Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Man Cave: Food Fight

I don't remember now if it was green beans or broccoli. I think it was green beans. Jeff was 5, and he didn't want to eat them. As his father I had taken my stand: you will not leave this table until your plate is clean.

And so it began.

You know, parenting and life are similar in many ways. When you are starting out you are idealistic. As you go along your experiences have a way of rounding off your jagged edges and softening your sharp corners. You realize not everything is as important as you thought it was. You learn to pick your battles. Ask any parent and they will tell you they parented their oldest child much differently than their youngest.

Jeff was my oldest. And I was idealistic.

And so there we were, locked in an epic battle of wills. I have often wondered why it was so important to me that he finish five stupid green beans. Was it my ego? Pride? Did I think I was doing the right thing...showing him discipline? Teaching him the value of money? Why?

I can still see his tiny face, full of anguish, eyes teary yet defiant. I still hang my head when I think of myself physically trying to force the spoon into his mouth, his head evading left, then right, teeth gnashed. His little hands pushing against mine, resisting with all their might. What a fool I was!

All over five stupid green beans.

I honestly don't remember who won, and I guess it doesn't really matter. It is among my most regretful moments as a parent. I try not to think about it. Instead, I like to remember the moment pictured above, the one time in my entire married life when I have successfully implemented Culinary Evasion Tactic #2. That was fun night.

I hope that is the one Jeff remembers too.


  1. yes, my first attempt (and one of my only I might add - WAY TO MUCH WORK!) at homemade spaghetti noodles. Um.... tip - they cook super fast ;o)

  2. I was wondering what that was. To funny! Cute little Jeff. He was a cute little kid...

  3. Oh yes, I remember my last attempt at forcing Aaron to eat his vegetables. It was cooked carrots. He ate the bite all right, but then he immediately threw up everything.