Well, this was bound to happen sooner or later.
Sunday afternoon Adrian and Martin sat at our kitchen counter, awaiting their respective lunches.
I served Martin’s plate first: cold chai rooibus tea, Raghoo Farms duck breast, and green beans sautéed in the duck fat. Martin picked up his fork to stab some duck.
Adrian’s plate arrived next: filtered water, one ounce of Hemlock Hill cheddar, “exotic rice toast” with Thai red rice and flaxseeds, pecan halves, and a peeled Satsuma orange divided by sections.
Martin took one look at Adrian’s more colorful meal, set down his fork, and said, “I want that.”
“That’s Daddy’s lunch, Sweetheart,” I said. “Your lunch is over here.”
“I want Daddy’s lunch.”
We’ve witnessed harbingers, over the past few weeks, of Martin’s nascent interest in food other than his own: longing stares at the fruit bowl, requests for “cookie crackers with crunchies” (a/k/a flour-free seed crackers, nut butter, and bee pollen) instead of parsley-tarragon-and-quail-egg frittata. The signs, however, were few and easily covered by distraction, and Martin’s teacher tells us that he still never reaches for his classmate’s lunches.
Sunday was the first time Martin made a direct request for someone else’s food. I’m happy for the developmental milestone—the interest in what others are doing, and the desire to break routine. But the trend, if it continues, will pose new challenges for me. Up until now, Martin has been satisfied with what I put in front of him, and only that.
As for Sunday, it was mustard to the rescue. Martin is in a mustard phase; anything with mustard becomes instantly more appealing. (This includes delights like mustard on turkey bacon or mustard in buckwheat cereal.) After he requested Daddy’s lunch, I slapped my forehead, exclaimed, “Oh my gosh, I forgot the most important part!”, and made a big show of squirting stone-ground mustard onto the duck breast. This demonstration held Martin’s attention while Adrian quietly picked up his own plate and slipped away to his desk to eat, removing the temptation.
One incident managed.
Many more to come.
I find that the greatest temptation is at birthday parties. It’s hard to be the only one eating something else, even when that food is scrumptiously delicious, when all your friends are eating the birthday cake. Don’t forget to take your bottle of mustard to the next birthday party!