6:03 p.m. - 2006-12-12

The waiter arrived at out table and began setting the plates down.

"Mac and cheese, side of steamed broccoli, and a chicken Ceasar Salad?"

I raised my hand and smiled. "Those are ours. Thanks."

He set the other plates in front of my friend and her little boy. "Corn Dog, side of french fries, mac and cheese, and an appetizer sampler?"

"Yes. Thank you," she said.

I settled Ali in her high chair, and started cutting up the biggest florets for her.

"You don't mean to tell me that she's actually going to eat that, do you?"

"Uh, yeah? She loves it."

C. looked at me skeptically and picked up a piece of Ali's broccoli for herself. "Mmm. That's really good."
She watched as I fed Ali a few bites of vegetables followed by one of the macaroni. I'd much rather she get full on the stuff that actually has some nutritional value.

"I can NOT believe that she's eating that." She looked over at her son, J., who was busy munching on his fried corn dog. "He won't touch a vegetable. Never has."

I wasn't exactly sure how to reply. I mean, I know that a lot of kids don't like vegetables, for whatever reason. I've known J. since he was Ali's age, and I know that a typical dinner for him is either a corn dog, fish sticks, chicken nuggets, or a pop tart. My sister's kids are the same way. Hell, Ali may decide to protest about veggies tomorrow, but I know that I'd figure out a way to sneak them in. But for now, she's only 14 months old and I have control over what foods she's exposed to. Thankfully, she loves the things that ARE good for her, like fruits vegetables, and will barely touch sugary cookies and stuff. (Not that my mother and grandmother don't do their best to ply her with them.)

Tonight I sat down with a plate of collard greens (courtesy of my grandmother) and even though Ali had already eaten spaghetti, she ate about 1/4 of my greens. I was pretty shocked about that one, actually, because collards don't strike me as something that would be particularly appealing to a little kid's palate. Shows how much I know. In any case, I'm going to just be grateful that I don't have a picky eater on my hands and keep feeding her the things I want her to eat, as long as she'll eat them.

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I am: so very many things. A mother, a wife, a dreamer, a lover of animals and babies, a friend. I've been called a bitch, but if that's what you call someone who stands up for what they believe in and refuses to settle, then I guess the title fits.

loves: my family, horses, a full night's sleep, puppy breath, my daughter's laughter, thunderstorms, bubble baths, makeup, soft sheets, David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs, wine, massages, the written word, and sour straws.

dislikes: closed minds, depression, pimples, extreme heat, math, panic attacks, black licorice, doing laundry, white chocolate, gin, Bush.