I think that it is pretty safe to say that our girls are going to have a very different childhood than either Chris or I had. These differences bring about both challenges and perks every day. But, to be honest, the perks win out in my opinion. We wouldn’t still be here if we thought otherwise. There are so many times that I am overwhelmed by just how cool their lives are and the incredible skill set that they are developing.
When our girls were really little and I was just starting to make food for them, I was afraid that they would turn into one of the worst things I could imagine: picky eaters. The thought that we would be in Vietnam and walk past the pho stalls in order to find some chicken fingers, or in Japan we would have to skip the miso in favor of a hamburger, or even be in America and they would insist on rice with every meal sent me into cold sweats. The other day, they blew that fear right out of the water.
For dinner, we had ordered Korean delivery food. We all have our favorites from this restaurant and the girls’ choice isn’t that exotic: rice and eggs. With Korean food, it is traditional to get an assortment of banchan (side dishes) that can differ depending on what is available and what the restaurant decides to serve. This time, when our food showed up, we had some kimchi, some pickled greens, and… drum roll please…. tiny guppies. Yep. Tiny sautéed fish. I’m going to be honest with you. I fancy myself an adventurous eater but these didn’t exactly turn my crank, to borrow an expression from my grandfather.
But the girls wanted to try them. Wanting to encourage an eclectic palate, I happily put a portion on each of their plates. They downed them. And I’m not talking about they gave a little nibble here and there. They ate those little minnows like popcorn. Also, just so we are clear, there was no masking what they were. It wasn’t like a fried ball of dough with chopped up unidentifiable filling.
Child: “Mommy, are these fish?”
Me: “Yes, they are.”
Child: “And is that the head?”
Me: “Yep, that’s the head.”
Child: “And those are they eyes?”
Me: “Yes, sweetheart, those are the eyes.”
Child: “And are there bones inside that you can eat?”
Me: “Yes, you can eat the bones inside.”
Child: “Okay.” *gulp*
It was an extremely proud moment for me. Now, I’m not suggesting that they eat anything I put in front of them. Lily would tell you she is a vegetarian if she knew there was such a word and, for Lucy, the word “spicy” is synonymous with disgusting. The point is that they tried them. They saw a pile of tiny little fish and thought, “Hey, I think I’ll give that a go!” And that is why I love raising my kids here. They were put in a situation that I would never have thought to put them in and they handled it like pros.
It really gives a whole new meaning to snacking on goldfish. To be honest, I think they probably still prefer the Pepperidge Farm version.