Whilst preparing dinner couple days ago my 8-year-old, Aidan, and my 6-year-old, Ty, flew into the kitchen through the side door. They were holding two plastic cups with the open ends together -- obviously guarding a precious treasure -- and were breathless with excitement. Aidan exclaimed, "Mom! Ty had the best idea for dessert in the whole wide world."
I thought that maybe the cups contained some of the many wild strawberries that grow alongside our driveway. I had visions of hulling hundreds of tiny little strawberries and throwing them in some ice cream.
With eyes shining brightly, he opened the cups, showed me the contents and said, in all seriousness, "Roasted crickets dipped in dark chocolate. I would've said milk chocolate, Mom, but I know you like dark chocolate better! I picked these ones 'cause they're big and they look good and meaty."
I hadn't seen that one coming.
I tried to take the path that would provoke the least complaining and said something along the lines of dinner being almost ready and that I just didn't have the time to prepare crickets tonight. The boys looked sad, but did what they were told and released the crickets into the yard.
As I finished up dinner prep, I silently wondered where they got the idea. I figured it was probably all those "boy and dog survive in the wild" books of which they are so fond. As I served dinner, a fried rice déja food masterpiece, Ty said, "I don't want that."
What? This was a dinner made of things he had loved the night before. I tried a couple tactics:
1. Good Cop: "Hey! This is all stuff you liked last night. How about you just try it?"
Ty: "I'm not hungry."