Carrot-ing on

Image result for carrots

I’m just going to leave this here at the top: I promise that we have tried everything. But…

I just found these carrots on the table near my son’s lunch bag.

Two lonely carrots.

This morning, they were half of a quartet, nestled into a shiny silver container, part of a brilliantly healthy lunch I provided for my darling child.

Who doesn’t eat vegetables. Or fruit. Or most meats. Or, honestly, many foods that aren’t beige. Except yogurt. He eats vanilla yogurt. And hamburgers. Plain hamburgers.

There was one amazing day in his 7 years on this planet when he wavered ever-so-slightly in his anti-vegetable convictions and said he would eat carrots.

To be precise, he said he would eat baby carrots, the “new” ones that look “wet.”

And he did: he ate carrots! For a week – or maybe two – the memory is a little hazy now, blurred by my euphoria, faded by time…

Because of course he stopped. And, being who he is, he now refuses to eat the carrots. Nevertheless, I continue to put carrots in his lunch, undeterred by their daily return, now a little dry and sad looking, languishing in the bottom of the container in the bottom of his bag. Every day, I add the carrots, three if they are “big”; four if they are “small.” (These are baby carrots; they are, by definition, not big. This fact is of no interest to my child.)

He does not eat them at school. Ever. He has not eaten carrots for lunch this entire school year. When he comes home, I open his lunch box and, ever hopeful, peer inside each container. Maybe today he ate an apple. Possibly he consumed some grapes. Finally, wearily, I check the carrots. They are always there.

I pick up the open container and go in search of the boy. I point out that he has not eaten his carrots. He agrees that this is the case. I tell him he must eat his carrots. Mostly, he consents to eat two.

I eat the other two.

Later, after he is asleep, I begin again. I open the fridge and remove four small, wet baby carrots. I nestle them into the shiny container. I tuck the container into his lunch bag. I send them to school, glaringly obvious in a sea of beige food.

Maybe today he will eat them.

PS – The 7-year-old in question has approved this post, though he wants you to know that I have exaggerated a little. His 9-year-old brother also approves this post, doesn’t believe there’s much exaggeration, and would like you to know that he eats everything.

7 thoughts on “Carrot-ing on

  1. I admire your persistence. And your short sentences. They convey the simple insanity of parenting. I work with a happy and successful colleague who eats no vegetables (unless you include ketchup) and will endure no spices. He insists on hamburgers plain. When he orders he says, “With nothing on it. No, really, I mean nothing. You know, like a 7-year-old.” So there you go. Keep trying.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha – thanks for the ray of hope! Though I shudder to think of him all grown-up and eating plain hamburgers and vanilla yogurt. Sigh. He would like everyone to know that he also eats grilled cheese and lettuce *only if* it has balsamic vinegar on it. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Bwahaha! Nicely done! …as a mom and as a writer. Love the title. And love the ending — like a notary signature and stamp to affirm that the carrot tale is indeed true. We have a couple younger members in our family who eat “plain” hamburgers and yogurt but abstain from anything with crunch and the colors of green, red, or orange.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love your eternal optimism here. That feeling that you will just keep on trying and hoping, and that maybe one day….. My sister was THE pickiest eater as a kid. She basically ate Vienna Sausages and Carnation Instant Breakfast. She is now the gourmet in the family, eating everything and anything. Have hope!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Lordy – Vienna sausages and Carnation Instant Breakfast? Makes me feel like I’ve hit the jackpot. I have great faith that my little guy will eat eventually, mostly because he believes it. “I’ll eat that when I’m 10” is a constant around our house. Here’s hoping he ends up like your sister!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Terrific writing here–full of voice, rich with detail, and often very funny. The PS made me laugh out loud. As did the line about beige food. Maybe once upon a time there was an evolutionary advantage in being a picky eater? You’re less likely to inadvertently poison yourself if you stick to what you know, I guess. I am very grateful to be beyond the picky eating years with my son!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The child in question came home tonight and announced that he had tasted EIGHT new foods at a friend’s house. Included in the tastes were rice (really?!) and “egg with the disgusting yolk” and “egg without the disgusting yolk”. He says I can now give him egg white. Ha! I am ready to be past the picky, but I think I have a little while to go…


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