Thursday, November 11, 2010

Two Chickpeas in a Pod

My daughter, the one who uses her finger to wipe clean the communal hummus dish at the local tavern, the one who stuffs herself with pita and carrots when presented with a full dish of pureed chickpeas, will not eat hummus on a sandwich. The tortilla with hummus and grated carrots returns, untouched, in her lunchbox at the end of the day.

"Mom, I do not like hummus", says Mary.

"Mary, you love hummus", says her mother.

"Not on a sandwich. I do not like hummus on a sandwich or in a tortilla, only in a bowl."

We argue, this is the most illogical thing I have ever heard. This makes no sense at all, it's the same stuff, why on earth would it matter how it was presented? At six she has lost her rational mind, hummus is hummus, be it in a bowl or spread onto a sandwich. She has been eating hummus for years, why now must she voice an opinion as to how it is served? This is how the power struggle is to begin, with hummus? Imagine what our life is going to be like at 16 when the issues grow to privacy and independence, imagine the challenges in front of us if we begin the battle now, at only six, over something as silly as hummus. How can I possibly be expected to communicate with one so ridiculous, clearly I have done something wrong, she is irrational and belligerent. Life together is going to be difficult if this is where she chooses to assert her will. The entire episode exhausts me and I'm not pleased.

In her lunchbox Mary finds a tortilla spread with avocado and grated carrots. She devours it, clearly preferring this over the battle rich hummus option.

"Mom, thank you, that was the greatest lunch ever". High praise from the one who, the day before, was ready to go on a hunger strike to defend her no sandwich position. The line in the sand moves much more smoothly when someone returns home this happy.

"I'll have the Village Veggie but swap the hummus for avocado please", says Mary's mother at the neighborhood sandwich shop. The line in the sand is swept away when one realizes that they have been ordering the same sandwich, for at least 10 years, no hummus, add avocado.

Because really, I just don't like hummus on my sandwich.

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