We went to Point Reyes Station this past weekend, to get out of the house, have some quiet time alone and offline, and put some more distance between us and Anna's mother. I haven't met her yet, but she is, to venture into judgmental language for a moment, A-1 Batshit Certifiably Crazy, with a history to match. I haven't met her yet, and we would all be perfectly happy to leave it that way; I'll meet her for a few minutes tomorrow, just to satisfy my curiosity and get a sense of what Anna has to deal with. Hopefully, that will be it, and I won't see her again.
So anyway. A few days in a small beautiful town in Marin is totally a good idea. It turns out that Marin Sun Farms is, in fact, in Marin, and at their butcher shop in Point Reyes we picked up beef cheeks (fantastic stew meat) and garlic-mint goat sausage.
I wasn't joking before when I said that J eats just a handful of foods. The list is basically variations on or combinations of:
- Melted cheese on bread (crusts cut off).
- Unadorned chicken or turkey.
Then there's boxed macaroni and cheese and a handful of fruits (apples must be peeled). You get the idea. He's 6. I used to eat ketchup-and-American-cheese sandwiches. I have to keep some perspective.
(If we had him full-time, there would probably be a "This is what's for dinner" protocol, but shared custody has its pros and cons--we also couldn't have gone to Point Reyes.)
J watches Barney at his dad's house, and has been convinced that if Anna would just try it, would just watch one little episode, she would love it, because Barney is great. They would occasionally have this conversation where J would try to sell Anna on Barney, and Anna would reply that she's never seen Barney, but she knows she's going to hate it. Lather, rinse, repeat.
This sounded suspiciously like the conversations where Anna tries to get J to eat a new food, and he says, "I don't need to try it. I know I don't like it." I passed her a note suggesting that she could set an example of trying things, and maybe bargain J into trying new foods. So for every 3 bites J eats of an unfamiliar food, Anna watches 5 minutes of Barney.
Tonight I idly suggested to J that hey, we have sausage, if he'd like to try it--Anna hadn't suggested it, because normally he won't go for foods that have things like seeds or spices in them (or any kind of multiple colors or textures or etc. etc.). Which he did! Did he like it?
"Well, it's not delicious, but I did like it."
It was unfamiliar, but he didn't make contorted faces while eating it, or try to scrape the taste off his tongue afterward, which means he liked it. Either he ate another 5 pieces, or he did a professional-quality job of hiding them under the rug or something.
Meanwhile, Anna is stuck with another 10 minutes of Barney. It turns out parenting is pretty easy when you can contribute, and then someone else deals with the consequences. Who knew?