My Worst Critic

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Dinner time. Not going to lie…it pretty much sucks at my house these days. We finally moved earlier this month (project separation finally complete), so it’s just the two of us these days when it’s time to eat.

For all the things I can complain about my ex, one of the things she did right was make me feel like a Rock Star at dinner time! I don’t believe I ever cooked a meal she did not like. I’m pretty much used to hearing on a regular basis “I could eat this every single day of my life!” Sets the bar pretty high for my apparently fragile ego.

So now that I’m faced with the nightly lack-luster response, at best, to my cooking…you can imagine how excited I am to fix dinnerΒ at all.

Cooking for two isn’t easy. Cooking for one and a half is even harder, especially when your ‘half’ is only 4 & 3/4.

Tonight I thought I was going to nail it. I did not. On any given day, at any given time, if you ask my child what she wants to eat the words that will ALWAYS come out of her mouth are “Macaroni-and-cheese!” I used to love macaroni-and-cheese. My child has most certainly ruined macaroni-and-cheese for me for the rest of my life (Thanks Obama!). My child would eat macaroni-and-cheese for ever meal, every day of the week and be happy. I do not serve macaroni-and-cheese at every meal. I do not serve macaroni-and-cheese every week. I almost hate macaroni-and-cheese (no offense).

But tonight I thought I made a brilliant compromise…a way to adulterize (yes, I just made up that word…I think…just go with it) macaroni-and-cheese and give us both a win/win: three CHEESE, spinach stuffed ravioli!!! Brilliant, right? NOPE!

I was crazy proud of my meal: Ravioli – which is pasta and cheese – to me that’s basically mac-n-cheese, right???? (okay…so there is also asparagus hidden inside those three cheeses, but I wasn’t about to mention that part…and so what if the pasta was green because it’s a spinach pasta? It’s a beautiful color if you ask me). Accompanying the main course was sautΓ©ed yellow squash and zucchini with onions (all grown in my mom’s garden), and a handful of organic raspberries. LOVELY!!!

My mom has a beautiful garden, and when we are there, I make sure B participates in the gardening harvest. “Get them involved in growing the vegetables. This is the best way to get them interested in eating them!” says all the advice books/articles on how to get your picky eater to eat vegetables.

B picking the actual zucchini that was used in tonight's sauteed veggie dish. To her credit, she did finish all her veggies.

B picking the actual zucchini that was used in tonight’s sauteed veggie dish. To her credit, she did finish all her veggies.

When dinner time was called she walked up to the table, looked at her plate, and announced “Ugh! DISGUSTING!” This is what our plates looked like:

Her plate

Her plate

My plate

My plate

To me, this was a beautiful dinner. One that I couldn’t WAIT to sit down and enjoy. Her response completely deflated me.
I said “You haven’t even TRIED it yet! How can you call it disgusting?” My feelings genuinely hurt, I continued on.Β “How would you feel, Belen, if you drew me a picture and I took one look at it and said ‘Eeewww! UGLY!’ How do you think that would make YOU feel?”
“Not very good.” she replied.
“You’re right. Cooking dinner is mommy’s art. When you come to the table and proclaim “EWWW!” it really hurts my feelings. I spent a lot of time preparing this meal for you.” I said.
“I’m sorry, mommy.” she replied. Then she took a bite and thought for a minute and then gave me a sideways thumb, which means ‘sorta good, but sorta bad.’ It’s pretty much the best ranking I can get out of her.

Sigh.

I’m eating out tomorrow night.

6 responses

  1. You handled that perfectly Heather, a great lesson B learned on compassion and consideration of others feelings. That ravioli looked yummylicious.

    • It’s SO so sad! She used to be my eating machine! Whatever I gave her, she ate! Then it’s like she turned three and the brakes were immediately applied. It’s been a long two years (food-wise)! But, I have to keep reminding myself – she does eat many different types of foods – we are lucky to live in such a diverse culinary melting pot!

  2. It looks amazing. On the very, very few occasions that Alex has told me he didn’t like something (mind you, before trying it) my heart breaks. I can’t imagine that feeling all the time. I hope she grows out of it quickly.

  3. I don’t mean to hijack your situation, but I have two daughters and two granddaughters all of whom were THE WORST eaters on the planet. Daughter number one would only eat pb&j or balogna sandwiches and the occasional fish sandwich from McDonald’s. Then, at age 8 she discovered lobster and an entire world opened up for all of us. Daughter number two would only eat grilled cheese, sometimes twice a day. Daughter two and her husband are chefs. Their girls ate only chicken fingers or Mac & cheese, from the Kraft blue box, for years. Of course, they all also ate fruit, lots of fruit! Now, they all eat and can prepare everything from scrambled eggs to roast chicken to ribs to fancy shmancy desserts. Have patience and don’t worry. Be careful what you wish for or B will take over your kitchen. Besides, I seem to remember a lasagna you made that was fantastic! That’s Mac & Cheese, isn’t it! πŸ…πŸ†πŸŒ½πŸ‡πŸ”πŸ£πŸ€πŸžπŸ•πŸπŸ΅πŸŒπŸŠπŸ“πŸ˜‰

    • That’s awesome, Lynne! There is hope yet (& I think I would love it if she decided to take over the kitchen one day to fix our meals – sans M&C of course 😜).

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