Thursday, March 17, 2011

How Vegetables Made My Day

I admit it: yesterday I bribed my kids to try salad. Salad is so inoffensive. Practically tasteless, no texture issues, just a nice crisp crunch. And smothered in Ranch, their favorite condiment, how could they NOT like it?? But my kids are very mental eaters. Especially Beck. By that I mean that all of their eating issues are based in some sort of mental block they have created that has no basis in reality. For example, both of my kids love lasagna. And they both love baby shells in tomato sauce. But when I serve them giant shells stuffed with cheese, the same shape as their beloved baby shells and the exact same ingredients as lasagna, they both act like I've served scab and rat tail stew for dinner. I know if I can just get a bite into their mouths, they'll say, "hey, this is good!" The challenge is getting their taste buds to over ride their brain. And for that, it sometimes takes money. And I'm not talking spare change, here. I'm talking about paper money. Dollah bills.

So last night Daphne was the first to take the bait. She tried some salad with ranch and, guess what? She didn't die! I think she may have actually liked it, though out of pride she always pretends to hate these things she tries for bribes. Beck wasn't so easily convinced. Even the fact that a clean, crisp dollar bill was soon sitting next to his sister's plate wasn't quite enough to convince him to risk life and limb over. So I sweetened the deal. "How about if we take our dollars to the dollar store after dinner and you guys can buy WHATEVER YOU WANT IN THE WHOLE STORE." Well, this caught his attention. Despite having more toys than the entire nation of Belarus, my kids still feel like shopping for a new toy is the best thing that could ever happen to them. So Beck suddenly said, "Ok, Mom. I'll do it." One bite of crispy, Ranchy salad later, both kids were analyzing their bills, comparing serial numbers, making speculations on the eye at the top of the pyramid on the back, and declaring that their dollar bill was bigger. And I was quietly planning a dinner very soon in which salad played a main role. Mom:2, Kids:0.

But now to the best part of the story: The dollar store. We live in kind of a dollar store free zone. There is the one by our old house that we used to shop at. It's about 10 minutes north. But then Big Daddy found one about 7 minutes south, one we'd never been to, so we decided to try something new.


I have never seen a dollar store like this one. It was the superstore of all dollar stores. Like Wal-mart on steroids. Like IKEA for cheap people. I mean, cheapER people. Normally I get a bit giddy at the dollar store, looking around at all the crap stuff I can buy for only a dollar each. But at this dollar store, I practically hit Nirvana. The enormous Easter section alone sent me into an excited tizzy. And by the time I got through the stationary and gift bag section, 3x the size of my previous dollar store's, to the toy area, I had decided I would need to come back soon. Very soon. They just had such a huge selection of things to occupy my kids for a couple of days and then get thrown away, I couldn't believe my eyes. And the kitchen goods, tools, and hair accessories areas...ahhhhh, they nearly put me in a swoon. Yes, me and my $25 would soon be back to have the time of our lives.

So, the moral of this story is: getting your kids to eat salad is all well and good, but bliss, pure bliss, can only be found at the dollar store.


Mrs. O said...

I love me a dollah store - is this the one by Kmart?

Sara said...

I'm going to have to hit that one too! Ridge loves salad, he begs me to make it for him!

CaraDee said...

I don't have to bribe. Since they were little, the rule is ONE BITE. I don't care what they say. They don't have to like it, but they have to have one bite. They are so used to it, that they don't even fight anymore.

Omgirl said...

We usually do the one bite rule too. But they never end up actually liking the food since it is force-fed. In fact, Beck threw up something last week, all over the table and floor, after I made him take one bite. So I thought I'd try the positive reinforcement route this time. We'll see how well it worked next time I try to serve salad!

Financial Aid for College said...

Yeah, speaking of Beck and throwing up the force-fed-bite, I seem to remember a little girl and her squash. And her bananas.

You are hilarious! Dollah-store Nirvana!