Food is my freak spot with the children. Some mothers stress about schedules and napping, some about schools, introducing flash cards at a very young age, and some about clothes and appearances but for me, it's all about food. Their baby food was all homemade, not something I saw as crazy, but apparently yes, to some, madness. Pureed squash was served with pureed apples, pureed potatoes with pureed green beans, all seasoned, garlic added early, as was basil and mint. Not once have I prepared a separate meal for the children, they eat with us every night, unless we are going out. They are not fed early, they are not fed in the kitchen, they sit at the dining room table, as they have since they were able to sit, and enjoy meals with their family.
We eat in actual restaurants. Mary and Kate have no idea what McDonalds is, they have never had fast food, save Chipotle, one of their favorite lunch spots. We don't seek out "child friendly" places, they go where we go and they eat what we eat. They have no idea that chickens have fingers, peanut butter has jelly and that macaroni and cheese comes out of a blue box. My mother in law discovered they had never had jello, "what do you feed them when they are sick?". Nothing.
We've recently discovered that Kate likes meat, loves meat, horrifying to me but not at all a shock as she is in every sense, her father's daughter. Mary prefers rolling up to the potato bar with me, seeking out the starch at every meal. Kate eats bites from Jack's Vietnamese pho, beef broth full of tripe and tendons and other unthinkables. She nibbles at his carne asada, dances when he orders steak frites and smiles like no other when bacon is on her plate at Arnold's. Sunday we went to our friend Joe's place to watch the Super Bowl. Joe is Italian. His mother made pasta with meatballs, arancini (with meat filling) and Italian beef. Kate nearly fell over when we walked in. While I sought out the carrots and broccoli, Jack prepared a plate for Kate, a pile of Italian beef and a few tomatoes. She dutifully took it over to the table, crawled up in her chair and began to feast. I casually leaned in and said "you know love, you don't have to finish that". When her father joined us she announced to him, "I was told not to finish this".
Subtle, but none the less, tattling. She followed up that plate of beef with gelato, and even if Kate had been born and raised in Arizona, breathing her every breath as a Cardinals fan, she would have still been the happiest little girl in the city.