M1 and I went grocery shopping today. I have discovered I have to do this from time to time or my children whine about the lack of food and I gain weight from all the eating out. It's bizarre.
I have a specific route I take through the grocery store, and I've mentally threatened bodily harm to the manager several times when he moves things around. He hasn't done that for a while, though, ever since the remodel has finished, so we're at peace again. I'm sure he'd be grateful.
M1 and I often spend quite a while in the produce department, partly because I insist we eat healthfully and partly because the kids actually enjoy looking at all the fruits and veggies and picking out what they want. Today M1 bargained for acorn squash instead of green beans and successfully made a case for his own personal clamshell of alfalfa sprouts. What's a mom to do? I put the alfalfa sprouts in the cart, bagged up some squash, grabbed the other veggies that actually were on the list, and moved on.
We rounded the corner to the processed meat/deli/butcher/dairy aisle, and I picked up some fish, chicken, coffee creamer (damn you, Christy), and eggs.
Another corner, and we had to swing by some of the frozen foods on our way into the bread aisle. M1 spied a veggie pot pie on the top shelf of the freezer.
"MOM! Can I have the pot pie?"
The boy does love his pot pies, and this particular one happened to be made primarily with organic ingredients.
"Well... it doesn't have meat in it. Is that okay?"
"Yes. I like vegetables. In fact, I'm going to be a vegetarian."
I almost stroked out on the floor of the grocery store with a vegetable pot pie in my hand.
"You're going to what?"
"That's why I got alfalfa sprouts, and that's why I want this pot pie. And can I have this eggplant parmesan, too?"
I recovered from my stroke, let him get the eggplant meal, and had to resist the violent urge to giggle. Then I marshalled my forces and tried to see how easily he'd break. I started with the big gun.
"You do realize that you won't get to have bacon or sausage if you're a vegetarian, right?"
He and Oz are what the children have termed 'bacon monsters.' Have bacon, will devour. They drool over images of bacon-wrapped anything. We made it halfway down the bread aisle before he was able to respond.
"Well...... *pause*...... breakfast meats are okay."
I smelled triumph in the air.
"No, they're not. If you're going to be a vegetarian, your main proteins will be beans, cheeses, and maybe the occasional fake meat or tofu... and you know Daddy hates tofu and Mommy isn't good at fixing it."
*Another pause as we finished up in the bread aisle and made a beeline through the snack aisle. Snack aisles are dangerous. As it was, we managed to get sour cream & onion Lay's and French onion dip in the cart. I swear I didn't put them there.*
"That's ok. I think I really will be a vegetarian."
That answer seriously surprised me, and I realized that even though I had started with the big guns, I really didn't have a lot of ammo. I fired another round.
"Alllll righty then... that's fine by me, but you *will* eat the dinners I have planned for this week already, especially since you helped pick them last night."
"OK, but then I'll start and be a real vegetarian. Can we get some stuff so I can at least have vegetarian lunches?"
I only had one shot left in the reserves, and it was a weak one, designed more for breaking down crumbling defenses than doing damage to solid ones.
"All right, but you might have a hard time at restaurants, you know."
"No, I won't. Most places have grilled cheese or macaroni and cheese, and there's no meat in those, and I like that stuff anyway."
I waved the white flag. We picked out some soups like tomato and minestrone made with vegetable broth, some Indian dishes, and a few other options for him to have for lunches. I made sure there would be proteins and mumbled things to myself about calling my friend Sonia, who has been a vegetarian for years and whose 7-year-old daughter is also a vegetarian, for recipes and tips if he sticks with this. I asked him if he had a reason for wanting to become a vegetarian, and he said no, that he just wanted to be one.
I'm not sure how well this will work out, especially in the long run and doubly so because he's a boy with two hollow legs. For lunch he ate a noodle bowl, salad with some of his alfalfa sprouts, a fruit cup of mandarin oranges, and yogurt. I'm going to fix the kids smoothies (vanilla yogurt, bananas, mango, and strawberries) for snack, and I think we're going to take Veggie Boy to a barbecue joint for dinner.
I think that's an appropriate place to break the news to Oz, don't you?