15 December 2010

Doozer's Kitchen

This can't possibly last. There's just no way.

My wife and I have found ourselves with a two year-old who eats better than I do. A real foodie, open to a wide array of cuisine and types of food. It's unreal. Exhibit A: a sample menu of items we have recently served the Doozer, that he has consumed and enjoyed:

Butternut squash risotto
Pumpkin polenta
Lobster mac-n-cheese
Chicken paprikash
Roasted parsnips
Falafel with hummus
Fish tacos
Coq au vin

No, really. I'm not kidding. The kid ate (and loved) coq au vin.

And what really blows us away is his passionate feelings toward fruit. Passionate is really the only way to describe it. One night, shortly after Halloween, we offered him chocolate candy for dessert. And he replied that he wanted grapes. We reiterated: Just to be clear, we are offering you chocolate candy and you are opting to eat fruit. Just so we understand each other.

"Grapes!" came the swift, enthusiastic response.

Shortly after that occurrence, my wife was out to lunch with the Doozer one day and he chose a hamburger. And with it, he had options for a side dish, including french fries and a fruit plate.

Once again, the kid went for the fruit. My wife again made clear his options: salty, greasy, delicious french fries or a bowl of fresh fruit.

"Fruit!" the Doozer exclaimed in the middle of the restaurant.

Who is this kid? Seriously, who doesn't want the french fries?

At home, it's been a culinary world tour. We've fed him Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Greek food. Hungarian food. We have a kid-friendly French cookbook. We even got him to eat brie once. And his reaction was unequivocal.


We've heard stories about kids who reject everything that's put on the table, who respond only to things like chicken nuggets or pizza. Who won't drink milk, who fiend for soda at a young age. When I asked my wife recently when he's allowed to have soda (I was legitimately curious about the subject, but in absolutely no rush to actually give it to him), she thought for a moment and then responded, Never? Seemed reasonable enough to me.

The flipside, the negative to the Doozer's healthy appetite and insatiable interest in all things food-related is the fact that he wants not only everything that's on his plate, but what's on yours too. And so it really makes you start to think about what exactly you're putting on your plate. And into your body. You start looking at the pantry shelves or the different sections of the grocery store and wondering, Do I really need that? What's in those? I should skip these.

Apparently I'm a role model now. Crap, how did that happen? I'm not cut out for this. But honestly, I could really stand to eat better. But also, I really like food. Mostly, the kind that isn't good for you. All of those things. But I guess I'm saying the Doozer makes me want to be a better person. A better dad. Cool dad. Interesting dad. Healthy dad.

Good example dad.

Right after I finish this pint of Ben and Jerry's . . .

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