Last night I made risotto for dinner.
Wesley asked, “What’s dinner?” and I said, “Risotto and fruit and sliced vegetables.”
He said, “I’m not eating that.”
I said, “Well, you’ll have to take a tasting bite if you want anything else, but that’s up to you.”
He stomped his feet furiously, stormed out to the porch, and jumped around angrily, repeating “I’m not eating that! I’m not eating that! I want dinner but I won’t eat that!”
This went on for about five minutes. Sometimes he came over to the door to stomp directly at me.
Then he wandered off.
About five minutes after that, he came up to the door again and said, “Mama?”
Wesley and Mary have been playing Star Wars in the yard. He pointed his finger and said, “I’ll get you, Darth Vader!”
Mary shouted, “I have TWO light sabers!” [Query for nonexistent editor: lightsaber? light saber?]
Wesley replied, “I have NINETY-NINE light sabers!” And then, after a moment’s thought, “And 100 hands, so that I can use them all and STILL point at you!”
Mary [to Wesley]: “Children.” Not “childs.” More than one child is “children.”
Wesley [holding up ladybug muffin]: So she would say “I have ladybug children.”
Mary: Or “kids.” You could always just say “kids.”
Wesley [shouting and gesticulating with the ladybug muffin]: I HAVE TWO KIDS! LADYBUG KIDS! [bites off end of muffin]
Mary: Guess that’s it. No more kids now, since you bit off her head.
I was getting dinner ready tonight, cutting up a head of cauliflower, when Wesley came in. He eyed the cauliflower suspiciously and announced, “I’m not eating that.”
“Aside from your tasting bite, you mean?” I asked.
He folded his arms and said, “I don’t like it.”
I said, “You’ve never tried it. Maybe you’ll think it’s delicious.”
He looked at the cauliflower and said darkly, “I have my doubts, missy.”
So, Mary is sick and Wesley was exhausted, so the kids went to bed at 6:30. After I put them to bed, I came downstairs and started making dinner for the adults (braised leeks from Smitten Kitchen).
I was busily braising my leeks–which smell more or less like heaven must smell–and I heard Wesley coming down the stairs. He trotted into the kitchen, fixed me with an accusatory look, and said, “Are you COOKING while I’m in bed?”
I said, “Yes, I am. Are you hungry?”
He said, “No, but I still might WANT some of that.” He stood up on tiptoe to try to see what it was, and then said, “You’re not supposed to cook unless I am here to eat it.” And then he turned around and stalked back upstairs to his bed.
Conor and I were reading that kids Wesley’s age should eat at least 4 half-cup servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Mary should eat six servings. I should eat eight. EIGHT!
Anyway, I’ve always thought that we were fairly healthful eaters most of the time. In particular, I try not to feed my kids junk. But I made a chart for each kid (and one for me) and we’re keeping track of the fruits and vegetables.
After about four days of this, I have reached a conclusion: that is a fuck of a lot of fruits and vegetables.
Seriously, it’s crazy. I had no idea how short we were falling. Partly because Wesley is a carbohydrate fiend, and I always focused on getting him to eat SOMETHING else (protein or whatever), I didn’t realize how few fruits and vegetables he was eating. And I hadn’t realized that I was getting so few, either, especially on teaching days when I’m not at home for a leisurely breakfast and lunch. Mary eats a fair number of vegetables and fruits, but she just doesn’t EAT that much. If she gets six servings of fruits and vegetables, that’s a huge percentage of what she eats in a day…which, I suppose, is the idea.
They’ve accepted the challenge, though, and they’re doing very well with it. Wesley is a bit limited on what vegetables he likes, but he’s tried a few new things and I think he’s going to branch out if we stick with it. Mary likes coloring in her chart with the colors of the foods she’s eaten.
But still. That’s a LOT of fruits and vegetables.
Conversation between Mary and Wesley this evening…
Wesley: Did you know sometimes people say there’s a bunny about Easter?
Mary: The Easter Bunny?
Mary: Yes. But he is pretend.
Wesley: I know. I KNOW! But he is still for Easter.
Mary: Yes, he is.
Wesley: He is not real though. Easter baskets are from Mama and Daddy.
Mary: Yes, like the quarter from the tooth fairy.*
Wesley: The tooth fairy is only for you, though.
Mary: Uh-uh! Everyone gets the tooth fairy. Except that’s really Mama and Daddy too. It’s pretend.
Wesley: Why would the tooth fairy come to me? I have all my teeth.
Mary: Someday they’ll fall out.
Wesley: [gasps, covers mouth]
Mary: But then they’ll grow back.
Wesley: WHAT!?! You have GOT to be kidding me.
Mary: I knew you’d want to know the truth.
* Yes, a quarter. I’m a cheap bastard–what can I say?
Bonus–a buddy pic from this weekend: