I made the mistake this weekend of revealing to someone I don't know that well that I am the kind of idiot who will pay too much money for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich from Potbelly (at least, on a certain type of day where I'm too tired to make my own, for much cheaper.) "Oh, I don't know why parents buy that kind of stuff for their kids," she said, and told me a marvelous tale about her nephew who just eats whatever she and her parents eat. "I don't know why more parents don't do that!"
(She doesn't have kids, fyi.)
Here is why: it's not because I or other parents like me don't think our kids can handle grownup food. Trust me, nothing would make me happier than if Steve and I could just order our steaks or hamburgers or pizza or fish and Paul would be delighted to eat little bits of what we eat, like an actual human adult. We try this--all the time. I wish I could show you a bag of all the little tiny pieces of egg and pancake and steak and bacon and noodles and chili and burgers he has turned down--it would prove a point, a very disgusting point. It's not us--it's the kid. It's usually people who don't spend extensive time with children who don't understand how very tedious-to-perilous a meal with a crabby, picky toddler can be. Those are the toddlers who end up ruining meals for entire restaurants and ruin entire days. That's why we pack pretzels and goldfish and raisins and, yes, buy the stupid overpriced children's food. Not because I don't think Paul can't handle grownup food--it's because I know he won't. We still try to offer him the fun, 'real' food, but now we are smart enough to just add that as 'extra credit' to his toddler food.
Basically I think who is at fault here are those five to ten extra-special kids rattling around in the world who apprently will eat everything and anything. They make it seem that if parents would only try to give their kids more challenging foods, would stop being so lazy and stop offering silly baby foods, that they would become little citizens of the culinary world. Those kids, while I'm sure delightful for their parents, are like newborns who sleep through the night right off the bat: they're special and rare and possibly even just urban legends.
So, yeah. I don't have a good end to this rant except that as I nodded politely and listened to this nice lady this weekend go on about how her nephew eats Ethiopian food and whatnot, I wanted to let her spend a day with my son instead. They'd have a great time. As long as they went to Potbelly for some overpriced PB&J.
PS Paul will eat a churro though. That's got to count for something.