Friday, March 20, 2009

Like Parent Like Child

We had raw oysters last night, at my 9-year-old son's urging. Yeah, the picky one. My picky kid. My kid who has driven me crazy at the dinner for the last ten years, who basically inspired my interest in the whole concept of picky eating, and also inspired this blog. The kid who wouldn't eat cake or pizza or drink juice until he was 3 or 4. Who hated baby food. Who ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch for about three years straight, then switched to turkey sandwiches and has had that for about the last three years. Who didn't like rice, beans, eggs, anything green (except massive quantities of broccoli about twice a year), or anything new or anything unusual. That kid begged for us to stop at the fish store so we could get oysters. (The other kid, 5, cheered because then we could have fish for dinner!)

There is hope for us all.

He has suggested that, just as we have our "Meatless" Sundays, that we also have Clam Fridays. We should have clams every Friday, and sometimes oysters, he says.

Where does this come from? I wondered this as I watched him methodically squirt some lemon juice on a wobbly silvery-gray mass of living sea flesh -- and just as quickly remembered how obvious it is. Uh, from his parents and relatives? Whether it is genetic or environmental, my son was born into a family that is greedy and self-indulgent when it comes to seafood. Since he was a baby he has seen family holidays celebrated with shellfish. It turns out modeling does work; children really do absorb their family's food culture. It just takes ten years.

I'm so pleased.

We're not done, but we're on our way.

No comments: