I’m gonna go out on a crazy limb by saying time management can be tough with children.
Everything you do suddenly involves additional complications, like kids who constantly lose their shoes and move REALLY SLOW.
Kids are also unbelievably messy. What used to be, say, quick Chinese take-out now involves long periods of post-meal rice grain patrol. Because toddlers are tiny bombs exploding your house 30+ times a day.
And it probably gets even harder once after-school activities and school projects enter the picture. I don’t want to even think about that yet, though. My husband and I are still scrambling to master the whole toddlering deal.
Like lately, ever since we started biking every evening. It’s been awesome for everyone, but throwing our schedule for a loop. Last week, for example, we ran out of food and had to choose between getting to the grocery store and going for a ride.
We chose the ride and stopped at Taco Bell on the way home. I felt awful about it, because feeding my kids properly is an ongoing goal. They deserve a home-cooked meal at a proper family table, not some dollar burritos at some fast-food joint. The kids, on the other hand…
My four-year-old talked about it all the way home.
But that wasn’t all.
The next night, after an hour-long ride, we were returning home when we passed by Taco Bell. My two-year-old, Bridget, who was riding in her seat between my handlebars, suddenly got excited and started waving her arms in mad baby panic, screaming:
“TACOS! TACOS! EAT! PLEASE MAMA, EAT TACOS!”
I was taken aback, because Bridget is the kid who never talks. So this taco-eating thing was clearly important to her.
Actually, when your kids finally start talking, it’s a little startling. Other people are USED to the idea that people talk, but parents…
Well, you’ve been taking care of this little being who’s only been grunting or crying for well over a year, so when they start using words out of nowhere… it’s a little like your cat walking up to you one day and giving you a bunch of opinions.
I told Bidgie we were going home to eat dinner, but she seemed so disappointed that I promised we’d eat at Taco Bell the very next day. We didn’t have proper dinner plans anyway, flying, as we were, by the seat of our pants in this newfound cycling madness.
And the next evening, when we passed by Taco Bell, Bidgie asked me “Tacos?” and was thrilled when I gave her the nod. We went inside to order and the kids ran up to the same table we ate at days earlier. It was OUR table now.
That’s when John noticed the Diablo sauce.
Maybe it’s a testament to our lack of Taco Bell familiarity, but we’d thought Fire sauce was the hottest you could get. Maybe they’ve had these options for years, but John’s been grabbing Fire sauce for me when picking up Taco Bell for ages.
This Diablo sauce was a revelation. He grabbed a handful of packets for me to try.
At this point, it’s worth noting that I’ve already devoted an entire post to Bridget’s spice tolerance.
I, too, love hot food. But at HER age, I couldn’t even handle cinnamon-flavored gum. So I don’t know where this kid gets it, but she once ate an entire packet of red peppers from a pizza takeout joint out of nothing but sheer sisterly spite.
We were all eating our food. I was enjoying a Mexican pizza doused in ample Diablo sauce when Bidgie started getting curious. She pointed to the sauce and began insisting, “Too! Too!”
I squirted out some Diablo sauce next to her food. I didn’t want it ON her food, in case she hated it and we ended having to throw everything away.
She dipped her spork tines into Diablo sauce and tasted it. Then she made this face:
I initially interpreted that face as “Wtf have I done?”
But I was wrong, because after a moment, she dipped her spork tines in again then tasted it.
And she started dipping quicker, almost with compulsion. She dipped faster and faster as we stared in amazement, occasionally grabbing a napkin to wipe her flooding nose.
She just kept sporking that Diablo sauce, nearly blurring into a frenzy while abandoning her food like yesterday’s news. Given Bidgie’s amazing appetite, this was an impressive turn of events.
Finally, she cut through the middleman by tearing open Diablo packets and drinking them straight. She finished whatever packets were left on the table before taking a huge swig of apple juice and letting out an enormous sigh.
Then we got back on the bikes and from between the handlebars, she baby-farted in my face the entire ride home. But she suffered no apparent ill effects other than that.
I have no idea what to make of this. I’ve never heard of two-year-olds liking spice so much. I was always under the impression that kids have more sensitive tastebuds, that they like blander foods because they taste them so hard…
Well, not MY kid. She takes a hit of hot sauce then stares blankly into space before hitting it again. I assume she’s talking to her Spirit Wolf during the intervals.
I’m thinking maybe Bridget’s a natural thrill seeker. Maybe normal food just isn’t enough anymore. If she’s pounding hot sauce at age 2, maybe she’ll be climbing mountains and snorting moon rocks by 18.
In the meantime, I’m not sure whether to discourage these spicy experiments or see where they’ll finally top out. I’m tempted to cover something in Sriracha sauce and see if she likes it.
The funny thing is, big sister Brontë completely FREAKS at the faintest hint of spice. It just goes to show how every kid is different, even when they grow up in the same house.
Does anyone else know of a kid liking spice this much? I may have the next pepper-eating champion on my hands.