Contrary to what you might expect from the title, these are not olives that stayed awake too long, but merely the name my son gave our pimento-stuffed green olives…yum.
He saw them in the fridge last night and wanted some "red-eye olives." Now for a son with a history of being a picky eater, you’d think green olives would be off his short list of food-likes, but no. He gobbled them up, as did his big sister, who has been an angel of a child when it comes to food. This was a girl who as a toddler would devour spicy Ethiopian-style beans and sushi (minus the raw fish that is...which I guess technically disqualifies it from being sushi, but you know what I mean).
Now the baby wanted in on the action so she demanded the “pickles” which she thought the olives were. Daddy gave her some and she shoved them in her mouth (she loves pickles). As soon as they were in, they were out again with” Eww” and “yucky!”
Fine with me if she doesn’t like them, that’s all the more for me, but I was quite happy that my son ate them. I've never seen another child who can drag out a 20-minute meal into a one-hour session of idling thoughts and physical inaction. A meal for him can last FOREVER. My husband and I do have a smidgen of French DNA on both sides so maybe he got it all. He’ll probably have a stellar digestive system though.
We’ve come up with some pretty creative ways to get our son to eat. My husband is the best at it. When our son was a toddler, he wouldn’t even taste a bite without being threatened with interminable time out.
My husband started calling spaghetti "worms" and coming up with other creative terms that I won’t repeat for those with weak stomachs. I guess “monkey brains” were a better alternative to mac and cheese because my son would eat it when it was no longer the mundane pasta with wimpy cheese sauce. Leave it to dads to come up with the creative (and rather revolting) answer to a problem.
The other day we went to a Korean restaurant (Bulgogi is my new obsession). Doing restaurants with small children is a torture-test of patience. While waiting for their food, the kids grew restless. So to keep order, my husband asked them to “contemplate their navels.” He explained the rules of the game, “Without looking, tell me what your navel looks like. Does it have lint, is it round or square…” You get the idea.
I’m not sure what was funnier, my kids sneaking peaks at their belly buttons or the questions my husband kept coming up with. Nonetheless, it worked, and the wiggles subsided long enough to give us, and the people around us, a few moments of peace until our food came. Now why didn’t I think of that? I guess I need to pop a few more red-eye olives and contemplate my eyelids.