Once upon a time, there lived a darling little girl named Renie. Actually her name was Little Irene, because that's what you do to your children when they live in the South, especially anywhere near Mobile, AL. You always confuse them and everyone around them by naming them after you so that every time someone calls on the phone you must clarify which Irene the caller desire. I decided to repeat this torture with our son. But I digress...
So anyway, this little girl named Little Irene hated oatmeal. I don't think instant flavored oatmeal packets were invented yet and if they were, Little Irene's parents surely did not buy them for their perfect daughter, so the only option was old fashioned steel cut oatmeal, like what horses eat. So one morning before school, Little Irene came downstairs in her Catholic school uniform and found, in horror, that her mother had served hot old fashioned oatmeal for breakfast, complete with raisins, butter, and brown sugar. She sat down and begged not to eat it but her mother forced the issue, saying "IRENE BOYCE PORTER YOU CAN SIT THERE ALL DAY LONG FOR ALL I CARE BUT YOU ARE NOT GETTING UP FROM THAT TABLE UNTIL YOU EAT YOUR OATMEAL!" And so, Little Irene sat crying, whimpering about the fact that she would be late for school if her mother did not relent. All the while her mother babbled about starving children in Africa and what a sad thing it would be to have to confess to Father what's-his-name than you did not eat your oatmeal, blah, blah, blah. Finally, in obedience to the desire to remain a perfect daughter, Little Irene held her nose as she shoveled the goopy meal down her throat. She was then allowed to get up from the table. When she did, she promptly threw up all over the floor. Little Irene was very late for school by this point and so she had to go to the school office. There sat Sister Joan, the principal of her school. When Sister Joan asked what was the nature of Little Irene's tardy arrival, Little Irene's mother nudged her daughter to explain. Feeling sure that a Catholic nun would take pity on her, Little Irene blurted out "my mother made me eat my oatmeal and it made me sick so I threw up." Why Little Irene thought a Catholic nun would take pity on this situation, she'll never know but sure enough, Sister Joan replied saying "I am sorry Little Irene, but I am afraid that is an unexcused absence." At this point, Little Irene pondered this and realized that at eight years old, big whoop if it was an unexcused absence. Later in life, Little Irene would become Presbyterian.
Fast forward to this evening and you will find my son at the dinner table, refusing to even try a teeny-weeny morsel of buttered cauliflower. We are talking about a piece about the size of a pea. My only rule is that you have to at least try a new food by eating one bite. If you don't like it, you do not have to eat the rest but you must at least try it before passing judgment. I refused to let Little Philip have his chocolate pudding unless he tried his cauliflower. Mind you, my husband was sitting across the table trembling that I might make him take a little bite too. In the end, the power of warm chocolate pudding was too much and Little Philip attempted to try it. As he tried to swallow, he upchucked onto the floor. Somehow the above memory of being forced to eat oatmeal alluded me until the fateful moment that Little Philip's stomach emptied itself onto the kitchen floor.
Yep, I have officially become my mother.