Goofy Dad Stories (10) – Food Blunders

Goofy Dad Stories (10) – Food Blunders

Goofy Dad Stories (10) – Food Blunders

Note to Parents: Choose your battles wisely when raising your kids. Discover what is worth taking a stand, and let the rest go. Especially when it comes to food. Mealtime can be a battleground, and a parent has to think hard… Do I really want to wage this war? Is it worth it? I offer two situations which reveal that I didn’t always choose wisely. I hereby give you permission to laugh at my momentary lapses of reason.

Blunder #1 – We were all sitting outside on our porch, enjoying a nice, peaceful nighttime family meal. Our home on Glenmont St. in Fairfax County had a huge backyard with lots of grass, some very cool big pine trees, and a solid fence all around. During the meal, for reasons unknown, David picks up a slice of cucumber out of his salad, and feeling the whimsy of the moment, decides to sail it like a Frisbee into the Great Unknown, our expansive backyard. Everybody thought it was kind of funny, except me. I don’t why exactly that perturbed me. Maybe I didn’t like to see food wasted. Maybe I thought this was the first step on the slippery slope to mealtime mayhem. Maybe I was constipated. I have no idea what I was thinking at the time. All I knew was that somewhere out there in the green grassy sea was a perfectly good slice of cucumber. So I told David to go and get it. He looked at me like I lost my mind and said, “What? Did you just say go get the cucumber? Out there in the yard?” I said yes, that’s just what I said. So David dutifully leaves the table and starts to hunt for the cucumber slice. The problem was that this was dusk, it was getting dark, and one could hardly see anything, no less a little green slice of cucumber. He admitted he was having a difficult time finding it in the dark. So I said, “No problem. Here’s a flashlight.” He shrugged, gave me that funny look again, and continued the search. He still couldn’t find it, and he never did. That cucumber slice is still out there, sadly separated from its salad. This story has reached legendary status in family lore. Sorry, David.

Blunder #2 – I’m not a picky eater. I eat almost anything. But for some reason I can’t eat beets. There is some mental block there or something. That background fact makes this story even less comprehensible. We were in our Newburyport kitchen, eating a nice family dinner as usual. This was early on in our family life, so Sheri innocently served beets as a part of the meal. I politely declined the offer. Stephanie also declined. For some reason, it was really important to me that Steph didn’t have the same beets problem as me, so I more or less ordered her to eat the beets. She dug in her heels. I then said with all the parental authority I could muster, “You either eat those beets now, young lady, or you’ll eat them for breakfast tomorrow morning.” She still refused. We were having a standoff. So I confidently took her beets, right after I refused to eat the beets, mind you, and I put them in the frig. I then said that she’ll just have to eat them in the morning. So, as predicted, the next day I put those same beets onto her breakfast plate. She dutifully ate them, and then proceeded to vomit every last morsel onto her plate. We all were aghast and grossed out. For some reason, everybody looked straight at me with a smirk. I guess I had a difficult time explaining myself to my questioning family. But I learned my lesson. Sorry, Stephanie.

Those goofy parents… You can’t live with them, you can’t live without them.

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