Gig Girl Puts The “DUH!” In Dumb Parenting

by Gig Girl on October 17, 2011

Parenting magazine recently ran an article based on 7 mistakes that even smart parents make. Scanning over the list I felt pretty confident. Yes, I definitely over explain to O (the #1 mistake parents admit to – catch myself doing it ALL the time) and I’ve also acquiesced to fixing a separate meal based on my finicky kid (who hasn’t? Rock bottom on this one was the time I allowed my mom to make O a PB&Marshmallow sandwich on Thanksgiving Day. Not a typo, people – he actually had a Thanksgiving Day Fluffernutter) but, overall, I felt I had a fairly good passing grade. This must mean that Gig Girl is a “smart parent”, right? Tra la la!

Wrong!

This past Sunday I ran out to do our weekly food shopping and asked O to come. Lured by the possibility of a free sample sugar cookie from the Hannaford bakery, he agreed and off we went. As we maneuvered through the produce section, something caught his eye.

O: Cool – a red banana. Can we get one?

Gig Girl: (with a little chuckle and a teasing face) No, we’re not getting a red banana. We don’t eat red bananas, silly.

It took a few moments before what just happened began to sink in. O, my herbiphobic firstborn that I’ve already admitted to making separate meals for, the child whom has spent much of his last 8 years either violently dry heaving or outright hurling on anything put on his plate that grew in the ground or on a tree, the same kiddo for whom I’ve had to strain every bowl of my three bean chili to remove THE BEANS…actually just got excited about produce.  AND I SHOT HIM DOWN INSTANTLY.

DUMB!

Gig Girl: (attempting to recover the swiftly passing opportunity) Actually, O, you know what? The only reason we don’t eat red bananas is because we’ve never tried them before. Wanna give it a go?

Enthusiastically, he ran back, picked out a gorgeous red banana, threw it in the cart and off we went. When we got home he was excited about finding it in the bag as we put the groceries away. He wanted to eat it immediately, but I convinced him that it would make a great treat in the morning at breakfast in lieu of our usual yellow banana. On Monday morning he raced downstairs to try our red banana. I peeled it, broke off a piece, handed it to him and we popped it into our mouths simultaneously.  It was…

AWFUL!

Really awful, as in stiff-and-hard-to-chew awful. Working it to the front of our mouths, I handed him a napkin to spit the rancid bite into and we gargled with some chocolate soy milk to rid our palates of the nasty aftertaste. BLECK!

And then we laughed hysterically. When we pulled it together somewhat, we went online and looked up red bananas. We discovered that, just like their more conventional yellow brethren, red bananas may need a few days at room temperature to ripen up a bit more. Apparently, our little guy wasn’t quite ready for consumption. So this week we’ll try again – O’s already excited about it (although, I will confess, I’m really not looking forward to it – that’s how freakin’ AWFUL it was).

Despite the preemptive culinary dread, I’m grateful for the lesson. Having a hair trigger “No!” reflex just because a particular situation doesn’t fall into the “this is what we always do category” doesn’t make for smart parenting. Sure, I can get all over confident about missing some major parental blunders in a magazine article. But, sometimes it’s the small, everyday mistakes we don’t even know we’re making that can deprive us of some amazing mom moments. I need to remember to take a step back from rote parenting on the terrain I think I know so well and see the proverbial forest for the trees. When I do, I might actually find a little red banana waiting. Hopefully the axiomatic ones prove both ripe and palatable…

Do  you have any “dumb” parenting moments? Feel free to share in the comments below or send me an email at csf@thegiggirl.com. I’d love to hear from you!

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Vicki October 18, 2011 at 11:25 am

Hahaha!!! I can just see you both! I thought you were going to find out that red bananas are more for cooking with than eating fresh. I am very proud that you made the turn around on the decision to buy. So many parents don’t….Nice recovery!!

Gig Girl October 18, 2011 at 1:41 pm

Thanks Vicki! I am a parenting work in progress, that’s for sure! :)

MLH October 18, 2011 at 1:42 pm

ROFL so well written – they all are!

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