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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Capitalizing the Sweet Tooth

"I don't like that," Senia Mae says before I can even get the lid off of the dutch oven to show her what's simmering inside. "I'll have peanut butter and jelly." Somehow I have been plucked from my old world of red wine and brie en croute only to be vigorously tossed into the land of peanut butter and jelly for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

"You are not having peanut butter and jelly for every meal. Little bodies need different kinds of nutrition to grow. Peanut butter and jelly is good sometimes, but tonight I made something you're really going to love."

"What?" she asks.

"Well its pot roast, green beans, and home made macaroni and cheese. Three things you really like to eat." Instead of forcing fancy cuisine on my five year old, I was trying a more moderate tactic: cooking foods we could all enjoy together.

"OK," she said as she headed to the table.

A few minutes later I noticed she had eaten most of the beans, all of the mac and cheese, but hadn't touched the meat. "Momma, I don't like this," she said pointing to the bbq style sandwich I had made her on a hamburger bun.

"Why not?"

"It's too sweet." Now if I had been serving her brussels sprouts I could understand, but nothing to her is too sweet. This was a slow cooked beef bbq with brown sugar and hickory: moist, tender, and almost heavenly. I knew she was just being obstinate.

"But you love sweet things," I said. "You have a sweet tooth." She stopped for a minute, touching her teeth as she thought about what I was saying. It was hard to keep a straight face.


"Oh, the sweet tooth is the one next to the big one in the front." It came out so fast that I didn't even realize what a tall tale I was telling.

"This one?" she said, pointing to her left incisor.

"No, one in from that one." I moved her finger over one tooth.

"This is my sweet tooth?"

"Yep," I lied, knowing I was taking advantage of my daughter's gullible nature. "That's the tooth that makes you like all sweets. Now you can finish your meat because you have a sweet tooth."

She was amazed at her special tooth, touching it with one hand, thrilled by the new discovery as she speared little pieces of food with her other.

I know that lying is one of the "Thou shall nots," but my little white one got three more bites into her without any more argument. Certainly on the big chart in the sky those two things can cancel each other out!

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