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Growth Spurts: Veggie Tales

I was so excited! Missy, one of my best friends from college, had come to visit me at my house in Maryland. We had so much to catch up on, and we were going to get started while eating the dinner I had prepared for us. After I strapped two-year-old Callie into her booster seat, Missy and I got to talking and talking. After several minutes, Missy commented on how quietly Callie was eating and then looked at Callie’s plate. “Wow! You’ve eaten almost all your vegetables. Good job, Callie!” she said.

Instead of smiling in reaction to this praise, as she normally would have, Callie just looked at Missy and me with very little expression on her face. While maintaining this stare, my preschooler proceeded to pick up a piece of broccoli from her plate, and we watched her little hand disappear under the table . . . where Missy’s dog Sadie was sitting and waiting, happy to partake of what was being handed to her!

This little scene was so unexpected and hilarious that I’m not sure I was able to get Callie to actually eat her own vegetables amidst Missy’s and my laughter. Let’s face it–parenthood is filled with moments of biting one’s cheek to keep from laughing at the child you know you should be scolding! (That’s why there are two parents–so you can tag-team when one of you is beyond tickled and just can’t pull it together to be serious. At least, that’s one reason there are two parents.) After regaining my composure from this incident, however, I did manage to learn a few things.

First, I was glad to see that even at a very young age, my daughter felt convicted to tell (or at least show) the truth. Missy and I both believed that Callie had eaten her vegetables, but Callie knew the truth and sheepishly came clean.

Second, even though Callie obviously didn’t care for her veggies that evening, that didn’t keep me from offering them to her multiple times on future occasions. Even during the pureed-baby- food stage, Callie preferred sweet potatoes and carrots over green beans and peas—and who wouldn’t?!—but I continued to offer them until she got a taste for them. Now Callie, who’s almost 11 years old, loves green beans, broccoli, and salad. And I’m sure that as her taste buds continue to evolve, she will find that she actually likes other vegetables as well.

The third lesson I learned from this: Always check under the table before praising your children for eating all their veggies. You may want to check their pockets, too.

 

Carrie Bevell Partridge distinctly remembers gagging on green beans when she was a child. Also squash. And okra.

About The Author

Carrie Partridge

Carrie Bevell Partridge grew up in Memphis, TN with her parents and four siblings. She attended Mississippi College, where she met her husband Kevin. They have been married for 20 years and have five children. They live in Ridgeland, MS. Carrie has written the “Growth Spurts” column and managed social media for Parents & Kids Magazine since 2011. You can read more of her work at carriebevellpartridge.com and Facebook.com/carriebevellpartridge.

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