Monday, February 26, 2018

Eating for beginners

My mother liked to make an opera--soap or grand, as the occasion demanded--out of little things.  For instance, she thought my brother was in imminent danger of starving because he had skinny arms and legs.  So she fed him at every opportunity.  After he had eaten dinner, if he left so much as a pea on his plate, she would take him to the drive-in and stuff him with French fries like someone stuffing a Strasburg goose.  This continued until the kid weighed 200 pounds, at 5'7".  She then started harping at him for being too fat.

 I was a fussy eater.  I liked hot chocolate, but if there was a layer of skim on the top of the cup, I not only would not eat it, I  ran out of the room screaming.  I wouldn't eat anything made with mayonnaise, because I couldn't identify the ingredients.  My father believed in stern discipline on the food front.  He made me sit at the table until I had consumed enough to satisfy him, or until bedtime, whichever came first.  Long dreary hours (probably only minutes, but they seemed like hours) passed as I stared at the congealed fat on my now tepid plate, without eating it of course. Mercifully, bedtime freed me.

  Then there was the morning milk.  Dad believed that milk was good for children, particularly at breakfast.  I could not, or would not, drink cold milk in the morning.  If I was made to drink it, I usually threw up.  Mealtimes were full of drama at our house.

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Dick Stanley said...

My parents only tried the stay-at-table-until-you-eat trick once. I'm not sure why they caved. Maybe they found the frozen mixed-vegetables we were avoiding in the drawers of the hutch where we shoveled them when they were out of the room.