08 May 2008

E eats everything

Actually, we ended up having Brussels sprouts last night rather than asparagus. It really doesn't matter because the spouse hates them both.

(But chicken and gravy and potatoes? All over that.)

The spouse firmly believes that fish and most vegetables do not exist. They are a product of a left wing, or right wing--whichever wing is out of favor that day--conspiracy. And the fact that I make him eat them makes me part of the conspiracy.

The spouse grew up in a household with a German mother who wouldn't eat fish, and a father who wouldn't eat most things, including vegetables. His oldest brother eats anything that can't run away, his middle brother uses food as a weapon of terror, and the spouse is forced to eat anything I put in front him, or he doesn't get dessert.

Yes, this is the way I treat my Ph.D. husband. The science world may bow to his superior knowledge on all things structurally geologic, he may be internationally known in his field of study, but I make him eat broccoli. And salmon. And cauliflower. And halibut.

And Brussels sprouts.

The kids, naturally, find this hilarious. Because they eat everything except sauerkraut.

As I was orchestrating the gravy, and watching to make sure the cat didn't launch himself at the chicken, the water boiled away a little too fast in the vegetable pan. A few of the baby sprouts each ended up with a slightly browned leaf. I took most of them, but two landed on the spouse's plate.

Where they stayed.

"Eat your vegetables," I told him sternly, "or you don't get any ice cream."

"They're burned," he scowled.

"They are not."

"They are."

And the two offending little sprouts were tossed into the sink.

"Look, you," I told him. "You do not get a pass on the Brussels sprouts."

And I brandished two more from the pan.

"Noooooooo!" he wailed. "I ate a lot."

"There is no Brussels sprouts amnesty. You WILL eat your vegetables."

"Milton!" the daughter shouted.

The cat emerged from the sink with something in his mouth. Afraid it might be a chicken bone, I gave chase, and he galloped down the hall and shot under my bed. When I looked, he was licking his chops in a very self-satisfied way.

I went back out to the kitchen, where the Brussels sprouts debate was still raging, and the cat crept out behind me, on stealthy little cat feet, quietly advancing on the delectable tidbit he'd dropped on the dining room rug during his flight. Daintily holding his Brussels sprout between his paws, he delicately pulled off the leaves, eating them with every appearance of great enjoyment.

"See, Dad," the son said sardonically, "even the cat will eat Brussels sprouts."

The spouse just glared, while Milton commenced bathing himself, as any cat does after an excellent meal.

Go listen to some music: "E Eats Everything" from the album Here Come the ABCs by They Might Be Giants.

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