January 30, 2012

The Power of Suggestion

I find it amazing the way the mind works. It's fascinating how your brain makes certain connections that forever link the way you view things. Like how a song can instantly take you back to your senior year in high school. Or how the smell of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies can transport you home and into your mother's kitchen. I used to make decorative lamps and sell them. One crafting season, I was making a bunch of coffee themed lamps that had real coffee beans on them. I was listening to my usual work CD--Hootie and the Blowfish--while putting the lamps together. The funny thing is, the next time I listened to that CD, I smelled coffee.

Sometimes our brain is affected not by those connections, but by the power of suggestion. When I was young, I can remember sitting in the breakfast nook eating dinner (it seems contrary, doesn't it?) while my Aunt was visiting. We were eating French bread and she casually commented that she never ate the crust; she didn't like it. I suddenly realized that I didn't like crust either. To this day, I do not eat the crunchy crust on my French bread. I give it to MC because I don't like it.

Having to deal with picky kids over the years, I have honestly found myself wishing that peer pressure and the power of suggestion would work on my kids. "Everyone else is eating it, why don't you?" Sadly, my kids are selective in the areas in which they will allow themselves to be influenced. The exception to this is Bubba. (But really, isn't he the exception to everything?) It's not that he'll allow himself to be influenced more readily, but that he rarely lets anything influence him. Except when it comes to food. The kid survives on two basic food groups--cheese and tomato based foods. He won't eat tomatoes or spaghetti (It has little green things in it and I serve it over pasta. *Shudder*), but he can't get enough pizza, ketchup, tomato soup and cheese. This is the kid who invented the cheese and ketchup sandwich. I've tried it. It's gross. On the rare occasion we can get him to try something new. Our best odds for this are to let him eat in front of the TV where there's a chance he will get distracted and not pay attention to what he's putting in his mouth but, like I said, it's rare.



I believe that Bubba looks for any and all reasons to cross food off his "acceptable" list. If he can find any excuse why a food should be considered suspect, he will forever hold his tongue and refuse to eat it--even if he previously enjoyed said food. This happened with bacon. He was finally eating a meat that wasn't breaded chicken--until Howdy had to go and spoil it all. He mentioned to the other 2 minions that they were eating pig. That was it. No more bacon for Bubba. I could've gladly smacked Howdy upside the head for that one (Much in the same way I imagine my mom wanted to smack my Aunt after her French bread comment). But then I did the same thing. I had a pitcher of blue Kool Aid and offered some to Bubba as a substitute to soda. Thinking I was funny, I said, "You could just pretend you're drinking Smurfs!" He proceeded to gag--an act he has down to an art--and claimed to be so grossed out that he would never touch blue Kool Aid again.

The latest incident happened just this morning. Bubba does not like mint. He won't eat mint ice cream, mint candy, mint cookies or even candy canes. When I share my gum, he always gets left out because I chew mint gum. I have no idea how it came to be a morning topic, but it was brought to Bubba's attention that the toothpaste he's used for the last 5 or 6 years is--you got it--MINT. "What?! That's sick! Mint toothpaste? Who would do that? Yuck! I'll never use that toothpaste again!"

Are you kidding me? Now you don't want to brush your teeth? This is where I draw the line. You want to live on cheese pizza? Fine. You want to drink your tomato soup through a straw? I can accommodate that. But I refuse to let any kid of mine leave the house without brushing and I am NOT buying a different toothpaste for the kid who won't admit that mint toothpaste is more than acceptable.

I guess I should just be happy that he hasn't figured out exactly where his scrambled eggs come from.

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