Saturday, January 20, 2007

Clever Lads


Our sons, pictured here with their cousin David at Thanksgiving, had an expression that allowed them to claim that they were finished eating their nourishing if not tasty meal. The expression was “I ate a lot.” They also developed a clever subterfuge to convince their parents that the statement was indeed true. The child using the ploy would spread the food into a thin layer on the plate. With the shininess of the plate showing through the food, sometimes a parent might be convinced that the food had been tasted. Okay, okay, we adults were not so much fooled by the food trick, but charmed by those sweet faces saying, “I ate a lot.”

The fact that we did not force the boys to clean their plates must not have been especially harmful. Today, one son is 6’, and the other is 6’5”.

What happened to you as a child if you did not eat your Brussel sprouts, your liver, your asparagus, your oyster stew, or other foods that you personally found distasteful? I remember sitting in front of a plate of liver until 10:00 PM. Ewww liver...YUCK. Team member Gawilli of Back in the Day reminisces about one of her childhood experiences with eating in her post on January 20, 2007.

21 Comments:

At 7:41 PM, Blogger daddy d said...

Yes, me too. I eat a lot. Though there is a different meaning with about the same words. I am working on it, however.

 
At 8:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We would see that meal again... and again... and again... until we ate it. If what we were turning down was vegetables that is. (If it was protein or starch, we were allowed to make a cheese or peanut butter sandwich.) My sister saw the same plate of green beans for 3 days until my parents gave in.

 
At 9:03 PM, Blogger debi said...

When we where little my dad insisted Mom make lima beans once a week. He knew everyone hated them. My brother Scott and I would choke them down but poor Doug (the youngest) just could not do it.He would hide them in napkins and get caught,hide them under his plate and get caught.After sitting for an hour or 2 my dad forced them down his throat. He threw up all over dear ol dad. To this day I refuse to eat them. I never made my kids eat anything they did not like. But I did require that they give it a small taste. I always found it cruel that dad knew what he was going to put everyone through and still made Mom cook those darn beans.

 
At 11:23 PM, Anonymous susan said...

ugh, liver! We had to eat it because it was full of iron and good for us. No amount of catsup would kill the taste. So there we sat, staring at the cold congealing stuff for hours, finding yet another reason we needed a dog.

We were so thankful when Mom figured out how to make "liverloaf" it wasn't quite so bad as the sauteed stuff...

 
At 6:27 AM, Blogger Frema said...

I also posted about this recently, reliving moments where my mother would make me sit at the table until I ate the damn peas already. When Luke and I are parents, I'm going to make a solemn vow not to force foods on them that they don't like. I think a lot of foods were ruined for me that way.

 
At 6:03 PM, Anonymous swampwitch said...

Memories of having to eat the "mustard greens" that had been graciously piled on my plate when I was 6 years old come to mind. My dad didn't want to hurt my grandmother's feelings, so he urged me to eat them...all of them. I obliged. Not sure how long it took me to projectile vomit them across the table hitting him squarely in the chest. Never again was I forced to eat anything that even resembled the color green.

 
At 5:47 PM, Anonymous TasterSpoon said...

Are you sure about that liver story? My boyfriend told me the exact same story about sitting in front of liver until 10 pm about *himself* when he was a kid.

 
At 3:56 AM, Blogger gawilli said...

I like the idea of "take what you will eat". My son would pick the meat and beans out of the chili. All that would be left was the little bits of vegetables. Oh well! I did try to discourage snacks though if dinner time was coming.

My cold dinner was ALWAYS round steak with mashed potatoes. Me, cold rubberband steak and warm milk. Ugh.

 
At 5:59 AM, Blogger it's the little things said...

Thanks for your visit to my blog, and please come back again!

I have a completely opposite response to your post. Being a child of the 70's and the daughter of a single partying parent, I grew up on TV dinners and frozen pot pies. I would have killed for a plate of brussel sprouts!

And now my own kids complain that I cook too much.

Oh well!

 
At 7:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think my parents ever forced me or my sister to eat anything that we didn't like. It must have made preparing meals a bit more complicated for my mother but both us kids turned out to be pretty open minded eaters as adults (though I still won't touch pork or oranges)

 
At 8:46 AM, Blogger Tink said...

My stepdad made me sit in front of a plate of greens for four hours one night. Then he grounded me from dinner for the next night!

 
At 6:42 PM, Blogger Cazzie!!! said...

I must be an outsider here, LOL, as I loved anything my mum or nanna would dish out..even lamb's fry. Course, I never knew what it was I was eating at the time :) My nanna could make any stew or roast taste tremendous. I must say, I do not possess that wonderful attribute.
I love the pic of the boys, they all look like my brothers, same hair cut and everything, sign of those times I guess, very nice and neat.

 
At 2:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those sure are darn nice looking boys....oh yea...(they are ours!!!)
nope. going without eating didn't stunt David's growth either ...6'1"....then I always gave oatmeal the credit.

Aunt Ruthie

 
At 7:23 PM, Blogger mjd said...

Luckily, we are not still sitting in front those plates of cold liver, lima beans, peas, greens, and round steak.

Asking our sons at least to taste the despiccable food was a technique that sometimes worked for our sons. Another gimmick was to have the child eat the number of pieces or bits to equal the child's age. If our son was three, he was supposed to eat three peas.

Mostly, we did not serve what they detested except poor Luke probably had more than enough Tuna Casserole.

 
At 7:42 AM, Anonymous John said...

I remember telling my young daughter that she would have to sit at the table until she finished her sandwich. I left the room for a while and when I returned her plate was empty. A few days later a 'funny' smell led me to look behind a radiator and there was the sandwich.

 
At 4:05 PM, Blogger Betty said...

I sat in front of a fried egg, bacon and toast until almost lunchtime one day. Now, that's my favorite breakfast, not that I have it often.

 
At 2:04 PM, Blogger sunShine said...

Just wanted to come by and say hello. You visited me on Friday. Come back anytime.

When we were little we had to clean our plates. It was dreadful. I do not make my children clean their plates. I only put the things that they like on their plates. They will eat what they want and hopefully will eat enough to fill them up. If it is something that they don't care for, they do not have to eat it. Likewise if they try it and don't like it, I don't make them eat it.

 
At 10:58 AM, Anonymous Patsy said...

New to your site! Love those innocent faces! My hated meal was breadfast - oatmeal - should only be used for animal food! My mom never made me eat it, but back then I had a wonderful, dear aunt that thought I should eat it; we had a stand off. They have a family of 12 kids; have a very long table. I was seated at the end of this very long table staring out into space while my aunt cleaned the kitche and did the dishes. But I never ate that horrible stuff.

 
At 5:45 PM, Blogger debi said...

I love it when you visit me. Things are going better with the wedding.

 
At 11:55 AM, Blogger fred cracklin said...

I don't think my parents enforced any strict eating rules on us until my second (and last) brother came along. For some reason they insisted that he eat his green beans—probably because he never would try to eat even one. Naturally, my mom and dad tried to make him stay at the table until he had eaten at least one bean. Sometimes these stories end at 10:00 pm in a complete stalemate. In my brother's case however, it was only about five minutes before he had everyone at the table roaring with laughter. When we got done pounding on the table, we wiped our eyes and looked up to find he had vanished—gone to his room to play with his toys, which is what he had rather been doing than eating all along.

 
At 9:25 AM, Blogger Margaret said...

If it was a new food, we were supposed to try ONE bite, but if we didn't like it, that was OK. It was more important that we ate something, rather than cleaning our plates or having a battle of the wills over food. Children will often win those battles!

 

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