my quote of the moment: "if you can attain repose and calm, believe that you have seized happiness." ~julie-jeanne-eleonore de lespinasse

February 23, 2011

do you want fries with that? or tater tots? or mashed potatoes?

i've held many different jobs in my time. i was a barista and a pretzel roller and gas station attendant, a file clerk and a secretary to a secretary, a "sandwich artist" and an inventory specialist and a wedding registry consultant. most of my previous employment experience included a plastic name tag, and over half had me wearing some sort of head covering to keep hair out of the food. the jobs i liked best were the ones where i worked alone. i can handle customers, i've just never had a job where i really got along with my coworkers (with one major exception of course). the one job, though, that provided me with the most real world experience i've been able to draw from was my time spent as a short order cook.

there i learned to handle the pressure of taking multiple orders, multitasking so everything came out as quickly as possible, and just generally trying to make the customers as happy as i could. it's those skills that i utilize these days as my role as a mommy.

now, i don't think i have terribly picky eaters. and i've been lucky because they actually like their vegetables. it's usually the meat eating that they have a problem with. though each of my boys does have their own silly little quirks.

bumble hates mashed potatoes and gravy. it's sometimes a struggle to get him to eat potatoes in any form. and he has a problem with ground meat, so that means that hamburgers and meatloaf and meatballs and sloppy joes are all things i have to force on him. but any time we go out, he orders a salad. he's even eaten the decorative lettuce off a deli tray. if it's green, he likes it, and if it's raw, it's even better.

now lumpy, he's not so big on vegis. and unless it's a carrot, he won't eat it raw. meat he usually doesn't have a problem with, as long as you tell him it's chicken. a steak, a pork chop, a piece of ham, tell him it's chicken and he'll wolf it right down. with most food, he's happiest if it's well cooked. things like oatmeal and pudding and mashed potatoes he likes because everything is smooth. and if you give him a lunch meat sandwich, no cheese please, he'll eat the meat and give back the bread, sometimes asking for a refill.

i know this sounds like my kids are picky, but really, i think it's just because they're kids. they know what they like and they know what they don't, and they want to stick to things inside their comfort zones. though i can get them to eat whatever i make if i try hard enough. some days though, i'm tired and worn out and it's just not worth the effort to fight about dinner. that is where my short order skills would come in handy.

when making peanut butter sandwiches, it was always crunchy for bumble and smooth with no crusts for lumpy. bumble always wanted extra salt and pepper. for dipping fries or chicken nugget or even carrots, lumpy always wanted ketchup, while with bumble it depended on how he was feeling, though usually he went with ranch dressing. if you give them garlic bread, you have to take the crust off. and if you give lumpy a hamburger, you have to make sure you squish it down really well, or he'll pick it all apart.

my kids sometimes make figuring out what to make for supper a challenge. and it's not like i'll make them a completely different meal if they don't like what everyone else is having. but sometimes i switch up the sides to keep them happy. like keeping a few vegis raw for bumble and overcooking a few for lumpy.

they're really good kids overall. and i know that even if they stage a hunger strike over yucky food, missing a meal won't kill them. i'm their mom, and keeping them happy and healthy is my job, and i certainly try my best. so far, i've lucked out with fishie. now that she's on solid foods, she's happy to eat anything that comes close to her mouth. hopefully, she stays that way.

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