Cycle 4 – Item 314
15 (Fri) November 2013
Yakiudon with Shrimp & Shiitake
-Oksu, Seongdong, Seoul, Republic of Korea-
with the Family, Nanny 2
At 19 months, IZ already insists on feeding himself. He’ll actually slap away any spoonful of food offered to him. Since he was never taught to go it alone, quite the opposite, no shortage of caregivers scrabbling to serve the little prince at every meal, the stubborn insistence on self-nourishment must be nature rather than nurture.
He doesn’t get it from his mother. W relies on others for everything, especially her own mother. One of my favorite jibes: “When suckling from your mother’s breasts, do you prefer the right or the left teat?” A followup: “If your brother is around, do you guys take turns or go simultaneously, one on each side.
I’d always believed my DIY mentality to be a product of upbringing, but now I’m beginning to think that it’s an innate character trait. Instead of being forced as a child into learning how to make snacks for myself after school because my mom was at work, I may have done so anyway, even if she had been around. My interest in cooking, in other words, probably derives from a desire for independence, the freedom to prepare and eat whatever and whenever I want, rather than depend on someone else to make something for me at their discretion.
DJ, by the way, takes after mommy. They have a pact that she’ll wipe his ass – literally, after he poos, she’ll clean his butt with toilet paper – until he goes off to college – I swear, I’m not making that up.
Anyway, because IZ still lacks the dexterity to manipulate utensils, he prefers things amenable to digital purchase, like chicken wings or babyback ribs or pasta or noodles. That’s what tonight’s meal was about. That’s what all the meals this week have been about, attempts to kickstart IZ’s appetite, stalled for the first time in his life from an extended bout of the flu. Scary to see a kid, whose favorite activity is to eat, not eat.
(See also GLOBAL FOOD GLOSSARY)