There are some kids who will devour a hot dog you put in front of them because it’s written in their DNA that hot dogs are the foundational kid food that gives them unending energy. Never mind what’s actually in the hot dog (that’s another post altogether)! Mac and cheese, hot dogs, french fries, chicken nuggets…all classic kid foods that usually are accepted by all children with no fuss or complaint.
Make no mistake, my kids are generally no different. They love all of these foods. I just bury my guilt into the cavern deep within all mothers who compromise on the promise they made when their children were born to only serve them whole, fresh, local market, and organic home-cooked foods. Sometimes a bowl of cereal is the masterpiece from my kitchen…
Boy child loves these foods. However, he has an interesting way of eating them. He really enjoys his food in a multitude of dimensions. Obviously there is the taste of the food, which is appealing; however, it isn’t the main focus of eating for him. There is the order. And the pattern. And the shape. Allow me to explain:
Take a sandwich…classic ham and cheese. No mayo- just plain ham and cheese between two slices of bread. For boy child, the sandwich has to come apart. Bread is eaten first…one slice at a time. And in eating each slice, he first eats the crust off. Then he nibbles the bread slices into shapes, animals…whatever his imagination decrees. Then he takes the ham and cheese and rolls them into a tube and enjoys them as hors d’oeuvres. Because, why not?
Hot dog? First is the bun…separate into two equal pieces and then nibble the outer part completely off and then nibble the inside part into shapes or animals. Then comes the actual main course of this hearty dish. The hot dog itself. He carefully nibbles the outer “skin”, if you will, and then he bites the hot dog ends off. After that, the rest of the hot dog can be eaten at will.
Now, I just witnessed this process today and I asked boy child why he eats his hot dog this way. His response, which is a giant billboard announcing that he has just a teeny bit of OCD tendencies, was that he is eating the hotdog “in order”…
Last on, first off.
Same rule goes for the sandwich and it’s why his cheese is eaten off his pizza first, it’s why his chicken nuggets are usually naked and awaiting their final destination in boy child’s tummy and it’s why his milk is drank out of his cereal bowl before he eats his cereal. There’s an order to things and he’s respecting the order.