I was musing to myself earlier, as some spinach flew past my ear, I should really share the good *and* the bad more often. Oh you hear all about my wonderful childrens eating habits, eschewing primary coloured yogurt pots for the natural stuff and chomping down on chickpeas instead of chicken nuggets. Just there on tuesday they both ate fajitas – salsa, guacamole – the whole shebang, Dominic’s all nicely wrapped, as in the above picture, Theo’s in its constituent parts. Tonight, my spinach pasties rebranded as ‘green parcels’, did not go well. Despite spanakopita usually going down a treat.
The meal plan said Thursday: Puff Pastry Surprise. This was a weak attempt at meal planning in fairness, I chalked it up there knowing full well that meant frozen pastry taken out this morning with whatever veg were still standing (but not walking on their own yet) that evening. First mistake – we didn’t actually have puff pastry, only shortcrust. That’ll do. So I grated courgette, defrosted and patted dry some spinach and sauteed the two with some garlic. I grated a good hunk of cheddar in, mixed the whole lot with an egg, grated nutmeg, and a bunch of herbs. Then I divided it into Daddy Bear, Mummy Bear & Baby Bear style portions on the pastry sheet. I folded each piece over, glazed with egg & stuck them in the oven. Job done.
“Mammy what’s for dinner?”
“Er…Green Parcels!” I exclaim.
“I don’t li…” (thinks, what is she talking about?) “…ke them things I want eggy”
“Oh love there’s eggy in Green Parcels” (If I keep capitalising it, it’ll become a real thing.)
(Considerably calmer) “I just want the eggy then okaaayy?”
I pause 2 seconds, which these days elicits a swift “Yes or No? Mammy! Yes or No?” before I have time to think or rationalise or say maybe and I say “Yes”.
Now, you try extracting molecules of egg from between the strands of grated courgette and mushed spinach encased in pastry. Oh yeah, and he didn’t want the ‘parcel’ opened for me to do this. I haven’t been a mother long enough to learn how to perform keyhole surgery on pies. So I didn’t. And he ate a good bit of pastry and some green went in too. Some tears occurred at the injustice and yes, the spinach got on the window.
So I sit down to write this and discover through my fab Irish Parenting Bloggers group that Kate‘s kids ate squid for lunch today. In school. Okay maybe they did mistake it for pasta and weren’t super pleased. But what I will say is that they only recently moved to Spain, where this and chickpea stew, and pork chops are on their school menu in the upcoming weeks. The message I take from my and from her experience, is: Y’know what? Sometimes our kids will refuse stuff, and former favourites will be thrown back at you. But keep offering, because though my bigger boy loves ham way too much he also knows his way around a lentil. Don’t let your kid dictate your family meals, there’s no way they’ll starve. Variety is the spice of life. Don’t sweat the small stuff. All those things.