WARNING: this is a patented Jen-Type story (aka the long version of a short story.)
A while ago I decided that I needed to broaden our horizons when it comes to what we eat for dinner. I decided, for reasons that I have since forgotten, that it was time that we all try to eat fish as a meal. Most of you know this already but neither Scott nor I particularly enjoy fish. In the wise words of Scott’s late grandfather “it doesn’t appeal to me.” Scott and I will on occasion eat canned tuna or salmon but the kids have always opted out.
I was reading a magazine that presented a lovely baked cod as a family favourite. The cod was plated artfully with a spiced risotto, broiled asparagus and sprigs of parsley or dill or something. It was gorgeous. I foolishly decided that this would be the meal to introduce fish to the family.
Gagging while getting the fish out of the package and into the oven seems like a rough start but I am committed to healthy eating! I can do this! I am just plain tired of eating pancakes and grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner. It also seemed like a good idea at the time to substitute plain white rice for the colourful risotto. I knew the kids liked white rice and this would give them something familiar on the plate.
Hindsight being what it is plating this meal was also a mistake. White fish on white rice with shriveled asparagus crossing it doesn’t look as lovely as I had imagined. The kids flip out that their food is touching each other. They all declare that they don’t like it just by the smell alone. (I am not totally disagreeing with them but I am committed to this and must follow through.) We all sit down and look at our plates.
Scott: Okay, kids let’s eat our dinner now.
Finn: What is this? (Pointing to the cod)
Jen: It’s cod.
(Puzzled look from all kids.)
Jen: It’s a type of fish. It’s yummy. Let’s all try it. (I put on a happy face and swallow some fish. Smile falters while chewing.)
Georgia: (touching nothing) I don’t like tuna.
Jen: It is not tuna. It is cod and you need to try it before you decide if you don’t like it.
Olivia: No. I don’t. I don’t like tuna.
Finn: What is this? (Pointing to asparagus)
Scott: It’s asparagus. It’s a vegetable and it makes your pee smell funny.
Georgia: I don’t like smelly pee. (I glare at Scott and motion for him to eat his fish to show them. He does so, slowly.)
Finn: Me no like aspar-gus. (Points to rice) What is that?
Jen: Rice. All of you like rice. Please eat your dinner.
Fast-forward 3 minutes and we all have cold plates and we are still no further than…
Finn: (Shouting like we are all hearing impaired while frantically pointing to his plate) Me NO like aspar-gus AND tuna!
Jen: (I yell.) It’s not tuna! It’s cod! Eat your bloody…
Georgia: I don’t like smelly tuna pee.
By this point everyone except me is howling laughing. I excuse everyone- immediately! They sensibly run for their lives.
None of us ate our dinner. Scott could only choke down half of the cod. I vowed that they would all eat pancakes until they all turned into a flipping pancake!
Family favourite my ass!