Youngest had her first play date a few weeks ago after school.
As I had with her sisters before, I went over the list of proper behavior if one wishes to be invited for another visit. Simple things like not jumping on the furniture, using good manners, etc. I told her that only quiet, well behaved children get invited back. She said she understood, so I left her for the roughly hour and a half for which she had been invited.
When I went to get her, all was quiet in the house, so I was feeling pretty hopeful that it went well. Then the mom said to me, “I understand you don’t eat processed food.” She was smiling, but I wanted to run out to my car and drive off. Instead I told her that we do eat some processed food, but for the most part have eliminated it from our diets. Then I asked what happened.
Apparently, the mom had prepared dinner for the family and Youngest informed her that she couldn’t eat the macaroni and cheese because it was processed. I wanted to kick myself for having neglected to tell Youngest that no matter what they serve you to eat, you eat it, smile and say thank you when you’re done rule.
Fortunately, the mom wasn’t offended and there are already more play dates on the calendar. The incident did get me to thinking about some of the times I had to follow the eat no matter what they serve you rule.
One time, when I was in about the fifth-grade, I stayed with a fairly new friend for the first time. Her mom served brussels sprouts. I loathe brussels sprouts. Knowing my mother would kill me if she found out that I hadn’t been polite, and also knowing that she most assuredly would find out, I choked those sprouts down and thanked the mother for dinner. Seriously, though, who cooks vegetables for dinner when friends are over?