Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cruel and Unusual Pizza

If you want to torture our son, there's an easy way to do it...

... just stick a slice of pizza on his tray. I prefer pepperoni, but you can put any topping on it you like. It really does not matter to him. The pizza itself drives him batty. Just place it down, and watch him yell.

"No pizza!"

Of course, if you're like me (and probably like most Americans), you hate seeing an entire piece of pizza go to waste just to watch a two-year-old scream as if his stuffed bear came alive and chewed on his foot. Fortunately, all you need is just a little bit of cheese and crust for the desired effect, nothing larger than a dime. Just sneak it into Kyle's regular food, and wait for the magic to happen:

"More puffs please"
*crunch* *crunch* *munch* *munch*

And then there's this:

Yes, this is my son, my own flesh and blood, digging his face into his stroller as he refuses an ice cream cone. On a hot day, too. In this instance, he's refusing the most basic of ice cream flavors, soft-serve chocolate and vanilla, but, as it is with pizza, flavors don't matter. With the same kind of intensity he has refused chocolate peanut butter, cappuccino chunk, apple pie a la mode and squiddy-licious. Some of these flavors, like chocolate and peanut butter, are things he enjoys often, but hates in ice cream form. While other kids scream for ice cream, Kyle screams against it. He calls it by name, shouting, "NO ICE CREAM!," so we know he's not just confused and thinking we're trying to give him broccoli or anchovies (we'll save those for the pizza).

Not too long ago, during a walk outside, I tried forcing ice cream on him. Kyle was in his stroller, and I pushed my cone into his face, thinking that maybe, just maybe, I would get some on his lips and the taste of it would suddenly make him sing with joy, proclaiming that he does like ice cream. But I was wrong. Instead, with ice cream smeared on his lips and nose, Kyle let off a horrific cry, his face turning purple as he pushed all the air out of his lungs and commanded everyone - even from blocks away - to turn around and stare at us. What they saw was a grown man, leaning into a stroller with his fist by his child's face (the ice cream cone in it wouldn't be visible). They might have thought I was giving him a noogie, or doing something worse. Considering the intensity of Kyle's cries, over ice cream!, I'm surprised a cop didn't try to break it up by tackling me.

Something might be seriously wrong with our child. As I mentioned before, Kyle has been a difficult eater for quite some time. His doctor has said the pickiness will get worse before it gets better. Yet even he was shocked during our last appointment, when I revealed that my son refuses ice cream. After scribbling something down in his notepad, the doctor suggested that we take him to a shrink.

No pizza. No ice cream. Two of my all-time favorite foods. Jennifer loves them, too. So, how come Kyle won't even touch them? Is he really our kid? Makes you wonder. He still loves doughnuts and cookies, so I'm thinking we might just be dealing with some sort of food texture issue. That doesn't mean our kid's not a freak.

So I'm going to keep trying these foods, in part because, truth be told, I get a kick out of his reaction. Is that wrong? Am I really torturing the kid for my own fun? I guess that all depends on what your definition of "torture" is. Let's just say it's a good thing Kyle is too young to know any good national security secrets. The bad guy armed with a Meat Lovers and a carton of Ben & Jerry's would have him crying like a baby.

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