The thought of an international event in which our family learns from someone else and they learn from us sounded fabulous. Language and culture and lifestyle and food experiments without even leaving our own home? Sign us up!It hasn’t quite happened that way.
In the first week Rosí and I had a few intense discussions about poverty and universities and family and priorities and feminism and cancer. And we watched each other in horror as one of us ate egg and ketchup sandwiches and the other faked burgers out of cauliflower and lentils. We squirmed under the new living arrangement, both of us used to living with another adult and two children, and now juxtaposed in a space with four voices to contend with rather than three.
Then we settled a bit. We agreed to disagree. We found a way to respect each other and allow idiosyncracies to go unremarked.
But now I’m totally winning.
When she ran out of white bread, I bought her whole wheat. And she hated it. But a month later Spouse did the same thing. And she ate it. And now she’s having grilled cheese on bread labeled “sprouted multi-grain” the first ingredient of which is “organic high protein sprouted wheat berries.”
Yesterday she laughed until tears came out of her eyes when Spouse asked her if she’d every tried making mashed potatoes with the skin still on. She’s told me often that her favorite mashed potatoes are those Mamí makes from the box. But today, she mashed her potatoes with the skins still on the potato.
The nuanced point that Spouse has gotten her to change her ways on both these carbohydrate fronts is not lost on me. But I will pretend I’m at least partially responsible, because I got the girl to eat a salad.
No, seriously. King me. I totally win.
Our visitor told me a story about how every year for Christmas her mother makes herself a salad. The rest of the year she knows none of the house’s residents will eat greenery. Of any type. Last night, Rosí ate half of the salad I put in front of her. Baby lettuces and raw spinach and Italian dressing. Ate it. Without gagging or laughing or rolling her eyes.
My dear readers, our teenager is now my favorite kid. Because she’s the only one doing what Spouse tells her to do. Mostly Spouse. But also kind of me.
I did it! I did it! I made a whole international exchange of cultures about forcing fiber into another person! Yay me!