Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Orange You Precious!

I am SO happy for Pete Wells.

It must be wonderful to have a four-year-old who is an obsessive cook with the palate of a French gourmand -- and AT THE SAME TIME get to write a monthly column for the NY Times magazine about the quirky, precious joys of parenting said culinary-genius child.

I am also happy for all the parents whose children never break down, who go to bed without prompting, who spoke at 1, toilet-trained at 18 months and read at 3.

I am happy for all the couples who got into the stock market at the right time, got out before Bernie Madoff went down and are now enjoying their homes in Aspen and their three-story loft apartments in Tribeca and already have their unborn children’s college funds already taken care of.

I’m happy for that dopey cute guy I used to work with in a restaurant on Nantucket, who started Nantucket Nectars and then married the CEO of Jcrew and then traveled around the world with her in his private plane. They sent dispatches home to the Nantucket paper and it was so great.

I am happy for women who married men who always shave and know how to shop for jewelry and like to surprise their wives with tickets to Italy.

I am happy for my little cousin, who was a toddler like a year ago, but has now started a girls’ soccer league in Uganda and is living there developing her non-profit coalition even though she is only like 22.

I’m happy for Colleen, whose parents surprised her and her sisters with a Christmas pony when they were little, and for Miriam and Sarah, who had horses when they were teenagers.

I am happy for everyone in the world who, right now, is out skiing in powder or snorkeling in the Caribbean or discovering Paris or doing anything more pleasant than sitting at work trying to keep the new-carpet fumes at bay and feeling irritated by the New York Times magazine.

All this is to say that I really am happy for Mr. Wells. But I highly resent the implication – which I have noticed ALL parents of good eaters make – that by merely having the right "attitude" you can produce children who are great eaters. It is simply not true, not for every child, and certainly not for children in the 3-6 year range.

Hey, I took my kids to pig farms and green markets, just like Mr. Wells modestly brags that he did. We made apple sauce, too, you obnoxious phoney. My kids know that apple sauce comes from apples, too, you jerk. When my son was in 1st grade he drew a cartoon panel: first a live, feathered chicken, then a chopping block, then a chicken in a roasting pan, then an oven. Didn’t mean he wanted chicken salad for lunch.

The Times rolled out Wells’ new column on Sunday. Expect to hear a lot of griping from me. Reading about Amanda Hesser’s super twee courtship of Mr Latte was bad enough. Now we’ve got to hear minute details about a precocious four-year-old’s doings in the kitchen and are expected to feel sheepish about that fact that we don’t let our kids grind the coffee beans and that’s how they became picky eaters.

Ahhh, fooey.


Anonymous said...

This cracks me up. As a mother of a 14 month old, I know I have some battles ahead of me, and I won't even bother to say that it will be easy because WE eat healthy and go to the farmer's market. ha :)


Lindellica said...

First off, did you know Melissa De La Cruz has vampire novels? She was NY Press, right? Am I mis-remembering?

Okay, that has nothing to do with anything.

Secondly, my daughter likes ice cream sandwiches and crackers this week. I can fool her, by serving her "organic" ice cream sandwiches and crackers, and the occasional side of frozen peas or possibly, if I am lucky edamanene, (sp), but the point remains the same: she is in her zone and she likes like two things, and that's all she will eat until she decides some other food is possibly okay. Fortunately, she drinks milk, which I assume accounts for stuff. But still, it is annoying.

People that talk about how wonderful it is that their snowflake eats goat cheese are probably not the ones who are actually feeding the little ones full-time. Kids eat what they eat. Some of them eat nothing. I roast chickens. I make my own stock. It doesn't matter. Sometimes L deigns to eat a cheese sandwich, as long as it is the correct kind of cheese, sliced the correct way and the bread is toasted (fortunately she is NOT picky about the type of bread) as long as the sandwich is not cut or de-crusted, and, assuming that the cheese sandwich sticks together and yet is not a grilled cheese, as that is totally not the same thing. Apparently.

I am using humous as a glue lately. It seems to work.