Ha, ha! Fooled you!

27 Aug

As a mom, nothing gives me greater satisfaction than outsmarting my 3-year-old, especially when it comes to food.

My daughter is fairly unusual in that she has a fairly extensive list of foods she will eat. She’s not too picky and I’ve lived with her long enough to know what she will and won’t eat. But that doesn’t mean I don’t keep trying to force foods she doesn’t like into her body.

The battle of wills began one winter afternoon about 18 months ago. I had made my delightfully tasty homemade vegetable soup for lunch and made a bowl for my daughter. She was just learning to feed herself; I though the soup would be good practice with its nice chunky vegetables. This delectable soup is normally made with onions, carrots, tomatoes, corn, peas and zucchini and this time was no different. I set the bowl in front of her. She happily picked up the spoon and began trying to feed herself. I was such a proud mama. And then it hit me. Literally. Zucchini right in my face.

When I, for one fleeting moment, looked away, my daughter seized the moment to abandon her spoon, go spelunking in her soup for all the offending vegetables, locate one and proceede to throw it at me. And not a casual toss either. This was a full-on fastball right at my face. If she could have said “F*uck you mommy, I’m not eating this disgusting green thing. You are the worst mommy on earth for trying to make me eat it”, I think she would have. And to add insult to injury, she laughed while she was doing it!

So, I did what any mother would do. I wiped the zucchini, and the humiliation, from my face, removed the rest of the zucchini from her soup and finished eating lunch. But you can bet that I vowed revenge. I refused to be bested by a toddler.

Over the next few months, I carefully plotted how I would get back at her. A friend sent me Jessica Seinfeld’s cookbook (the one where she gives all kinds of tricks for sneaking vegetables into a kid’s diet); it was a nice gesture but I was going all out on my revenge. No, my child would not consume some hidden pureed vegetables. She was going to consume large chunks of vegetables, blatantly and strategically placed into her food.

Unfortunately, while I was plotting my revenge, my daughter was also plotting how to keep up her vegetable boycott. As I grew stronger in my resolve to force a vegetable, particularly green vegetables (I probably should stop here and explain for a moment that my child will not, under any circumstances, eat anything green unless it is candy. This includes peppers, apples, grapes and even those green noodles that are in the tri-color pasta. It is very, very bizarre), she grew stronger in her resolve to never eat anything green. The problem even spilled over at daycare. I would get her daily information sheets and sure enough, on green vegetable days, there was a big “none” next to vegetable. Her teachers and I would laugh about this but I knew, deep down, that they were on my side.

HA HA HA! You ate a green vegetable!

It all came to a head this past spring. She had an absolutely fabulous teacher, Ms. Sara, who is also a mom and is perhaps one of the most creative people I have ever met. I went to pick my daughter up, per my usual routine, and picked up the daily information sheet. There, in big letters, next to vegetables it said “all”. I was shocked! It was pea day! This had to have been a mistake. So I asked Sara about it, just to make sure it was correct. I said “My daughter really ate all her vegetables?!” Sara replied that yes, all the kids did. I asked how. She told me that she told the kids it was green corn.

Green corn?! That’s freakin’ genius!!! I knew they were on my side! I think I skipped out of the daycare that day, I was so happy that one battle in the War of the Green Vegetable had been won. I also think her resolve is starting to wane because since that day, I have managed to get her to eat pickles, more peas, celery, green peppers and, although they’re not green, onions (her hatred of onions is almost as strong as her hatred of green vegetables). 

So now I can rest on my laurels as having bested a three year old. Who says being a mom doesn’t have its perks?


7 Responses to “Ha, ha! Fooled you!”

  1. Sarah August 27, 2010 at 12:08 pm #

    haha i love it! green corn, wow 🙂 you’ll have some great stories when she’s older!

    • theemptykitchen August 27, 2010 at 1:52 pm #

      nothing tastes as sweet as the potential for blackmail. 🙂

  2. The Great Mama Experiment August 27, 2010 at 1:12 pm #

    All of this talk about plotting and seeking revenge. Sounds like A+ parenting to me! 🙂

    • theemptykitchen August 27, 2010 at 1:51 pm #

      this will surely win me mother of the year. i can feel it!

  3. Barb @ 1 Sentence Diary August 30, 2010 at 11:44 am #

    Hysterical! Kids and green veggies are such a challenge.

    When my son was about 2, he went to a lovely family daycare where they provided lunch. Once day, at my kitchen table, I was eating cheese and crackers. My son walked up and said, “peas.” It was adorable, but confusing. Why would he say “peas”? He didn’t LIKE peas. We didn’t even have any peas in the house. How was I going to get him some peas?

    We had one of those ridiculous conversations that you have with toddlers. Me: “I’m sorry, honey, we don’t have any peas.” Him: “Peeeeeeas!” Now repeat that in your mind about 10 times.

    Finally it hit me. He didn’t want peas. He was saying, “please.” He wanted the cheese and crackers.



  1. Renovation in progress! « The Empty Kitchen - March 30, 2011

    […] Ha, ha! Fooled you! […]

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