Our youngest has often been a "problem child" when it comes to food. When I met Furry he was 6, and frankly, had no interest in anything other than chicken nuggets and frozen pizza. If Furry and I were never going to be compatible in our relationship, our children's attitude to food was going to be the primary cause of any disaster.
We have always, from the very beginning, always talked about OUR kids. We went into therapy very early on, knowing we basically had one chance at "blending" our families. It's not the sort of thing that if you bugger it up, you can turn around and say "oops.. sorry about that, we'll try again next week"
So it's always been OUR kids, never YOURS or MINE.. except in the food department. My kids grew up with Kalamata olives as a treat for being good, with a food obsessive as a mother, with rarely a meal cooked from anything but fresh ingredients (which was more about me being a single mum at full time Uni, rather than any SOLE notions, BTW!). My kids were restaurant-savvy by 5.
Furry's kids had table manners that left MUCH to be desired, thought chicken came in little squares from a Black and Gold box, and refused to believe that Cos was lettuce "cos it doesn't look like it". Without a word of a lie, the first time I served a whole roast chicken, the food was first sniffed and then rejected, as it "didn't look like chicken".
Jump forward 6 years, and we'll bypass the tears and the tantrums and the threats (mostly thrown by me), to last weekend. When OUR youngest declared that he wanted Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls for lunch.
AND WANTED TO COOK THEM.
Firstly, we got out the rice paper, and prepared it to soak.
Then we steamed and sliced the chicken. Daddy did all the vegetable prep on the mandolin. As chuffed as I was that Master 12.5 wanted to cook, the thought of sending him home to his mother sans a couple of fingers, was more than I could bear.
Little 12.5 y/o fingers get ready to rock and rice paper roll!!
Furry father fingers give a hand
And voila! the finished product. Served with either sweet chilli dipping sauce or a light soy, rice vinegar and lime juice dipping sauce.
While Maccas and hot chips still feature heavily for Master 12.5 as his preferred fave food, I can now proudly say he has been to Yum Cha with me, has cooked pizza from scratch with me, asked for a chicken Makhani curry from me, has rejected Kraft Singles in favour of marinated Fetta, likes to order roti Channai at Nudel Bar and now has mastered his own "sig dish"
He still gets grossed out when I eat chicken's feet, but does like to tell his mates that he's REALLY seen his Evil Step-Mum eat them ("It's like, totally gross, dude. She hold's 'em in her chopsticks and waves them at me, shouting "It's the CRAW!!")
The tunnel has been VERY long, and VERY dark, but there definitely light ahead.
Oh, and as a side note, when his 16y/o sister said she didn't want any, I have to admit I felt quite vindicated when Master 12.5 looked crestfallen and said quietly "... but I made them myself......"