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Afton doesn't like beans. (Fresh green beans are fine, but not baked beans, black beans, etc). One night dinner was a taco wrap deal--a tortilla filled with a meaty-tomatoey-beany filling and cheese. For the first few bites, Afton seemed to be enjoying her meal. Then without warning, she jerked, shuddered and made the I-just-tasted-the-nastiest-thing-ever face. Then declared with utter dismay and horror, "Something tasted like a bean!!"
* * *
Afton doesn't like mushrooms. One night dinner was a pasta-veggie deal, which included mushrooms. She was dramatically lamenting their presence all through dinner, avoiding them as she ate. At one point she pointed one out to Emma with her fork, and asked, "Do you think that's a mushroom?" Emma (who likes to tease as much as any good-natured Cruze) answered, "No, I think it's just a mushroom-shaped piece of pasta." Afton nodded with approval, and popped it in her mouth. One chew later, she gagged a little and announced, "It was a mushroom!"
* * *
Background: since the dawn of time, always and forever, the rule at our house is if you don't finish your dinner you don't get treats or snacks the rest of the night. More often than not, Afton eats the portions of dinner that she likes, takes one thank-you bite of the food she doesn't like, then calls it a night and declares herself done. No problem, I'm not going to force feed her. And since this has been the pattern for years, she knows that means no treats or snacks later and she's cool with that. If she's hungry later, I offer her the food we had for dinner, or frozen peas. She actually likes frozen peas, and since it's a straight up green vegetable I'm okay with her eating as much as she wants regardless of dinner-status.
So last week, there was a dinner she didn't like much so she didn't finish it. No biggie. But this day I had made blonde brownies, and we were all preparing to enjoy them after cleaning up dinner. She started asking if she could please, please, please just have one little brownie. I'm no pushover, so the easy answer was no way, you already know the answer to that question.
Afton: *dramatic sigh* Well can I at least have a little snack?
Me: You can have frozen peas.
Afton (tears filling eyes looking up at me pleadingly)
Me (sitting down to talk to her about all this): Listen honey, why is this upsetting you so much tonight? You've never been allowed to have a treat if you don't finish dinner, this is nothing new. You know the rules, and you chose not to finish dinner.
Afton (squeaky little voice): It's just that I'm imagining everyone having a great time with their brownies, and I just have peas.
Happy ending: she ended up deciding to finish her dinner after all so she could join in the boisterous brownie-party.