This post might not be for the faint of heart or for the queasy of stomach. But if you know a 12-year-old boy, this post is right up your alley.
I have a 12-year-old son. This is my third run with a 12-year-old son. Yup, I didn’t learn enough the first time. Or apparently the second. I didn’t learn that the noises of body functions are an art form. I didn’t learn that every time I’m horrified by his lack of manners, it merely amuses him. I didn’t learn that those warm little puppy-dog eyes would one day turn into the wide-eyed glare of a pre-teen filled with the embarrassment of a mother who loves him. In public even.
My most recent 12-year-old is Hunter. The child who has a huge compassionate heart, drinks pickle juice from the jar and absolutely loves a power struggle. (Did you know that “Power Struggle” will be an Olympic event next time around? And that Hunter is in the top five contenders?) Don’t get me wrong, he’s the most amazing young man. He wants a hug every time I leave the house. But never in public.
We battle over food he and I. I’m not sure why really. He doesn’t want to eat meals. But he will empty the cookie jar in one sitting. When he was in third grade nutrition class they had to make a healthy foods poster. And in the center of the poster was a section for a food they do not like. He found the biggest picture of broccoli that I’ve ever seen. He used to eat everything I cooked. And some things that his dad cooks, like Oyster Stew. (shudder)
I got home from work this morning just as he was finishing his breakfast. A wrap. (Not so bad, I thought.) But it was a bbq meat-filled wrap with cheese and lettuce and onions. Raw onions. For breakfast. (Insert ‘mother rolling eyes’ here) and a glass of orange juice.
Then for lunch he had… nothing. He refused every option. Not even a glass of milk. Around 3:30 I said, as only other’s do, (because of course mothers just intuitively ‘know’ that our child is hungry.) I made him a snack. Ritz crackers, sliced Colby-Jack cheese and bologna in pizza slice triangles. I arranged everything smartly on a plate as you would for a party. (I thought I could trick him into thinking it was something special and be intrigued enough to eat it.) I laid the plate down and slowly, quietly walked away.
I was in the kitchen beginning a dessert for after supper when I heard my son, sounding a bit proper, like a hotel concierge, report to me that he ate everything except the cheese, because the cheese tastes like Ear Wax.
What he’s a food critic now? The Siskel and Ebert of my refridgerator. My snack got a two thumbs down. On the upside he did like the Cream Puff Dessert I made. And he asked for a hug before I left for work tonight. I love him to pieces.