Friday, June 18, 2010

The Standoff: Mom vs Kid

My mother and I have long had a difficult and unpleasant food relationship. She is convinced that my allergies are in my head, that I love food I hate and I am convinced she is insane.

We have had many standoffs over the years. For example, she hands me a bowl of cantoloupe, which I have never liked, and I stare at her when she proclaims I adore it.

We have agreed on little over the years, except that fact that neither of us like pigs ears or chicken feet.

One of the first times this came to a head I was about 5 or 6. My mom, being raised at the end of the depression, had a clean plate policy. My dad, who actually lived through the depression, was aganist forcing people to eat food they couldn't stomach.

I have no memory of what was on my plate that night. Whatever it was, I was dtermined not to eat it. My mother informed me I was not having dessert, or in fact leaving the table until I cleaned my plate. one think you may not know about me is that I can sometimes dig in my heels at really odd times.

My parents and sister left the table. They had dessert while they watched tv. I sat in the same place at the table, every once in a while sneaking peeks at the tv when she couldn't see me.

I feel alseep at the table, at which point my dad got pissed and said it was time for bed. My mother would not back down. Being her kid, I wouldn't either. It was late. My dad actually heard my head hit the table and decided to ignore her and put me to bed.

The lesson I take from this is you cannot force people to like things you do and that telling a kid they like something doesn't really work. People's palates grow quickly if allowed to and not stifled.

My mother and I will always have very different views on life, on love and on food. When I have kids, they will eat healthy. But they won't be sitting at the table staring at food they don't like when they should be in bed. Oh yeah, and seriously, you are more than welcome to my bowl of cantoloupe. I really don't want it.


  1. Hi there! Your lovely post reminds me of an article I read recently about super tasters. The fact is that everyone's taste buds respond differently to flavor. What tastes amazing to one person (cilantro for instance) can taste literally like soap to another. Our parents didn't know any better, but it is pure foolishness, not to mention unkindness, to force a child to eat anything. We like what we like and that's all there is to it. I will take your bowl of cantaloup. :-) ...Susan

  2. I'm of the "you have to try at least 3 bites" variety of parenting. If you still can't stand it after 3 bites, PB&J is acceptable. My mom was the same way. It works for us.


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