I tend to eat fairly well, which in turn means the wee ones tend to eat fairly well. I generally buy primarily whole foods that I cook from scratch, and I involve the wee ones in my cooking and baking.
They know their food. Or so I thought.
Today, Mister Man had no school, while Little Miss was in school for a full day for the first time in two weeks (literally). We got to spend some quality time together, hanging out and chatting. It’s something that I really enjoy and forget about when I don’t do it often enough.
While we were at lunch today, we were discussing how awesome it is that he finally decided he likes tomato sauce – as he was licking tomato sauce off his pizza, something we also later discussed. I told him that the next thing he knew, he was going to end up liking salad.
He gave me a dumbfounded look, which I initially took for complete shock on his part. No, apparently it was the dawning of realization. He informed me that I was probably right, since he already likes lettuce. Uhhh, say what? This was news to me, and we discussed how we could use lettuce at home in ways that he might like it.
I filed that tidbit away, shocked that he had apparently tried and liked lettuce somewhere this summer and never mentioned it to me.
At dinner tonight, Mister Man told me that he was still hungry after he finished his roasted chicken and fresh sourdough. I suggested that he have a vegetable of his choice. He immediately asked for corn, before I even got the options out there. I mentioned that we might have a kind of lettuce, and he was all over eating the “lettuce” I had in the fridge.
I got him out a single leaf and watched him barely take a mouse’s nibble off the tip of it, pretending not to scour his expression for any nuance of what he thought of the “it’s not exactly iceberg” lettuce. To my great surprise, he liked it. As he neared the end of the leaf, he asked for more.
I got him a whole pile of leaves, and of course Little Miss then got into the action. As he neared the bottom of his pile of leaves, he looked up at me with a serious expression, slowly twirling a leaf in his hand as he speculated.
Mom, is the lettuce I’m eating right now almost as healthy as if I were eating spinach?
I choked. Panicked. Prayed that I wouldn’t freak him out. Well, Kiddo. It’s funny you mention that, because you actually are eating spinach. That’s a baby spinach leaf in your hand. Spinach is a type of lettuce, and it’s the kind of lettuce that I happened to have in my fridge.
His eyes grew wide. He dropped the leaf on the table. I mentally smacked myself for having told him that the lettuce he liked was actually spinach.
Wow. Really? I’ve been eating spinach? Awesome. Mom, guess what! I love spinach.
That’s great, Sweetie, I sighed internally, hoping that he didn’t notice my palpable relief. You know how the iceberg lettuce you had was kind of a light color green and this lettuce is a much darker green? Well, the darker the green in a lettuce, the more vitamins and minerals in it, and the healthier it is for you. They just all taste a little different.
Mom. You don’t get it. I’m eating super healthy spinach. What if I dipped my spinach leaf in some homemade tomato sauce? Would that be the healthiest thing ever if I had it with some of your roasted chicken?
Who is this adventuresome eater, and what have you done with Mister Man?
The whole exchange cracked me up. It’s one of the moments you wish you could capture on video. I tried. In fact, I got out my video recorder and reenacted the majority of the conversation, but … it just wasn’t the same. His genuine shock at the lettuce being spinach just wasn’t there. But it’s cute anyway.