In my family, we were blessed with two brilliant, beautiful, congenial kids, my niece and nephew. Miss Mackenzie is stretching into a successful, post-college adulthood. She's also our picky eater, more into her mom's mashed potatoes and her aunt's pumpkin pie. Scott, whom I called Scott-baby, Scott-boy, Scott-kid, Scott-guy, and now Scott-man, who looked like a sturdy, baby tank as a toddler, quickly lost that profile once he started to walk, is now a tall, skinny engineering student. His only criteria for food is this: Is there enough meat and spuds?
When they were toddlers, they lived on Kraft's Macaroni and cheese, tomato pizza, and frozen peas. Once, they came over for dinner and I served their parents more sophisticated fare, but for the kids I made cork-screw pasta with a little butter and Parmasean. Scottie literally chirped with joy over his dinner. He would stretch out the pasta and then watch it spring back into shape. It was miraculous: a toy you could eat.
Veggies were limited to carrot dollars, canned corn, and frozen peas. Nobody cooked the peas, so they never got mushy. Miss Mackenzie, more likely to play with her food than actually eat it, stuffed the little green orbs up her nose.
A massive sneeze erupted, one big enough to take out the back wall of the garage, started her parents into next week because it came from the tiniest, daintiest child, and shot tiny green projectiles across the kitchen. They'd be finding thawed-out peas for the next two weeks.