picky (like her mother before her)

As our daughter grows, I'm finding that there are a number of things about raising her that were never mentioned in the brochures we got during pregnancy. Sure, they talked about how challenging it would be, the sleepless nights, the countless diapers changed, the joy you get from being a parent. Yet nowhere (not even the fine print, because I checked) did they mention the ways your child would push you both physically and psychologically. The meltdowns over wrong colors, the hundreds of stickers that infest your house and show up in the strangest places, and the lengths you'll go to get your child to eat.

Olivia has been on a kick recently where all she wants to eat is cereal. We've dealt with this phenomenon before, where she had a brief romantic liaison with Cheerios that lasted until the cereal's parents picked up and moved to another town. Nowadays her love is directed at Apple Cinnamon Chex, but it is a love that has some requirements. You see, Olivia only likes the darker ones (which are heavily dusted in cinnamon) and won't give the lighter ones a second glance. I learned about this one morning when I walked into our kitchen to find my wife preparing breakfast in a peculiar way:

Me: "What are you doing with the cereal?"

Jodi: "Olivia will only eat the dark ones, so I'm separating them for her."

Me: "What? She needs to learn to eat what we give her."

Jodi: "I know, but she only picks out the dark ones and then I have to throw away a bunch of soggy cereal afterwards. This is easier."

Me: "That's just crazy. The next time she eats cereal it's all or nothing. Otherwise this will turn into a thing where she's a teenager and she'll make her friends wash off the toppings of the fast food joint hamburger that she ordered to be plain."

Jodi: "Wait, that was me."

Me: "Exactly."

Photo credit: the amazingly talented Jodi McKee

Olivia eats the bowl of darker cereal that mom made her, then asks for another bowl. I exclaim, "I got this," and pour another bowl without separating any of them. She picks out the ones she likes, says she's done, and I end up throwing a bunch of soggy cereal away. Fast forward a few more picky meals later and guess who's separating the cereal for his little girl? This guy.

Sorry, Olivia's future friends, for all the hamburgers you may end up cleaning for my daughter so she can eat some sort of meal. You win some, you lose some.