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Sunday, September 14, 2008

No dipsticks here! [*]

Please scroll down for Magic Marker Monday

We move relentlessly forward with the food campaign for the neophobic, the eater of 15 foods.

Currently my son enjoys a slime free diet, where slime equates to anything that could remotely be described as 'semi liquid.' In an attempt to push out the boundaries we offer ketchup, Thousand Island dressing and any other number of condiments for him to dip his Goldfish Crackers. We, on the other hand, truly enjoy guacamole, hummus and Salsa with warm pitta pocket strips.

The groans of agony from the end of the table increase in volume. I make direct inquiries:
“Is it the stink of your dips or the stink of our dips that’s upsetting you dear?”
“Evey fing is stink!”

Fair enough, I just needed a little clarification.

The family offer helpful suggestions;
“Why dontcha make em swim in dah blood one!”
“Howabout you try the mayonnaise, that doesn’t taste of anything anyways.”
“You know dey will slip down much more easily with a little grease. Look at your ribs! You need a little grease.”
“Here try a pretzel stick instead, then you won’t have to worry about your finger tips getting mucky.” He takes the proffered stick gingerly, a bit like a magic wand. He looks from stick to dip, from dip to stick and then back to us, a collective group of torturers.
“Wot I am doing wiv dis stick?”
“Stick it in the dip. Poke it. Put one end in the…..little bowl.”
“Stick is being too dangerous for me,” he wheedles, following a well furrowed path. I turn to his dad, “do you know, maybe we’re going about this the wrong way?”
“Tell me something we don’t already know.” I nip back into the house to snatch some tired old forgotten Brandy Snaps and some Maple syrup. “Here you go. How about we try something sweet instead?”
“Wot! Wot are doz fings? I am not be eating dah food wiv dah holes!” His outrage seems genuine enough.
“Curly pretzels have holes. You’ve eaten holes before!” I plead. My husband looks at me and blinks, but remains silent.

I sit back down. We don’t ignore him as such but we do not perseverate upon him. Well done us! Fortunately, like most parents, I am able to see without actually looking, through half shut lids and lashes. He dances a tentative waltz, a sniff, a poke, a little bat just to check that it’s not going to fight back, a tongue tickle, a shudder, another attempt, more of a lick, a wince and a shudder, and then finally a bite. The bite is followed by gagging and neck clutching, then mastication, a few escaped crumbs but approximately 55% of the mouthful is swallowed.


I say nothing with a face of stone. My face of stone turns to a Medusa head to warn his father to remain oblivious.

I wait for him because I want him to own it.

I wait until the third mouthful.

“Hey Mom!”
“Yes dear.”
“I am be….eated it.”
“Yeah for you! What a brave mouth. See you can eat sticks after all!”
“Er…..no…….I am not be eat sticks……..I am be eat holey snaps.”

[*] dipstick = foolish person, “slang” from "Only Fools and Horses."

Remember at this time of year Californians, that paper "STAR"s are not a true reflection of our little twinklers.

Magic Marker Monday


Apologies for the blurry picture, the camera was on the wrong setting. [I wonder who fiddled with that?]

Anyway, I just wanted to mention that both my sons are logical thinkers. Numbers and sequences of numbers help in just about every situation:- first we do this and then we do that. It is by no means fool proof but a concrete message is far more effective than a lot of surplus words. There is something about expectations in black and white, or rather blue and white in this case, that helps smooth over many of their worries and concerns.

Of course a visual timer as an accompaniment also helps them understand that the end is near in sight, which in turn reduces their anxiety, which in turn makes them more capable of concentrating on the task at hand.

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