Dear Columbus Parents,
Is it me or does this happen to other parents as well? I’m well enough along the parenting path to have endured several cycles of my children’s love/hate/love/hate relationship with mushrooms. And every time the cycle does a 180, they act like I either should know which phase of the cycle they’re on or, even worse, they deny there ever has been a different phase - i.e., “Mom is making it up that I ever didn’t hate mushrooms.”
And it’s not like I’m dealing with preschoolers here, whose grasp of the language is shaky enough that they occasionally mix up the meanings of “opposite words” like love and hate. No, we’re talking kids who are old enough now to write 10-page research papers and to devour Radiolab podcasts about interplanetary exploration. And yet, from one month to the next, I have no clue which phase of the mushroom love/hate relationship they’ll be in.
Sorry if that’s bad news to any of you who are banking on the fact that once your bambinos hit double-digit age, they’ll become more rational, reasonable consumers of food. They won’t. They’ll just be themselves, only older and with a larger vocabulary.
But if there’s any good news to be offered, it’s that these fluctuating tastes are OK. Several months ago, we decided that July would be a perfect month to take a closer look at the topic of Food and, more specifically, “How We Eat.” I think for most families the issue of eating comprises a big part of our daily lives. Hopefully it’s mostly a happy issue, but it’s also perfectly normal for eating to sometimes be a not-so-happy issue, as our writer Joel Oliphint explores in his story about picky eating. There is also the challenge of voluntarily or involuntarily giving up certain foods, as writers Melissa Kossler Dutton and Heather Weekley explore in some of our Age Appropriate articles.
And, speaking of cycles, breastfeeding has taken another hit thanks to that cover story in TIME Magazine, but hopefully our writer Dana Wilson’s take on the topic will restore some sanity to the local dialogue about this form of nutrition.
Food is a fascinating subject. I just hope we can all respect each other’s choices about how we eat…even if it means a few innocent mushrooms get pushed to the side of the plate.