Saturday, November 3, 2007

Don’t Knock it Until You Try It

In recent days, I've found myself being educated by children on keeping an open mind. Specifically, my preconceived notions of which foods would taste good.

As an example, we took my niece and nephew to lunch last weekend. Nothing fancy, just McDonald's on the way to an event being held at the local fairgrounds. As suspected, the kids each ordered a Happy Meal complete with fountain drink. Being at McD's at lunchtime is hectic enough, add four kids to the mix and it is worse. DH waited at the counter for our order while I escorted the kids to the beverage center then off to find a table. I was filling drinks for my girls, but my niece and nephew are old enough to select their own and big enough to reach it. Part way through our meal, my niece needed a drink refill, so I took her back over to the beverage center. The odd thing was that she didn't select just one drink. She picked them all – and proceeded to add small amounts of each beverage to her glass. From what I recall, it was Coke, Diet Coke, Mello Yello, Pibb, Sprite, Hi-C, Powerade and a spritz of soda water. All I could think was "Ick." I must have said it out loud because she politely asked if I wanted to try it proclaiming "It's really good." My immediate response was "No thanks." Then I stopped and looked her in the face. She was gleaming with pride at her concoction. Knowing I would regret it, I said "Sure, I'll try it." To my surprise, it wasn't horrible. What it tasted like was a mouthful of sweet-tarts. As I walked away, I commented to a woman witnessing the event "I can't bug my kids about trying broccoli unless I try stuff too."

How lax my short term memory must be though because just a few days later I was faced with a similar situation. After getting Miss M headed off to school, Miss K and I set out for the gym. Afterwards, I needed to pick something up at CVS so I told Miss K that if she behaved, I would surprise her with something. Just a few doors down from the CVS is the Bread Basket bakery. It always smells so nice and I like having an excuse to stop in. I figured she would be more than open to the idea of a cookie. To my surprise, she pointed at a cinnamon roll claiming "I want that one." Well, it wasn't really a surprise because she has a fierce sweet tooth… how could she not want a cinnamon roll once she saw all that frosting on top. When I asked the guy behind the counter about it, he pointed out that it was a pumpkin roll. A portion of the dough had been replaced with pumpkin and the cinnamon spread was replaced with a nutmeg spread. Kneeling down next to Miss K, I pointed at the display and said "You won't like that one, honey. Pick something else." Nope. No Way. No How. She had picked the pumpkin roll and was sticking to it. I asked him if he would mind cutting a small piece for her to try before I bought it. After tasting it, I asked if she still wanted it or something else and she confirmed that she wanted that one. Not only was I shocked that she liked it, but I was equally shocked that I did.

Miss K has been into the mix-and-match food thing ever since we went to see Ratatouille. She totally got the "two independent foods create an entirely different flavor when combined" thing. I guess I need to quit turning up my nose when she makes those funky mixtures. I will, however, not budge on DH's kool-aid flavored bread and butter pickles. The smell of bread and butter pickles makes my stomach turn so making them red isn't going to make them any more enticing. I'll stand my ground there.

But the next time the girls don't want to try something, I'll be a little less forgiving.