I hate it when something like this comes up and I have to do written apologies … especially to my children.
I can’t tell you the amount of stationary that has been invested in as I am getting older. I may die from writer’s cramp. I have had to write to Hallmark to ask them if they could come up with some new cards to say “Sorry, mom was wrong . . . again.”
I was pretty hard on “eat your vegetables.” I did it because they were good for them. I freely admitted I had no idea why. I was not about to perpetuate the whole “it will put hair on your chest” crap mainly because I had conducted scientific experiments on the words of wisdom meted out to me and my brother by my grandparents and I can report that neither of us have chest hair. I was more grateful for that error on their part than my brother was.
My kids would be like “why mommy, why do we have to eat cauliflower?” And I would say, “no idea, but I am the boss of you, so eat it.” I was heady with power. One of my kids picked out all the purple cabbage from her salad because she “hated” cabbage. Then I bought regular cabbage and put it in and she ate it happily for a month. One day she informed me she loved salad, especially the green crunchy stuff (cabbage) so I informed her she was eating purple cabbage without the purple. She was not a happy camper. I think it had to do with the fact I was jumping up and down, high fiving her father and saying “Whose your mamma now, huh?”
I still have not confessed to one of my other children that the Caesar Salad that he loves so much has anchovies in the dressing. He hates fish. He would not touch it with a 10 foot pole but he LOVES Caesar Salad and ate it all the time. It did that victory dance in my bedroom with the door closed.
One of my kids hated sweet potato. They refused to eat it. Not even when I did the truly Canadian desperate mom move of adding brown sugar and marshmallows. She said, “sweet potatoes are evil.” She was not budging. It didn’t matter if I used the spoon airplane, or showed her me eating them and going “yum yum,” or forking her mouth repeatedly in an effort to get her to open up. I threatened her, I lectured her, I made her sit there for with the sweet potatoes on her plate for so many days that they grew mold. She had never even tried them. She said she just knew. They were evil. She was not eating them.
Sometimes your kids say things and it is really scary and they look at you and you know you shouldn’t ask anymore questions. Usually it is like when they tell you they have to go to the bathroom while you are in the middle of nowhere driving in the car and you tell them to hold and hold, you will be there soon, and then the car goes silent and you ask how they are holding out and they say “never mind.”
She has her own children now. We never talked about it again. It is an open wound in her childhood. It is an unspoken evidence of my failure as a mother to totally make my kids eat things they hate so that I could heal from my own childhood trauma of being forced to eat brussel sprouts and take cod liver oil. And then today I saw this and realized … she was right. They are evil. Those hit men probably looked at the money and insisted she “sweeten” the deal and that was when she brought out the sweet potatoes and they were like in … totally.
I am already looking to see if there is a “sweet potato forcer’s anonymous” group online.
I just know she is going to tell the grandchildren.