My kids are at that super-picky stage. They don’t want to taste new foods, go new places…heck, sometimes I have a hard time getting Kai to wear new clothes. (Or maybe that’s just clothes in general. He is 3.)
If I am to be completely honest, I’m not crazy about trying new things myself. I do like the sense of adventure it gives me, true. But I’m too much of a control freak to truly enjoy the sensation of doing something completely novel. Even trying a new restaurant can be nerve-wracking to me.
But as I get older, my tally of bad new experiences and good new experiences has swung more heavily to the good side. So I’m trying to incorporate some novelty into our lives. Big and small. Here are some of our latest adventures.
- My daughter, the lifelong vegetarian, would never try my veggie burgers. Even though I told her how tasty they were. Finally, she consented to let me get her one at Freddy’s — to split with her brother. She ended up eating the whole thing. And dragging my parents back there a few days later for another. Now everywhere she goes, she wants a veggie burger.
Final score: YUMMY
- We haven’t had so much luck with the store-bought veggie burgers, though. I’ve made two brands for her, and she hated both. (I thought they were tasty.) I believe she is just afraid she might be eating something gross, so much so that she’s not even actually tasting the food before she declares it horrid. Anyway, I’m not giving up yet. There are dozens of brands of veggie burgers available locally, and tons more recipes out there for homemade ones. I will sell her on these things yet.
Final score: TOO SOON TO TELL
- We bought a small pineapple at the grocery store. It claimed to be extra sweet, which is an automatic win in Anya’s book. None of us care for canned pineapple, but I’ve learned that just because I don’t like a food in one form doesn’t mean I won’t like it in any form. For instance, I thought I hated cauliflower, because the only way my mom ever served it was raw. Turns out I just hate raw cauliflower; cooked cauliflower is my jam. (And my mom hates it cooked. Go figure.) So I spent the better part of a half hour cutting the pineapple into rings (and discovering along the way that pineapple juice is quite acidic…ow) only to learn that none of us like fresh pineapple either. So we gave the pineapple to my mom, who adores it.
Final score: NO, THANK YOU
- Anya’s been in this mindset that to make friends outside of school, she has to play sports. But she didn’t really seem to enjoy softball at all, so I’m signing her up for a variety of other activities. She attended a nature camp at a local preserve and came home each day brimming over with stories and begging to go to more camps there. She also took dance lessons, which she also loved, though I don’t think they were quite as fun as the nature camp.
Final score: AMAZING
- Kai begged to go to t-ball like his sister, but became overwhelmed by the crowd at the ball field and retreated to the car in tears. A few days later, he decided to give it another shot. He seems to like the game, but not the heat. And he’s not the only kid who finds playing with a bunch of strangers intimidating; one little boy spent the whole game in his mother’s arms. So…we’ll see how the coming weeks go.
Final score: SCARY
- At the same time we bought the pineapple, we bought a coconut. The next day, I stumbled across this video of 50 people trying to crack a coconut. And stuck around to watch 50 people trying to cut various other foods. It sounds lame, but I found it highly amusing — and educational. And the lessons learned taught me how to get into my own coconut with only one small flesh wound. I made an absolutely scrumptious coconut pie and coconut bread from the meat (even the kids ate some!), and am ready to buy another. Fresh coconut rules.
Final score: DELICIOUS
- Anya has been chomping at the bit to try a dragon fruit ever since she saw a YouTube video about them. We just so happened to stumble across one at the store the other day, so we picked it up. After Google taught us how to get into it, we cut it up and tasted it. It was…not sweet. Further Googling informed us that there are actually several kinds of dragon fruit. The YouTubers ate a sweet one. We bought the other kind. Next up: Trying to figure out how to know what kind you’re buying before you cut it open.
Final score: SOUR
- Anya’s been begging for swimming lessons for years now. The original plan was to have her father, who has had lifeguard training, teach her; however, his work schedule barely allows for days off, let alone family trips to the pool. And the kids are starting to be invited to pool parties, so I really want them to learn to swim. (I can keep myself from drowning, but that’s the extent of my aquatic abilities.) So I’ve signed the kids up for swimming lessons — Anya in June and Kai in July. Anya was excited until she learned that a) I would not be allowed to attend and b) she can’t wear her floaties. Then she was just nervous. But she did amazing — the teacher complimented her on how quickly she took to the water, and the day she completed her first class she begged to attend another. The day after her class ended, she attended a pool party; while she did wear a floaty (I was on my own with both kids, and I needed to feel safe turning my back on her), she swam and floated and splashed and showed just how much she’d learned in that one week.
Final score: SWIMMY
So it’s been hit and miss, these adventures. But mostly hits. I’m currently plotting the next round of novel experiences.