Future Foodie? Budding Artist? How About Both
I know I’ve alluded to it before, but the little goddess is really getting into drawing. She’s always had a love of painting (paper, rocks, shells, her one male baby doll Bubba) and she loves to craft things (though she still needs to learn that tape cannot stick everything together)…but the drawing is something different. She’s done it as long as any of her other art, but this is the medium which she has begun to pursue most diligently and with the greatest success.
I don’t know how to compare her artistic skills to other kids in the 7- to 8-year realm. I know many of her reading and writing skills (though not all) are already a year or two above her grade level, but drawing is trickier to gauge. But why compare against any standard anyway, right? She’s a damned goddess.
Anyway, the detail of her drawings, including the vampire cat people that I will have to share with you all one day, is amazing to me. One of the things she most seems to like drawing, though, is food (ironic, given how picky an eater she is). Given that I have a headache right now and have to do a phone meeting later, I’m going to pass on heavy thinking or attempts to be fantastically witty today and just skip to the cute:
But she’s not just a foodie illustrator. So here are a few more that aren’t food focused (though she still slips edibles in there, doesn’t she?) before I let you go back to your real life…
My Table, My Battlefield
I’m actually stealing…er, recycling…this material from my Holy Sh!+ from Deacon Blue blog. Mostly because I still think it’s funny but also because there are tiny signs (and gradually growing in frequency) that my daughter may actually be starting to develop some actual taste buds and maybe some breadth in her food choices. So, I’m not sure how much longer this post will be true and might as well get more use out of it while I can. For what it’s worth, I first posted this in January 2012. I don’t think anything below has changed in the year-plus since then, except that she won’t eat the shells and cheese anymore as of a couple months ago (but she’s slowly warming to the wife’s homemade baked macaroni and cheese).
If there is one thing that might make me snap as a parent, causing me to fly through the house punching holes through walls and tearing down wallpaper with my fingernails, it will be my daughter’s eating habits.
My wonderful, artistically gifted, verbally advanced, sensitive darling is the pickiest damned eater I have ever had the misfortune to live with and be unable to employ threats of horrendous physical violence against.
If she had her way, her diet would consist of the following, and probably only the following:
- Milk, chocolate milk and orange juice
- Strawberries, blackberries and raspberries
- Bacon and hot dogs (occasionally supplemented with chicken or steak)
- Green apples, grapes, mandarin oranges and the occasional banana
- Annie’s Shells & Cheese
- Tootsie Roll lollipops and gummy anything
- Ranch dressing
- Processed cheese sticks and extra-sharp cheddar cheese
- Hot fudge sundaes
- Corn, but only sweet summer corn and only on the cob, heavily salted
- Gravy (mashed potatoes are considered an inefficient delivery device that merely impedes her ability to drink the gravy)
- French fries
- Salt or soy sauce, with or without food that requires it, and preferably deposited thickly enough that you cannot see the food beneath it
Now, of course, I give her credit for eating fruit. More power to her. But she’d still rather eat her weight in bacon instead (with the exception of fresh summer strawberries). Also, she occasionally has good taste in cheese and likes yogurt. But as you might notice, the emphasis is on grease/salt/sweets and there is nary a vegetable to be found except for the corn, which is available for only a month or two during the year.
I get that kids can be picky and might eschew veggies. But this is a child into whom we must struggle even to get “normal” kid foods sometimes.
She eats hot dogs, but without any bun or condiments. She will grudgingly eat a hamburger, but just the patty. She hates spaghetti.
This is a girl who recently dipped her French fries into her chocolate milk and declared it delicious, yet won’t eat pork cooked in a sweet mandarin orange sauce even though she likes both of those foods, too, individually.
We can’t get tacos in her. Or sandwiches (except for jelly sandwiches). A banana chocolate chip muffin is acceptable, but rarely is blueberry, and never is a cinnamon-crusted one, much less anything that trends toward pretending to be healthy. She professed to like scrambled eggs for a while but I don’t think she really ever liked then, and I suspect they were just an excuse to have something on which to pour salt so that she can hasten her arrival at gross hypertension before she reaches college, because she always picked at them and dawdled when eating them. She’ll eat pancakes, but mostly to get the maple syrup, which she will try to scoop up as often as possible while avoiding the pancakes.
This is a girl so stubborn about eating that if you give her a meal she doesn’t want to eat, she will feign being full or ill and go to bed starving rather than eat a single bite.
And to top it all off, if you give her food she adores, she’ll beg to eat it in the living room while watching TV rather than sit with her family.
So many parents wish their kids wouldn’t eat them out of house and home.
I’d give my left nut for her to make us go broke buying her organic zucchini, Brussels spouts, mixed greens, broccoli and green beans.
But for now I’ll settle for her eating her hotdog with a bun or shoving some spaghetti in her craw.
All In the Presentation
So, I try to occasionally go that extra mile so that my daughter can get some kind of tangible evidence I love her, since I don’t know if the mere expression of love through kind behaviors, hugs and tucking her in every night is quite enough for her. One day in fall 2011, she was being a bit persnickety about eating lunch, so I tried to dial into creative skills other than my writing and editing skills, since I was pretty sure a well-worded note about eating lunch wasn’t gonna cut it.
So, I made her this lunch:
That, folks, is a hamicorn, and a tasty example of the species, I’m sure. A body and head of ham, with horn and tail of carrot julienne, legs of dill pickle and eyes of blackberry, traipsing under a full moon of ranch dressing across a field of pretzel sticks and blackberries (those ones aren’t eyes…that would just be *gross*…as well as suggest the hamicorn had just used its horn to pluck out the eyeballs of rival hamicorns…jeez, how do you people get such sick thoughts in your head?)
She loved this lunch. So much so that I was inspired (nay, compelled and forced, rather!) to do similar visually stunning lunches for several days thereafter, and periodically over the course of several more months. Occasionally, she remembers this meal and entices me to do something similarly ambitious again.
Sadly, though, none have matched the creativity of this effort (though copying prior meals seems not to matter to my little goddess…devouring one hamicorn to sate her divine and ravenous hunger was enough, apparently).