My daughter Annika has always been a pretty good eater. From the day she ate her first solid food, avocado, she has always been willing to try anything once. At the age of two, she tried crunchy and spicy deep fried chickpeas, and to our surprise kept right on eating them. At three years of age, her first experience at an East Indian restaurant went pretty well, she ate just about everything we let her try. Only the spiciest foods she would turn down after a bight or two.
And like most children, she does like her sweet treats, but what she likes most of all are her vegetables. Carrots, peas, corn, asparagus, salads, tomatoes, spinach, cauliflower, mushrooms, she likes most items from the garden, with a few exceptions. But what Annika REALLY loves, I’m talking about “pops them in her mouth like candy” likes, is broccoli!
Of course, with most children it is the reverse: “Eat your veggies, or you get no dessert” is the phrase most parents have to use. Not so with Annika. We know this for a fact because on more than one occasion, we’ve had to stop our little Broccosaurus Rex by telling her: “Annika, that’s enough broccoli for now. Please have some ice-cream first, then you can have some more broccoli.” We bribe her thusly, in the hopes that the ice-cream fills her tummy, leaving some broccoli leftovers for the next day.
She’ll dutifully if grudgingly do as she is told, and eat her ice-cream. But instead of asking for a second bowl like a normal well-adjusted child, she instead will say, as though we were torturing her somehow: “NOW can I have some more broccoli?”
I also love broccoli, but I can’t imagine how it must taste after eating ice-cream. But there she was, popping them into her mouth again like candy, while still wearing her chocolaty mustache. For that and so many more reasons, I do so love my quirky little girl.