Tip Tuesday — Picky Spice and Other Instances of Parental Trickery

Spouses? Spice? Spizals?

This Tip Tuesday is about tricking your kids… in a good way… in a way that helps them become better people because they have no clue what’s really going on with their parents… in a way that masks your neuroses so that they can develop neuroses of their own without having to resort to following in your oh-so-strange footsteps.

Dan hates mushrooms and olives. I, on the other hand, have taste buds. When we were first married, Dan would pick things he didn’t like out of his food, while I sat mortified until I exploded and said that once we had kids he could NEVER NEVER DO THAT AGAIN. I would not raise finicky kids. Period.

This was a sore spot in our marriage. Then we had Laylee. She didn’t talk much, drooled frequently and seemed unfazed by Dan’s mountain of black olive bits. So he carried on. Eventually I could see her eyes beginning to focus, she began speaking in full poetic verse, complete with 5-syllable words in iambic pentameter and I knew it was time but Dan was reluctant to change.

So we developed a system for picky spouses/spice. When I make something that contains a rogue element which Dan finds repulsive, I will dish his portion carefully to avoid giving him too much of the hated item. I will then make some comment about how tasty the mushrooms are and beg him to share his with me… for love… and chivalry.

He always concedes to do so, thus looking like a hero instead of a Picky Mickey. The children see how desirable the item is if I’m begging for it and grow up to be happy mushrootarians. And the peasants rejoice.

I know you all have weirdness. How do you hide it from your little peeps?

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27 Responses to Tip Tuesday — Picky Spice and Other Instances of Parental Trickery

  1. Ree says:

    I love it. That’s one of the most creative things I’ve ever heard of. However, just so you know?!? Mr. Hot and I never have picked stuff out of our food. Shortman? P.I.C.K.Y

    So, best intentions and all that. But really, really cool idea!

  2. Summer says:

    Okay, that is awesome. Wll be adopting this technique over here for sure.

  3. chilihead says:

    Excellent idea. Me? I personally have plenty o’ weirdness, but I choose to pass it on to better the world. For instance, I spit in the toilet after I go. Now, so my kids. And beat goes on…

  4. K says:

    I chop everything so finely that kids nor hubby know what is in the spaghetti…I have the same problem with mushrooms and olives but when it is so small they dont know its in there and they always think it tastes good

  5. Radish says:

    That’s a great idea!

  6. Awesome Mom says:

    I just don’t put things that I despise in my own cooking and do the same for my husband, so there is not picking out of food items.

  7. Shalee says:

    Mr. Right would have loved to have you around last night. He made a breakfast for dinner, insisting that we all eat eggs. Me? I said I’m 36, I don’t have to eat eggs if I don’t want them and he couldn’t make me do it. He said that he wanted everyone to eat them because it’s great protein and he wanted the kids to eat them too. I agreed that the kids needed them. But I did not.

    I didn’t eat the eggs; however our son looked at my plate and asked why I didn’t have to eat eggs but he did. Mr. Right gave me THAT look and I said “because I’m the mom and he’s the kid and kids have to eat eggs.”

    So as you can tell, I’ve got a lot to learn in this arena. I prefer to be stubborn rather than a hero.

    (I figure that if I eat the lima beans that Mr. Right insists I eat for the benefit of the kids, I get a free pass on the eggs.)

  8. Azucar says:

    Please tell me this will work as I am married, no joking, to The World’s Pickiest Man.

    I don’t know if he enjoys sending me into a tail-spin with his list of “No’s” but I suspect as much.

    Being married to The World’s Pickiest Man is hard since I am notoriously The Best Eater of All Things on the Face of the Planet.

  9. kittyhox says:

    That is a good idea. My husband would have to ask me to share my onions, because I have a near phobia of them! But I don’t need to worry about it because they rarely make their way into our home.

    It’s nice that you found a compromise. Because really, your husband can’t help his taste buds.

    Let me try to explain how I feel about onions. I would LITERALLY rather eat an insect. And I’m afraid of those, too.

    I’m going to try to pretend to be very brave around bugs and onions, for the sake of my children. But I doubt they will ever eat an onion at our house, because I don’t cook with them at all and the thought of giving my son an onion sounds akin to child abuse, to me!

  10. Angela says:

    Oh, if only.
    Some things just must be in the hardwiring because I can’t get ANY of them to stop picking their noses like nostrils are salvation and the rapture is a-comin’.
    Oh well. Your idea is brilliant though

  11. Melissa says:

    We don’t hide it. I figure we are who we are. The kids will just have to be ashamed of us 😉

  12. Liz says:

    My mom used to eat green beans to “set a good example for the girls” SHE SAYS…. Sica and I are pretty sure she did like them but didn’t want to admit it. We didn’t really need the example. We could eat them with every single meal.

