a few more times before she decided she was done.

Really, I'm always happy when my children show evidence of not being the most picky eaters on the planet. I'm grateful that they'll try new things and sometimes even like them. But baking soda? Ewwww!

I don't know where she gets it from, but I can almost guarantee that tomorrow morning, Little Miss will ask if she can have some more baking soda. Honest and truly!

2 comments:

Manic Mom March 11, 2008 at 7:50 AM  

Next thing you know, she's gonna start eating dirt and detergent! Uh-OH!

Your rule for them is GREAT! Sadly, I didn't do this when mine were young, so now Diva's diet consists of only carrots, apples, pancakes, peanut butter, bread and junk food. Yep, that's about it. No cheese. No meat. No noodles. No chicken nuggets. No soup. No mac-n-cheese.... I wish I did what you did!

Michelle March 11, 2008 at 10:35 AM  

I think she's already eaten dirt. Last year, I had to stop her from eating the sand in the sandbox several times.

And for Diva, I see protein, veggies and fruit. That's more than a lot of kids get.

If it makes you feel better, the only way that my kids drink their milk (with Ovaltine for Mister Man) is by convincing them that drinking milk turns them into bunnies with giant bunny ears and fluffy cottonball tails.

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