Dooped Again - FamilyEducation

Dooped Again

May 03,2010
Sweet Pea Chef
Jessica Efird

Jessica, aka the Sweet Pea Chef, is a former U.S. Senate staffer/weekend gourmet turned full-time mom/family gourmet. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and two sons.

I suspect R may be smarter than he looks. Twice last week, he smiled big, showed me his plate proudly, and said, “may I be excused please?” Delighted, SPH or I said something like, “good work buddy, yes,” only to feel dooped later… First, a little background: we aren’t super stringent with R and G cleaning their plates at every meal, we merely ask that they eat a good amount. This varies from meal to meal, as we try to keep our expectations realistic based on what they are being served. While a meal of pastas or tacos might come with a “clean plate club” expectation, a new meal of salad or vegetable soup might come with a slightly more lenient approach. That being said, everything we serve R or G at meal time must be at least tried with a “no thank you” bite. Again, I like to think we keep our expectations within the realm of reasonable, but there are nights when even our barest hopes are dashed when, for some unknown reason, R and G simply decide to turn up their noses at dinner. R usually eats a good meal, but twice last week I wondered if he was coming up with a new system. Twice, in one week, after R was excused and praised for a great dinner, I discovered little treasures under the kitchen table. Goodness knows a fair amount of food ends up on our floor during meal time, so the first time I made a discovery, I cracked it up to normal dinner mess. But when it happened again two days later, I started to wonder. I am used to crumbs and the occasional errant falling piece of fruit, but whole big pieces of dinner? Hmmm… This whole wondering makes me smile in a way, since doesn’t every kid go through a stage of hiding food he or she doesn’t care to eat? Since we don’t have a dog or other pet, and there are no large potted plants in our kitchen (both top food disposing techniques), I guess it reasons that R may or may not be using the “oops I dropped something under the table” routine to rid his plate of undesirables. Time will tell if these two “accidents” were truly such, or if I have a smarty pants 6 year old who has figured out a way to get up from the table more quickly. SPC