So now I’m faced with the dilemma of the impending dinner. My initial plan has been jettisoned – due to the fact that the vegetables I purchased now have little Emmeline sized teeth marks in them but then replaced to look as if no one touched them since the cashier. My pint-sized thief has not figured out how to remove the evidence nor the residue of “ahmatos” from her chipmunk cheeks. My husband wants “meats, Tracy, meats. Lots of meats. None of this horse feed that you like to eat. I am not a ‘vag-itarian’ like you.” Lena would like “Um, probably like macaroni and cheese but we will only eat the Phineas and Ferb macaroni and cheese because we have decided that today is eat a cartoon day. We will not eat anything else.” Emmeline looks up from the “bwacowi” she snuck off with and says “Yeah. Cartoon. No else.”
Ok. Meats. And Phineas and Ferb. Hmmmm. Since I don’t really eat too much meat (hence the "vag-itarian" comment) – I hand my husband some steaky-thing from the freezer and wish him luck. He looks at me with another eye roll – since he wants meat that has been marinating in something delicious for several days and then grilled to perfection not this hockey puck I’ve handed him. But, at least it’s not a bowl of potting soil, right?Phineas and Ferb. This proves slightly more difficult since we ate our last box of this during last weeks “I will only eat lunch that has the letter P in it” stint. And, she holds true to these demands, refusing anything else and staying in character longer than the thespians in Cats. For a while I would leave whatever was created for her on the table and then point to it periodically when she complained of hunger. “I refuse to eat that grilled cheese. That is orange cheese and I am only eating white cheese.” “Lena, it’s cheddar – which you asked for when I was making the sandwiches.” “Well, I changed my mind.” “Yeah, good luck with that.” I grumble under my breath…until the kraken emerges. And Lena can go from zero to Freddy Kruger in 60 seconds flat when she’s hungry, tired, or breathing in and out. Several weeks of this resulted in slightly more accommodating meals – because it’s easier than the aftermath. I believe in the theory that children shouldn't run a household and that they need to be guided and coached how to be decent humans. I also believe that harakiri was probably started by Japanese Moms of Lena-style kids. And, I am weak. And tired. So, so tired. You'll eat this food and then have a big bowl of shut-the-hell-up and leave me alone for 37 seconds? Phineas and Ferb it is.
Ok, time to get creative. Carrots shaped like triangle for Phineas’ face. Egg noodles for hair (and steak accompaniment for my husband). Salad greens for Ferb. Some Perry the Platypus “meats” – creepy but functional. And, of course, copious amounts of ketchup. I throw a bunch of half-eaten veggies in a bowl, add the Phineas, Ferb and “meats” elements and mix it up for myself. Meal crisis averted. And the platypus wasn’t even microwaved. Which is how I would cook it, were I in charge of the platypus preparation. And the dessert...a yummy Chocolate Macaroon cake from Trader Joes...with a giant bite taken out of the side. If I cover it with ice cream, no one will notice, right?