My two wander into the kitchen at least three times while I'm cooking, asking for a taste or offering to stir or mix or (god protect us) chop something. And they chat with me about their days, and things will be going swimmingly until a suddenly odd silence falls and I wince in anticipation of the dreaded question ka-thudding into my poor, tired-of-this-battle heart.
"Are there onions in that?"
Yes, I'll say irritably, yes, there are. But I'm cutting them up fine, see? They'll melt into supper. You'll hardly notice them.
"Huh", will come the unbelieving answer, with a definite tone of don't think you're going to hide those from me, and then I'll be watched as I massacre the onions into tiny bits of mush. Then the second question - there's always a second question! - will follow, and I'll grind my teeth silently while they peer into the pot and intone:
"What other vegetables are in supper?"
I have to stop and admire their syntax. While the general air of disdain gets the message across, there is no implied promise the vegetables will be eaten - no 'What else are we eating?' that I can hold over their heads, however clumsily.
Lately, the only vegetable not scorned is carrots. Raw carrots. And dip. And I'm thankful, but limited as to how many times I can serve baby carrots and dip and legitimately call it a healthy or yummy meal.
My children are fabulous little creatures. They even put their plates in the sink.
However, I've come to the conclusion that the gesture is less from my efforts to teach them manners, and more to hide the evidence of the careful picked-out offending veggies.
They can't get scurvy and die if I feed them enough apples, right??