Paul has been winning me over to the wisdom of Calvin and Hobbes as he nightly (no joke) reads from his gigantic collector's edition before turning out the lights. Tonight's dinner conversation is one of those nights I wish I had taken the wisdom of Calvin's dad to heart tonight. (Trust me, I usually do give some pithy answer that leads the kids astray.)
Alas, Paul and I were trying to be good parents and once again we're not sure if we're doing more damage than good. You be the judge:
Ilene: If you’re born from your mom, and she likes a drink, is it possible you are going to like it too?
Paul: Ilene, anything is possible.
Cynthia: Usually kids like the stuff they grow up eating. My mom, whom I was born from, grew up eating salt on watermelon so she likes it. I didn’t ever grow up eating that so I don’t like it.
Ilene: (the consummate lover of salt) I think I might like to try that—salt on watermelon. Just to see if I like it.
Cynthia: You don’t need to try it. Watermelon is delicious and tasty without salt. Why make it less healthy by putting salt on it?
Ilene: Just to see if it is good!
Nathan: Do we always have to eat healthy stuff (as he scarfs his second hot dog.)
Cynthia: Well then Ilene, why don’t I go get you a dirt clod out in the yard and see if you like that too.
Nathan: What if I don’t want to try it?
Ilene: What is a dirt clod?
Paul: A clump of dirt.
Ilene: What do you call a ball of dirt?
Paul: A ball of dirt and a clod of dirt are the same thing.
Cynthia: (trying to stear the conversations back to the nature vs. nurture topic and away from dirt clods) Ilene, you are growing up eating zucchini so that’s why you like it. You like it because it’s familiar.
Ilene: I really don’t like zucchini that much.
Cynthia: Since when? You guys always eat all your zucchini without complaining.
Ilene: Well, I don’t like grilled zucchini that much. (We are eating steamed zucchini.)
(1 minute pause in conversation)
Ilene: Do people in China like zucchini? I doubt it because it’d be nearly impossible to eat it with chopsticks. It’s just too big.
Nathan: They don’t eat with chopsticks in China, that’s India!
Cynthia: That’s not true, Nathan. (We just had a conversation about this last week.)
Nathan: Oh yea, they eat with their hands in India. (The kids think it would be fun to go to India because they won’t have to use their forks and spoons at meal times. Good grief.)