I am not one to give up. Stubborn, hard-headed, strong-willed are all words that describe me.
Unfortunately they are also words that describe my daughter.
Kids are intriguing that way. You expect to pass along your eye color or your facial features, but I never dreamed my children might also inherit my exasperating personality traits. Having an argument with her is like arguing with my inner psyche—equal parts annoying and horrifying.
As determined as I am to get her to try new foods and eat a healthy diet, she is equally determined to survive on nothing but Tootsie Pops and peanut butter crackers. My husband just hopes she uses her unwavering resolve to get into Stanford.
I’m focused however on a much nearer future and like I said before, I’m not one to give up.
I’ve been trying to get her involved in the kitchen. Sometimes she’s game, most of the time not. So I consider it a semi-victory when she spills her puzzle pieces out on the kitchen floor while I’m cooking dinner. Maybe the caramelizing onions will spark a tiny bit of interest.
A lot of the time I try to appease her by asking her opinion on the evening’s menu. Usually she’ll request quesadillas or rice but occasionally she will ask for “chicken nu-nuggets”.
A couple years back our landlord gave her a McDonald’s play cash register for her birthday and when you press the buttons of the different offerings the cash register will say the name of the purchase. “Hamburger”, “Apple Pie”, “Chicken McNuggets”. But since Louisa had never been to a McDonald’s she had no reference for what the Mc prefix stood for, she assumed the friendly voice had developed an unfortunate stutter and had a hard time pronouncing the word nugget. Not wanting to embarrass the poor machine we have adapted the word nu-nugget into our vocabulary as a completely normal way to refer to crispy pieces of breaded and fried chicken chunks.
I always try to appease her chicken nu-nugget craving. They are an easy, relatively healthy way of getting some protein into that body and turns out a great way to use up a half-eaten bag of chips. I’ve also used pretzels, tortilla chips, and a panko-parmesan mixture with equally delicious results.