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The Squeamish Face and the Dreaded Vegetable

There are some vegetables that still cause me so much dread, as if I were a 7-year-old living in my parents’ house. Home grown lettuce? No thank you. Beets? Have you ever seen red throw-up? Summer squash? Are you trying to kill me?

I become queasy just thinking about eating these veggies.

At some point, my parents must have gotten sick of watching me gag every time they forced me to take a bite. So they came up with a plan so I didn’t have to eat them anymore.

Everyone in my family was allowed to have one vegetable and one fruit we didn’t have to eat. Mine?  Easily summer squash. My parents had tried threatening me with the whole “You take one bite of that summer squash and if you make a face, you’ll have to try it again until you don’t make a face” thing.  It didn’t matter. No matter how hard I tried that summer squash caused my face to go into spasms and there was a 65% chance the summer squash was not going to stay in my stomach once it went down.

Even though I chose summer squash as my hated vegetable, my parents magically stopped growing lettuce and beets at the same time.

I have instituted the same rule in my house. Each of us gets one vegetable that we do not have to eat. Mine? Still summer squash. Only, because it’s my house, I took the liberty of expanding my summer squash to include other squash-type vegetables like eggplant. Casey tried to make me eat eggplant one night and I had the same gag-like reflex as when I’m eating summer squash. She got pretty upset because I gagged on food she had cooked for me.  She was just sure I could control the looks that came across my face as I ate that nasty eggplant.

Addie chose spaghetti squash and Casey seems to change her selection whenever it fits her needs. Vivi will eat the vegetables she doesn’t particularly care for so long as we do the airplane noise as we feed it to her.

For the past several years I have wanted to make butternut squash—or nutterbutt squash as we call it in this house. Although I’m not particularly fond of butternut squash, it’s a decent vegetable and it brings back fond memories of winter with my family in Utah.

I finally broke down and made a nutterbutt squash for Sunday dinner. I made Addie take a taste and after she swallowed, she was done.  She clearly didn’t like it. Vivi took a bite and then shook her head and refused anymore. I pulled out the airplane spoon and Vivi downed two full adult-sized helpings of nutterbutt squash. It was Casey’s turn next. Even though she has lectured Addie nightly about trying new things before complaining, my wife absolutely refused to try the nutterbutt squash.

Addie and I had a good long talk to Casey about trying things before we complain and setting a good example for the children. Finally, out of anger, Casey started shoveling the nutterbutt squash into her mouth. Addie told her she only had to eat one bite and Casey said, “I’m proving a point.”

Next thing I knew, Casey was making that same gag-me face after each bite of nutterbutt squash.  That’s when I knew Casey would never get mad at me for making the gag-me face again.

Photo Credit: Flickr

Read more about my family on Moosh in Indy or follow me on Twitter!

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More on Dadding:

My Crying Wife and the Sad Relief From a Missed Phone Call

Up, Up and Away: The Excitement of Watching Super Hero Movies with Addie

The Art of Hypocritical Parenting (or the Lack Thereof)

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