  13. Awesome idea. I’m going to try this with my 5 year old finicky eater.

  14. Jen says:

    Love it!! My husband can be the pickiest of them all, especially with certain leafy green vegetables!! We had discussed the no-thank-you-bite once Baby-C starts realizing daddy doesn’t eat the same veggies as mommy, but this is an even better idea! 🙂

  15. wookie says:

    this is still a work in progress, but our table rules are (adults and kids alike):

    You must have one bite of everything on your plate.

    You are allowed to not have one item that is at the table (so you get a free pass on say, brussell sprouts or eggs or whatever you TRULY hate)… but only one free pass per meal.

    If you do not follow rule one, or otherwise do too much fooling around/impolite/whining behaviour at the table, you get no dessert.

    I always use my free pass on raw vegetables (it’s a texture thing) or whatever hated vegetable is present (cauliflower and brussell sprouts, most likely). Since I do the cooking 99% of the time, I can usually stack meals in my favour. We usually have at least one vegetable at dinner.

    For example, if you made a breakfast of scrambled eggs, toast, bacon and tomato, the egg hater could skip the eggs but must try one bite of everything else. If you hated tomatoes, eat hearty of the bacon/eggs/toast. If you are on an anti-carb kick, eat all but the toast.

    Honestly, it’s working pretty well so far.

  16. Marian says:

    Now THAT is a great idea!

  17. Theresa says:

    I have told my family for years, I cook the way I cook, if you don’t like one of the ingredients push it to the side of your plate. I tried to teach my girls to eat whatever was put in front of them when we were at someone else’s house.

  18. Danielle says:

    I’m with Dan – mushrooms and olives are icky gross.

    I must say this is a clever little trick. If I ever, miraculously, get married and have children I’ll have to use this trick. 🙂

    Um, I’ve been thinking – you should write a book based on your Blog! I can help you with finding ways to publish it! 😉

  19. sarah k. says:

    Your solution is brilliant. Brilliant I say! But there’s no excuse for mushroomaphobia. I know Dan’s nice and all, but I feel for you there, honey. My kids won’t eat mushrooms, so I always tell them they will like them when they grow up, just so they’re prepared for the day when their little taste buds finally mature and new worlds open up before their eyes.

    I don’t have any weirdnesses. I’m not weird at all, no, not at all.

  20. Dan says:

    No excuse for mushroomaphobia? NO EXCUSE FOR MUSHROOMAPHOBIA? Did you see that thing? Mushrooms are The Devil!

  21. sarah k. says:

    Creepish mushrooms aside, have you ever had an oyster mushroom, sliced thin and fried (not sauteed) in butter, with lots of salt? Talk to Derek about this. He never knew he loved mushrooms until he married me. Not slimy ones, or squishy ones, or canned ones, or raw ones, or creepish ones. Next time we meet, Dan, I will introduce you to a real mushroom.

  22. grammyelin says:

    You are staggeringly BRILLIANT! What a great solution. If I were a peasant, I would be rejoicing.

  23. Pingback: Homemaking Links (9-6-07)

  24. Qtpies7 says:

    That is genius! I don’t have a clue how to hide my quirks. We just allow one “gag food” that you don’t have to eat, most of the time. Because I will not let scalloped potatoes pass my lips. So I suppose they should all get one food that is a no-go.

  25. Erin Marie says:

    Am I odd because I LOVE olives and despise mushrooms? Seriously, I gag. Except when they’re on pizza. I can ignore them then. But I really have tried them since I was 5 and originally decided that I didn’t like them. Still gross.

    I’ll probably just let my kids pick out whatever. I make steak spaghetti (family recipe with no steak and no spaghetti noodles, I don’t know why, I’ll ask my grandpa) with green bell peppers in them. Whenever my mom made it, all five of us kids would pick them out and ignore them while downing serving after serving of the rest of the goodness. I finally just ate them (less hassle) and love them. But when I made it for my in-laws, the youngest three (ages 2.5 to 8) all picked them out. It made me laugh.

    As for other food phobias, Dh’s family teases his sister about her hatred for onions and my family teases my sister about her hatred for tomatoes (who can live like that?!) and eggs (again…). And one BIL hates everything veggie-related… and mustard – but he doesn’t realize when a recipe HAS mustard in it, though if you told him he wouldn’t eat it.

    Luckily, I’m pickier than DH and since I do most of the cooking… I win! 🙂

    As for other tips… I’m not sneaky enough… yet.

  26. falwyn says:

    Dude, this is the funniest thing I have read this month.

  27. This is so brilliant! I have never heard of such amazing trickery!

    I have been known to trick my kids into going to bed early at night. I tell them I’m tired, get ready for bed and then have them come tuck me in. Of course they go to bed right away because it’s no fun to stay up if Mom isn’t around to brighten the night. When they’re asleep I sneak out of bed to play on the computer.

    Hey. I’m all about setting good examples.

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