J decided to be a vegetarian.
This is the second time.
Last time, it lasted about a week. Or less.
This time, she seems more committed.
I really have no right to complain, because Beloved is not only managing the situation, but doing extensive research and finding ways not only to ensure that she gets adequate nutrition, but also to empower her to make decisions (and prepare food) that give her what her body needs.
But yet, when he asked me yesterday for a dinner suggestion for today, and I said, “oh, I love those chicken roll ups you make!” (which are chicken breasts all pounded in to thinness, and then lined with proscuittio, spinach, and some delicious cheese, and rolled up and stuck with a toothpick. I think they also have a sauce on them. They’re delicious.) He said, “and what for the vegetarian?”
Do I never get to have my chicken roll ups again?
When the kids were small, and pickier eaters, I refused – REFUSED – to be the mom who made separate meals for everyone in the family. You know, allowing the kid to have plain noodles with butter and cheese while the rest of us ate steak and veggies. My kids weren’t really allowed to refuse certain foods. They had to try new things. I think I was fair enough – I wouldn’t make a huge plate of spicy food. I would put one new thing on the dish along with a fail safe.
but this isn’t just picky eating. This is a different kind of decision.
This past week, Beloved made a stew – it had sweet potatoes and spinach in it, and he separately sauteed some keilbasa for E, himself, and me, and then browned some tofu for J. Those were mixed into our individual bowls.
Another night, he made platos mexicanos – homemade chili verde (pork slow cooked in a tomatillo sauce), but before he put the meat into the sauce, he pulled out some of the sauce, and mixed it into some baked tofu. The rest of her meal (spanish rice, refried beans, and a funky cole slaw with limed sour cream and cilantro) was exactly like ours.
[Did I mention that he’s AMAZING.]
So, we aren’t talking about 100% separate meals. Her food was completely integrated into ours.
But we don’t know how to do that with chicken roll ups.
I declared my willingness to have up to 3 nights/week be vegetarian (despite my love of nearly-raw meat) – that if I have advanced notice, I can plan to eat roast beef at lunch.
We shall see how this goes. I don’t know if I look forward to the day that she sees our delicious pork tenderloins and says, “uhhhh, can I have some?” Or if I can come to terms with this.
I am proud of her making a decision and sticking to it.
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