I’m still riffing on the ideas that came to me while reading Amber Strocel’s post on crusts.
Part one of the series is here.
Part two is here.
As I mentioned, I declared early on that my kid would not become a picky eater. He’s outgrown his crust aversion and I have managed to re-frame his dislike of tomatoes and onions as perfectly reasonable preferences (which just happen to differ from my own).
However… just the other night we were eating dinner and my ‘picky eater’ button got pushed again. I’d picked up some lovely asparagus (one of my favorite signs of spring!) and my husband had grilled it. AJ ate the top inch or so that was it. He also does this with broccoli. Eats the flowers and leaves the denuded stalk behind.
Before I started writing this series, this would make me nuts. Why doesn’t he just eat the whole darn thing? I admit when I was a kid, I preferred the stalks to the flowers of broccoli, but I ate it all. And is there really that much variation in taste from the top to the bottom of a stalk of asparagus? Seriously!
Surely such behavior was another warning signal of ‘picky eater syndrome.’
Putting this out into the blogosphere, I’m hoping that there’s at least one mom out there that can relate to my… umm… concern.
But I realize that there are likely to be far more moms who will wonder if I’ve lost my very last marble.
I imagine them saying, “The kid eats broccoli and asparagus and she’s worried that he’s a picky eater? You have got to be kidding me!”
Standards and stories
My story was that eating only the tips of the veggies was an indication that picky eating was afoot.
Remember how it goes: we observe a situation and in the next instant, create a story.
I hadn’t even realized I had such a story until I started to articulate it. And in the act of articulating it, I got enough distance to see that even if my story was one possible story, it certainly wasn’t the only story that would make sense of the observable data .
Here’s the thing. All those ideas we have about what we ‘expect,’ what is ‘normal,’ what’s acceptable and unacceptable, appropriate and inappropriate… they are all stories.
The interesting thing about our standards is that they are stories that directly affect how satisfied we are with the situation at any given moment.
Whenever you’re unhappy about a situation, you can bet that there’s some standard you’re holding that isn’t being met.
Some notion of what’s ‘right’ or ‘wrong.’ Some story about what ‘should’ or ‘shouldn’t’ be happening.
I have more to say on the subject of standards and stories, but for now here’s an invitation: the next time you find yourself feeling disgruntled, unhappy, angry, or sad, ask yourself, “What’s my story? What standards, expectations or ‘shoulds’ are at play here?” What possibilities open up as you ask this question?
I’d love to hear your stories! So please share in the comments!
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