He's totally going to win "Top Chef" someday.
I just know it.
Just because I can't get him to eat anything besides peanut butter and jelly, chicken nuggets, waffles, and cheese pizza doesn't mean that he's not going to be a future foodie. I have visions of me sitting in the audience at the Bravo studios when they announce the winner, and I jump out of my seat and clap proudly as I hear the host call my boy's name. The judges, all past James Beard Award winners, and successful chefs in their own right, were won over by his stuffed quail, his seared scallops in a balsamic reduction, and his version of a quince tarte tatin. The host will shove a microphone in my face and say, "So, Mom, you always knew this day would come, right? You must have raised your boy to eat this way! To cook this way! He is a genius with food unlike no other! He is now the most famous chef in the world!"
I am failing this boy's stomach. Miserably.
He is my third-born son, and he is my most laid-back, easygoing child. Of course, I say this without favoritism, as I am just stating the facts. He goes with the flow.
Unless there is food involved, then he wants the standards. The go-to favorites. If I allowed him, he would eat chicken nuggets and GoGurt for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
I'm a big fan of meal planning, and I decide what I will be preparing for the week in advance. It works for our busy family, and it makes a trip to the grocery store much less stressful, as I don't find myself wandering the aisles looking confused about what to buy this week.
There are certain meals I keep in the monthly rotation, because they are family favorites; however, I subscribe to a few cooking magazines, and I love trying out new recipes. Some recipes are a mouthwatering huge hit, and others are a big, fat FAIL. But still, I try. I am always looking for yet another way to sneak vegetables into their little stomachs without having to resort to bribery. Bribery, as in, "If you eat those steamed carrots, there are two Oreos in the cupboard with your name on them."
Bribery makes me feel so cheap. So used. So weak.
That said, however, I use it all the time. I just call it, "offering incentives". Doesn't that sound much better?
My three other children love salad, tacos, pasta, pork tenderloin, green beans, asparagus, chicken, beef, and various other dishes. And even if they don't love them, per se, I can at least get them to try new foods. And trying the food, as you may know, is half the battle. But not my third son. My third son has perfected the I'm-going-to-barf-right-here-and-right-now fake gag. It's quite stunning. Oscar-worthy some venture to say.
Wait. Check that. My boy ate pork tenderloin one evening, but only after I lied to his cute little face and told him it was chicken.
"But why is the chicken in that log shape, Mommy?"
"Just because." was all that came out of my mouth.
Look at me with the brilliant answers and such. I'm so profound.
Furthermore, I may or may not have seen him eating a booger recently. Yet, the scrumptious teriyaki chicken burger, complete with a grilled pineapple ring on top, and a side of sweet potato fries sat on his plate untouched.
Boogers. That's what he thinks of my cooking.
He'd rather eat his boogers.
I am a woman defeated.
But I won't cry "uncle" just yet. I am holding out hope that I will crack this boy. I am waiting for the day when he looks over and sees me writing out my meal plan for the week and says, "Mom, I noticed the lobster is on sale. Do you think you could pair that with a nice filet mignon, and a side of brussel sprouts? Because my mouth waters at the thought. Pleeeeaaassse, Mom?"
This could totally happen.