Watching. No, scratch that. Participating in the scene at our dinner table last night I was suddenly transported back in time at least 35 years. Honestly I don't know how old I was when it happened, I just remember it clearly. Like it was yesterday.
And it wasn't pretty.
There I sat, all those years ago, at our dinner table. I can not only picture the scene, but also feel it - if that is at all possible. I can still feel the intense frown upon my face. I think I started with my cheeks in my hands, elbows on the table. I was staring down at them, not sure what I was going to do. My mother had given me the ultimatum. You WILL sit there until those peas are gone.
Now, I don't quite understand my childhood aversion to them. Now peas are delicious to me. I can finish off a bowl of them, if they are fresh. Actually, I realize that this might have been the issue. Freshness I mean. Over the years my wonderful mother has turned into a fabulous cook, but back then? Back then all our green vegetables were a slimy, tasteless mush. And I couldn't. WOULDN'T eat them.
It was my older sister who came up with the brilliant idea. At least it was better than any that I could come up with at the time. "Just stick them in your mouth and wash them down with milk" she chided me. "You can do it!"
Well, something had to happen. So I held my breath and did just that. I shoved the whole serving of mushy peas into my mouth in several spoonfuls, grabbed my glass of milk and took a huge gulp. Unfortunately, I hadn't thought through my next steps.
That's because I hadn't chewed any on them. So, there I sat with my mouth bulging at the seams with a slush of milk and slimy peas. Not sure what to do next, and unwilling to chew them I sat there for what seemed like an eternity. In truth it must have been no more than 10 or 15 seconds. With several sets of eyes fixed upon me, waiting to see what would happen.
Then, in an instant, the 1970's air was filled with a spray of milky, mushy peas projecting forth across the room. Oh yes, all these years later I can still picture it clearly. Thankfully, after cleaning up the mess, I was excused. I didn't have to eat any peas that night. And not for years afterwards either.
Fast forward to last night. "Three bites, Lukas" Mrs. LIAYF told him. "You have to eat three bites of kale, before you leave the table. Only then can watch a video." He scrunched up his nose as I held out the fork with the first bite of of the stringy green leaf. I'm not sure why, as it was fresh and actually good. He then made a face as he started chewing it and stuck up his hand to spit it into.
"No, buddy. Just chew it quickly and swallow it. It's not so bad." And then I threw in the kicker. "Here, take a drink of milk with it. It will help."
It was at the point he had the cup to his mouth that I flashed back all those years, to my peas incident. Oh, no! I held my breath, not unlike all those years ago. Would the kale come rocketing from his mouth right back at me?
Thankfully no. He actually had the fortitude to finish off all three of those bites, despite not liking them. I was duly impressed.
And with that, he got his video. But not a lasting memory.