Something strange is happening around our house. Something strange and wonderful. Mysterious, too. Let us not forget “mysterious.” Something so weird, so unexpected, so—dare I use the word—magical that we’re afraid to trust it, to talk about it, even to look at it.
Yes, that’s right. You guessed it. Zachary—star of the popular dinnertime show “That’s Disgusting”—is eating fruit. Every day. Several pieces a day.
You may ask, how did this new habit get started? I’ll tell you. I don’t know.
(Still, really, no one knows that reference? Come on people. It’s going to become a tradition around here to put that into every post until someone gets the reference.)
I think it was a result of our standard method of dealing with a parenting problem we just can’t crack. We threw our hands up in the air, sat back, and waited.
Then, Lilah and Benjamin instituted a fruit course after dinner awhile back. The rule is that if you are “done” eating but really just want something else, you can have fruit, which is fantastic if you’re Lilah and Benjamin and consider fruit the seventh wonder of the modern world. So, now, they sit at the table and eat fruit for up to 45 minutes after dinner. It’s kind of fascinating and yet strangely repulsive to watch. Usually I get up and do the dishes waiting for it all to be over.
I guess Zachary didn’t want to be left out, because one day he got himself a banana. A week or two after that, he took a clementine. And thus he became a part of the ritual, never consuming in the same quantities as the other children, but certainly stealing the show in terms of shock value. It has even spread to other times of the day, and he now has fruit after school most afternoons. Still mostly bananas and clementines, but anyone who has hung around this joint for any length of time knows that that’s surely plenty to be grateful for.
And then, last week, something happened that neither my husband or I have quite processed yet, so surprising and delightful it was. Intrigued by the fruit that Benjamin and Lilah consume in vast quantities, Zachary requested a new fruit.
We tiptoed around the kitchen, putting away food and washing dishes, catching one another’s eye across the room, raising an eyebrow but not saying a word. Because—and I hesitate to trust it even now—Zachary was eating a grapefruit.