Dash, who has had his dinner and his dessert: I want another brownie. Other brownie, other brownie! Or else chocolate milk. Because that one brownie wasn't worth as much as a whole chocolate milk.
Me: No, one is enough.
D: Other brownie!
Me, about to cook my own dinner: No. ... You can have some kale.
Dash, surprising me: Okay. Give me some kale. I want to eat leaves.
Me: You do? Okay, great.
[I dice some garlic, saute it, remove the washed kale from the fridge and start chopping it.]
Dash: ...Because caterpillars eat leaves.
Me, happy to go along with whatever bizarre reasoning might have led to this new and welcome departure: And they're big and strong and fluffy...?
Dash: No, they get wings and then they can fly.
Me: Yes. Yup. That's true. Maybe you'll get wings.
[I cook the kale. I add some salt but no pepper, in case it puts him off. It's perfectly wilted, deep bright green, tender-crisp, and the aroma of garlic is driving me wild. But then, I'm a bit of a whore for garlic, and kale is my new favourite vegetable.]
Me: Here's your kale.
Dash [comes running]: Yay! Kale! I'm going to grow wings! [Approaches a little more slowly. Gets a concerned look when he sees the three slim ribbons I've put in a bowl for him to taste. A note of betrayal enters his voice.] Mum-meeeee!
Me: It's delicious. Look. [I bite a little.]
Dash sniffs from a foot away and runs in the other direction.
Mabel appears, tips her tongue to it, makes a face, runs away.
Dash comes back: I like things she doesn't like, so maybe I should try it. [Makes valiant attempt. Fails.] Maybe there's something else I can try.
Me: Okay, thanks for trying the kale. It's a hard thing to start with. How about a frozen pea? Peas are easier.
Dash, ever the optimist today: Yes, peas! I love peas! I'll have a pea!
[I take the peas out of the freezer, shake a few into a bowl, offer them to him. He picks one up and pops it in his mouth. ... About a milisecond later, returns gagging and spitting dramatically. Scours out mouth with paper towel.] Ptew. Ptew. Blech. I don't like peas, actually. [Thinks.] I'll have a carrot. Carrots are yummy.
[Eats two bites of a baby carrot. Announces, probably truthfully, that it's more carrot than he's ever eaten at once before. Is done with carrot. I eat all the delicious garlicky kale straight from the pan before the rest of my dinner is ready.]
If you're new around here you might wonder how my child got to the age of almost seven without letting a frozen pea into his system. He's very VERY food averse, that's how. Never, even as a baby, would he just open his mouth and let new food in. I'm amazed he ever tasted anything, to be honest. The fact that now and then he will take a tiny bite of carrot is a big step from this time last year, pathetic as it sounds. Just don't think I didn't try with the vegetables before now, okay? I have already read Ellyn Satter and Dina Rose's website, so you don't need to tell me about them. Sorry if I sound defensive, but this is one of my parenting Achilles' heels. Let's just go back to being amused by Dash wanting to eat like a caterpillar, 'kay?