Friday, June 5, 2009

Orange and Corn Salsa

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Do animals have the terrible twos?

Belle loves birds. Duck was one of her first words. For her first Christmas, we bought her an Audubon bird guide and she was excited. So, this spring, she enjoyed seeing the baby ducklings at the park. In my delicate condition, I felt a strange empathy and connection to the ducky mom. I might have been projecting, but I swear I could see the ambivalence in her eyes. But a few months ago, she was a one-woman show and now all of sudden she had an army following her.

Sure those little duckies were cute, but that adorableness comes at a price. Each little one had its own mind. Two or three babies were the easy going sort; they were amiably picking at the water plants. And, in every family, there are one or two who don’t follow the rules. One was tipping back and forth in a way that would worry me; though of course the ducklings were born to swim. And, another little one kept trying to swim away.

Of the scene, the duck mom vacillated between giving her young some knowing looks and munching away on lunch. I couldn't help but wonder if some of those little duckies were more ornery than others. Dogs have distinct personalities. Why not birds? I wondered if she was tired at quacking at the ones who strayed. Then again, the consequences of disobedience for a baby duck are life-threatening.

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At our house, the consequences of disobedience are so much smaller. If she doesn't listen to me, there is but the chance of a spoiled brat. For fear that I would only encourage pickiness, I have tried to turn a blind eye to her caprices. Until she turned 2, she was not picky at all.

Then, she learned the power of no. Oh, I never really knew how much I would hear that word. Now, even when we make food she likes, it is a 50/50 proposition that she will consume anything.

We try to make a mix of new foods and givens. Grilled cheese is one such given; we did quesadillas. Oddly enough, beans are a perenial favorite; we made black beans. And, then as she is half-Asian, rice is a staple; we did tomato rice. For the grownups, we made a quick orange, charred corn, red onion, lime juice, cilantro salsa/ salad. Of course, we offered this salsa to Belle, but she is really not a fan of oranges.

So other than the salsa, it should have been a home-run dinner, but the little missy didn't touch it. I don't know about birds, but humans sure experience the terrible twos.

Orange Corn Salsa

4 comments:

Kristen said...

The terrible twos were always more the terrible threes in our house and since I have one who just turned 3 I can tell you she is falling suit. 4 is awesome... can't wait until 4 :)

Love your duck story! Can almost picture being there.

Srivalli said...

thats lovely MM...its so true at my place too...I never know when my kids say yes to which food..I have decided thats the way its going to be...lovely pictures of the duck...will show it to my boys...you know my hubby takes them to see the duck family that lives near our temple...they have been going there so often that those ducks wag their tails or whatever on seeing my kids..that was so cute...

maybelle's mom said...

Srivalli: thanks. As a kid, I used to love to watch the ducks at our temple pond too.

Kristen: yes, I hear three will be even more fun...

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

Two turns three turns four turns five turns six. . .well, even some adults in our house are "picky" eaters! Not so much picky I suppose but less unwilling to try unfamiliar flavours. There's always risk-management calculations in my head everytime I start on dinner. You think the duck has less trouble with her ducklings? ;)