Archive for December, 2010


Hang On Little Tomato

December 31, 2010

A new blog.  The eve of a New Year.

Both feel big, momentous, full of promise, stacked on the edge of a precipice, jammed with nerves about what will happen next.  Yet instead of focusing on large leaps I keep circling around this morning to thoughts of little tomatoes.  (and if you’d like audio to go with the visual, the sound track for this post is Pink Martini’s ‘Hang On Little Tomato’)  Specifically, tiny cherry or grape tomatoes that, for years, I have been silently adding to my son’s dinner plate.  It took us 4 1/2 agonizing years to get Cole’s Celiac Disease diagnosed, and in that time his body came to view any food as poison.  He was a finicky eater, devouring foods to the exclusion of all others, only to suddenly cease any interest.  In the 5 plus years since his diagnosis, his palate has expanded, but any new food is assumed to be one with hostile intent.  By extreme contrast, his little sister Eleanor is the great adventure eater.  Willing to try anything once she has asked in her pip-squeak voice ‘excuse me, but is there gluten in this?’.

Which brings us back to the tomatoes.

By the age of 3 Eleanor thought little tomatoes were bursts of great delight.  For nearly an entire year Cole refused them.  Then there were months of grumbling while he ingested only one or two.  Followed by weeks and days of begrudgingly accepting as many little tomatoes as he is years old.  Yet in the last few months the tomatoes and Cole have reached a truce, maybe even a tentative friendship.  I now blithely pile 10, 12 even 13 little tomatoes on his plate.  I have stopped holding my breath waiting for the ‘MMMOOOOOommmm, I am only 9!  There should be only 9 tomatoes’.

Little Tomatoes, large leap.

Sometimes in parenting it is hard to read the playing field.  (now there’s an understatement, at least at my house).  Which parenting tool should I pull from my tool box?  Will it work?  If it works today, does it burn bridges for working again in the future?  For the little tomatoes, quiet persistence was the tool.  Seeing that the goal wasn’t a tomato today, but loving tomatoes when you are 26.  While Cole isn’t actually asking for tomatoes, I feel like we are on the way.  Will he love tomatoes when he is 26?  I don’t know.  But I’ll keep you posted.


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