Summertime is our favorite time of year with all the fresh garden veggies, watermelon, blueberries, grapes,….you get the picture! My husband and I endearingly call the sweet fruits “nature’s candy” because truly they taste just like dessert! We, my hubs and I, enjoy salads tossed with grilled chicken, cucumbers, tomatoes and sprinkled with some feta cheese. Sometimes we’ll add fresh corn, black beans and salsa to our concoction to mix things up a bit. Ooooooh! I can just taste it now, the yummy-ness!
Now, our not quite five-year-old doesn’t share our love for all things salad. I’ll typically offer him an alternative to the lettuce: lunch meat with veggies on the side. He detests the “uhmatoes,” as he calls them. “Mommy, are we going to have “uhmatoes” for supper tonight?” It’s always a battle at the dinner table getting him to eat the two little token tomatoes I’ve put on his plate; two grape-sized tomatoes, I might add. He squeals and moans and proclaims over and over, “I just don’t like “uhmatoes”!
As recent as last night, he had a couple tomatoes on his plate. I was ready for his fight; I’d been schooling him how important vegetables are to our diet. Time and again I’ve reminded him of Popeye eating his spinach, making him strong (he loves Popeye). However, no matter my efforts, it doesn’t amount to a hill of beans when it comes to him eating his veggies. It’s okay though, developing his palette along the way will eventually pay off, at least I hope so! At any rate, his Daddy instructed him to eat his supper, including the two tomatoes, if he wanted to go outside to play. He was also told he had to let Mommy see him actually eat the “uhmatoes” for it to count.
As soon as Daddy left the scene, my son gets the bright idea to let me know of his desperate need to go potty because he just couldn’t hold it another minute. Acutely aware of his shenanigans, I allowed him to go, knowing that he’d return proudly proclaiming he’d eaten the detestable vegetable. As I suspected, he dashed back to the table yelling that he’d eaten them. I quickly reminded him that I never saw this act take place. He had no time for me; he was out the door and in the backyard before I knew it.
Now the last time he pulled this kind of prank, my husband discovered the “celly,” more commonly called ‘celery,’ that he also has a distaste for, hiding in the bathroom trashcan. So I made my way to the bathroom where he’d just been, checked the trashcan and…. nothing. I lifted the lid to the potty and… nothing. I knew he’d hid the prized red berry somewhere but decided to put the issue to bed for the night, I had dishes to do and a kitchen to clean up. Some hours passed and a new day had dawned when I directed him to the potty first thing. What did I find? To my amazement, two little red tomatoes. Yep! He’d “hidden” them below the sink, underneath the cabinets, on the floor. Aha! I exclaimed as he moved to wash his hands. He knew he’d been found out, although there wasn’t a shred of remorse. Why was I not surprised?
At this point, it was time to dole out the punishment for the crime. I needed to deal appropriately with the issue of lying to us the night before when he proudly declared he’d eaten the tomatoes, but hadn’t. True confession: I had to stifle a giggle or two, when I spied those tomatoes on the floor. That little stinker, I thought! I had to muster a sad face and continue with my method of punishment. It will be a story remembered for years to come. Oh, the antics of a child!