Monday, December 7, 2009

Cheese and peas.

This isn't my Little Miss. She may talk like her, walk like her and even giggle like her, but this is not her. I know that because she doesn’t eat like her.

The real Little Miss would eat and even enjoy the bananas, avocado, black beans and eggs we put in front of her at breakfast and not spit them out immediately after tasting them. For lunch, out of desperation, I decided to give her pizza. I mean, who doesn’t like pizza right? Apparently, this kid, whoever she is. Instead, she fed it to our very eager dog, aptly named Kirby (after the brand of vacuum cleaner, in case you're wondering).

Desperate act part two: I baked a butterscotch bundt cake and thought, surely she wouldn’t resist this. Wrong again. Now, that’s just crazy! No one in our house has ever resisted the power of the bundt cake. That just confirms my suspicion that she’s a fake. Also, for dinner, I figured I’d feed her butternut squash and ricotta ravioli – veggie, protein and carb in one – to trick a burgeoning, dare I say, picky eater. No dice. She was smarter than that; I was secretly proud but nonetheless exasperated. She finally settled on cubes of cheese and peas for dinner. Cheese and peas? Was it because they rhymed that she ate them together? Should I try potatoes and tomatoes next? Couscous and mousse? (Not my fault not many foods rhyme!)

I demand to know what happened to my daughter. Where’s the girl who ate everything those little carts brought at Dim Sum? And scarfed down Ethiopian food like she was from Ethiopia? Or slurped noodles so loudly that even the Chinese, who view that as a compliment to the cook, looked at her with pride? It didn’t help that my mom confirmed my worst fear. I was just like that at Little Miss’s age. Moi? The one who eats pretty much everything in sight? Who ate and loved raw oysters at age seven? Whose favorite taqueria food is the lengua (cow tongue) taco? Who enjoys pig brains and duck intestines? Head cheese? I could hardly believe it when my mom said she had to sit me down in front of cartoons and waited for me to laugh to shove food in my mouth, which I apparently chewed absentmindedly in awe of 2D animation.

Is this now our fate? Bugs Bunny and chapatti? I am so not prepared for this. She aced the mobility thing—rolling over to sitting up, to crawling, and now walking. These transitions made sense and helped prepare me for the next phase. But waking up one day and turning her nose up at all the foods she once loved is like learning numbers one day and mastering calculus the next! Only less admirable.

Lately, we’ve been playing the “where’s Little Miss” game where she’d gleefully point at herself in response but now…I’m not so sure I believe her. I have faith that my own little girl, the real Little Miss, will someday return to me. Until then, escargot will have to wait.