Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The special sauce

Our son is obsessed with apple sauce.

It all began a few months ago, at dinner time, while Kyle was quietly throwing his entire meal onto the floor. I pulled out a carton of apple sauce and asked him whether he'd like to try it. As it was, the little guy was already a fan of apples. Every time I try to eat an apple, Kyle grabs it from me. He likes the feel of the skin and how it glistens in the sun as it flies through the air. When I gave him some apple sauce and told him what it was, Kyle smiled and exclaimed, "AP-bul DAW!" It was love at first sight.

Now Kyle says "apple sauce" everywhere. As he plays with his toys, we often hear him repeat, "AP-bul daw. AP-bul daw. AP-bul daw." When we go traveling, he sits in the back seat and says, "AP-bul daw. AP-bul daw. AP-bul daw." Sometimes I even hear him over the baby monitor, repeating "AP-bul daw" as he tries to fall asleep. When he wakes up, instead of "Mommy" or "Daddy," we just hear "AP-bul daw. AP-bul daw. AP-bul daw." I often wonder if this is a healthy obsession.

Of course, Kyle's new love affair really is no big surprise. I was a big fan of apple sauce when I grew up, and I still enjoy eating it. Jennifer loves apple sauce, too. It has always been a treat in our family, as my grandmother used to make her own homemade sauce, and Jennifer's great-great-great-grandfather once used apple sauce to kill a grizzly. I know we are not alone, too. Most kids grow up eating and loving it, and around the world it is a favorite accompaniment to many fine dishes. Of course, we all know that apple sauce has a prominent spot in our global history as well, playing a key role in several pivotal moments...

Roosevelt: "We need your help to beat the Axis Powers."
Stalin: "Ha! The Soviet Union will never be allied with the United States."
Roosevelt: "Oh really? Well, maybe this will change your mind."
Stalin: "What? Is that apple sauce?"
Roosevelt: "I'm not saying it is, but I'm not saying it isn't."
Stalin (after a few slurps): "I think we might be able to work out an arrangement, after all."

But Kyle's love does not end with apple sauce. Over the past month or so, he has developed even more sauce names, which he also repeats often. His three favorites are "cookie sauce," "hockey sauce," and "happy sauce." Jennifer loves happy sauce the best, and I agree with her. Life could certainly use a little more happy sauce. Too much stress in your life? Have some happy sauce! Down because your favorite team can't win games? Have some happy sauce! Need peace in the Middle East? Feed them all happy sauce! Tired of gridlock in Washington? Well, I don't think there's anything that can help with that one. Still, in most cases, happy sauce would make the world a better place if it actually existed. The same goes for cookie sauce. Hockey sauce, on the other hand, might cause you to lose your teeth.

There is one thing that's a bit odd about this obsession, though: for all of Kyle's yammering about apple sauce and its sister sauces, the kid has yet to eat much of it. He enjoys saying it, he enjoys looking at it, and he enjoys dipping a spoon into it and splattering it on his tray. Yet, if apple sauce ends up on his hands, he will implore me to wash them. If even the slightest bit touches his tongue, he wrinkles his face in disgust, as if he had just heard Bob Dylan sing a Christmas song. If left alone, Kyle would quickly propel the container of sauce onto the floor with the rest of his food... before going into yet another cheerful chorus of "AP-bul daw." I guess you could call it a love-hate relationship. I'm sure, in time, Kyle will learn to love eating apple sauce, like every other kid in the world. Until then, it's going to require a little more persistence from me... and perhaps a small dose of happy sauce.

No comments: