It is exciting to discover what complimentary interests you have with your children. For example, I love to bake and Manny loves to eat what I bake. This is no surprise - what kid doesn't like cookies and muffins and pies? But it still feels great to see his approval and satisfaction and in a few weeks when the girls can eat egg whites and honey, I can't wait to have three appreciative tummies to fill with warmth and sweetness (after they eat all their "growing food" as their godmother says).
We also love going to the bakery together and it has become our tradition to take Manny on Saturday mornings to Macrina while Rona hangs with Glory and Elena at home. I really look forward to this outing. For one thing, it marks the end of another week and I still feel a sense of accomplishment about that. And then, of course, there is the Orange Hazelnut Pinwheel, a marvelous pastry that I would love to savor.
Except it is impossible to savor anything at the bakery with Manny. Manny eats like a dog. He vacuums up food so fast that you wonder if he bothered to stop and chew. His typical order is a scone. Yesterday it was blueberry. At the start, all he cares about is his own pastry. He does not allow anyone else to taste the smallest crumb from his plate. This is usually when I regret having given him the whole thing at once, because the scones are large.
Then I get over my amazement and choking concerns and settle in to take my first bite of pinwheel. Manny somehow manages to notice this amidst the flurry of crumbs falling from his lips and emits a grunt that sounds something like an emphatic "THAT". And while I am re-establishing the bakery bartering system, Manny continues to eat scone and starts to negotiate with Sam over his Nutella Brioche as well. While Manny's working Sam, I steal chunks of scone and eat them Manny style to try and reduce Manny's sugar and fat intake. Sam, not one to rush food, eats small bites here and there and by the end of the whole charade, has eaten maybe 1/4 of what Manny managed to shove down his snack hole (thank you McDonalds advertisers for that disgusting and catchy phrase).
I, on the hand, have eaten plenty, but tasted or enjoyed little. The last bite is gone and I wish we could start all over again, because it is all so delicious and it went by so fast. I can only imagine the frantic flurry of food and fun it will be when the girls join us at the bakery table. I can't wait.
For dinner, I made this dish called Israeli Couscous with Tofu and Vegetables that we are really digging. I served Manny and he sat there for a couple minutes and stared at the food (probably still full from the bakery). Finally, he said, "where'd the meat go?" This is where he and Sam's passions align. In the end, Manny ate his dinner and I'm sure the meat will make an appearance soon.