Saturday, April 24, 2010

Genetics

I mentioned in my last post that Kai is a good eater, except for her bizarre disinterest in sweets and desserts. In reality, she gets that from me. In fact, she seems to get all of her culinary likes and dislikes from me. Here I thought it would be fun to pass on my determination, persuasive abilities, sense of humor (come on, you know I'm funny), or debate skills (although, really, maybe it's better if your child does not have the inclination to debate every little point. Now that I'm a parent, I can see how that particular quality might have been a teensy bit annoying as much as it has served me well in my chosen profession). I suppose it remains to be seen if and to what degree Kai has inherited those traits, but one thing is clear -- she and I both like the same foods.

I have never really had much interest in sweets. I don't like chocolate; although, I tolerate it more as an adult than I did as a child. I have never cared for cake, cookies, brownies (well, chocolate... already mentioned that). And candy? What's the point? I used to save any candy I got at some holiday and, weeks and months later, bribe my sister one m&m or skittle at a time to do my bidding (fetch the mail, make my bed, etc). SHE has a sweet tooth (or did). But, the only sweet thing I REALLY liked was whipped cream, and it was more for the cream than the sweetness. Real whipped cream was the best for that reason. The canned stuff a distant second. And, I like fruit pies (rhubarb, apple, peach, marionberry) -- but those sorts of pies are among the least sweet of the desserts. So, really, no sweet tooth for me.

At the last of Kai's birthday celebrations this week at her daycare (yes, the child got 3 parties and an outing to the beach for her birthday... being an only child rocks), she was so excited when Lauren brought out the cake. But, not because it was CAKE, like the other children were excited about, but because it had CANDLES and it meant people would be singing to her... again! Once she had her helping of cake and ice cream, she took a bite or two and then asked to get down so she could go read a book. The nearly-two-year old sitting next to her cracked us all up when, having finished her own bowl, she looked around to see if anyone was going to claim Kai's dish and then started inching it towards herself... ever so slowly. She was foiled in her plan, of course. But it was hysterical to watch her try to sneak that extra piece of cake.

Kai's tastes run more towards condiments... of course! The title of the post is "genetics" after all. I think one of the reasons she is such a good eater is because she has discovered all the wonderful condiments that accompany food. Chicken and bbq sauce. Rice and soy sauce. Salmon and butter (and salt and a little lemon). Artichokes and mayo. Fries and ketchup... or mayo. Potatoes and sour cream. Cucumbers and blue cheese. Hamburger and mayo. Have I mentioned mayo? That is my favorite. Kai's too. Well, that or butter.

Kai says, "butter", "pepper", "salt" and emphatically points and whines at whatever condiment is on the table to indicate her interest in trying some. And, so far, I don't think she has met a condiment she doesn't like. She even likes pickles. Pickles! What two year old munches on pickles but won't eat ice cream?

I guess what I'm saying is I now see the power of genetics. My poor daughter has inherited the culinary sensibilities of a third grader (minus the sweets). Poor kid. Maybe she'll grow beyond me. Isn't that what we hope for our children? She'll learn there's more to life than mac and cheese with ketchup? right?

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