Tuesday, October 25, 2011

variety is the spice of life, right?

We went to the Santa Fe Place today, which is a quiet mediocre mall. We went there to spend Calder's hard earned quarters which he made by doing some chores around the house. His choices were the little boat, bus and helicopter rides that sadly just go up and down. After riding three, he had one quarter left and being that the rides were 50¢ we were done. But being a kid with a quarter in his pocket we were off to find if and what we could spend our last quarter on.
I spotted an island of brightly colored gumball machines.....maybe these would give us something for our quarter. Since Calder does not like candy, I spotted a few machines that gave out a little trinket. Fun! He gets a rubber bouncy ball that he rather quickly stashed in his pocket without even bouncing it once.

Then came the ubiquitous kid question. Can you guess? "Can I have more money?" Now, I had a dollar bill: my money. I almost started with the white lie, "I don't have any more money". But instead I thought..."hey, maybe I can get him to try tasting a candy". How many Mom's do you hear say that? We made an agreement that if I gave him my money then whatever he chose to get he at least takes a "no thank you" bite. The No Thank You Bite (which I purposely capitalize) is a pretty genius idea we stole from one of Calder's best friends who is 4. A great way to get a kid to take a single bite of food. Sometimes if the kid likes the taste...well you know......

So first he picks the little square multi colored gums. I teach him how to cup his hand to catch all the colorful falling candy. With trepidation written all over his face, he takes his favorite color of the day, green and chews it up. Then he starts gagging. I dig frantically in my bag for something to spit into. Out comes all the little pieces and a whole lot of green spit. Ok, so he doesn't like little colorful gum. "Want another quarter?", I say, pushing my little agenda on my kid. He goes in for a second try. This time, something like a sour smartie: a flat round colorful candy. This time I opt for no chewing and I show him how to lick it. This goes rather well, again lots of green spit, now all over his hand. But he didn't gag. We take turns showing off our colored tongues. Yes, we are in public. No, I don't care. I have one more quarter. Now he chooses the colorful tart candy that is in the shape of fruits. He popped it in so fast I didn't even see what fruit it was. As soon as he chews that up, more gagging.

Who knew that an island of 40 gum ball machines could be cavities for one kid and therapy for another? Not even his nutritionist could get him to try new foods. I say that with a little liberty. She worked mostly with me, helping me with ideas to help my son. Yeah, I know some would argue that candy is not even "food". For us though, it is more about simply trying new things. Calder's repertoire of food is pretty restrictive. If it were up to him he may just eat pasta (only the shell shaped kind....with a white sauce, no red), mashed beans (only pinto beans) cheese sandwiches, fruit, "hexagon" crackers and fake sausage patties (not the real kind) the rest of his life. I know, I know, that wouldn't be so bad. His Grandy has been eating PB&J's for nearly 50 years everyday for lunch.....and still is! No, for some reason I feel like variety is the spice of life and I want Calder to have a little variety, or at least not to be too offended by it.

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