Sunday, March 05, 2006

my picky eater

When I was a child, I was a very picky eater. (I still am.) My mother gave me the curse....when you grow up, I hope you have a child who is just as picky as you. I got worse.

Well, my son is a little picky, but what gets me is his desire to be a vegetarian. He thinks animals should not be put to death for us, just because we're a higher species. He thinks it's cruel and grossly unfair. He has declared many times that if he were president, the nation would become vegetarians and it would be illegal to eat meat.

Mom and dad would both break the law.

We do force him to eat meat. He likes it, it's just the animal behind the meal that gets him. It is quite the ordeal when he eats meat. We have to do a prayer ritual. "Thank you, pig, for being slaughtered just for us. I hate the fact you were murdered, but mom and dad insist I eat you."

This little streak runs in spurts -- he always "hates" the idea, but his rants about it flare up in spurts. Tonight was one such night. Dad wasn't going to be home for supper, so I insisted we go get a $1 roast beef sandwich at Hardee's. Cheap, easy, grossly unhealthful, but good.

You would think that I had beat that child. We were at a stoplight with a car next to us and it started. "NO, I REFUSE TO EAT MEAT. How can you be so cruel to animals? You can't make me." When I'm grown up, I'm going to be a vegetarian." He was screaming like I was torturing him. Fortunately the people in the next car didn't look at us. He did relent and ate two sandwiches.

My husband grew up in South Dakota. All his family owned ranches and were beef producers. You haven't lived until you've eaten South Dakota beef. One of his uncles is raising ostriches. For consumption. (It's very tough, not my favorite meat.) All members in my husband's family are hunters. We've eaten moose, bear, venison, wild turkey, probably some I don't know about, etc.

The males in my family are hunters, too.

I think they mixed up my son in the hospital.

All this started when we were studying whales last year. Actually we were studying Alaska and the Inuits. Whales were my son's "thing" and when he learned they killed them -- even though it kept them alive, he threw a fit. Then we studied that buffalo being killed by the Sioux and other tribes -- "That's awful."

I am really at the point where I want to pull my hair out. I have tried to let him do the vegetarian thing, but he's not a healthy enough eater to do it. I can't think of enough protein for him. I really don't want to make tofu a regular part of our diet. I try to be respectful of his feelings. I do. He's getting to the point where he is not respectful of ours.

It is getting frustrating. How can one have a child that looks so much like you, you know it's your child, and yet that child has developed his own beliefs 180 degrees different than your own. He's only 10, he hasn't hit hte teenage years when that is supposed to happen.

And now for the punch line. My picky eater, who wants to be a vegetarian, hates vegetables.

Ha! The joke really is on me. Thanks, mom, for cursing worked.


Audrey said...

My son does that sometimes, too. He'll eat hot dogs because he says, "I don't *think* there's any meat in there." But, he won't eat any kind of beef, pork or chicken.

He will, however, eat a McDonald's Nugget because, again, "I don't *think* there's any meat in there."

I've never pushed the issue. He will occasionally eat something that has meat in it and he either doesn't notice or doesn't care.

For protein, we make sure he gets plenty of eggs, cheese, other dairy and nuts and beans of all kinds. He's a very healthy kid. Quite tall for his age. On the thin side, but then so is his dad.

Sure, it's frustrating sometimes, but it could be worse I suppose.

contemplator said...

Ha! My son wanted to be a vegetarian. He finally sighed and just said, "I wish I didn't like chicken noodle soup so much." If your son gets *really* stubborn--let him plan his meals. Let HIM pick what he's going to eat, but insist it be healthy, otherwise, no fit. I bet he changes his tune. If not, he'll learn what it takes to be healthy, then, LOL. My son changed his when he figured out the amount of vegetables involved.

momma1992 said...

THere is a parallel universe!

My son is almost exactly the same! The boy, who just turned 14 would be happy eating hunks of tofu, power bars, and hard boiled eggs. He wishes there was something he calls "snack-ons" which would just be small dense blocks that would fill you up.

At first, he wouldn't eat fish, then it moved to chicken (after a film in Spanish class showing chicken sacrfices). Now he won't eat red meat, unless it is kind of hidden in something.

I try to make some vegetarain oiptions available. The frozen food section has an imitation, organic substitute for just about anything you can imagine.

Your son will either grow out of this, or learn to eat an appropriate vegetarain diet as he gets older.