Thursday, July 01, 2010

Feeding a Bheblu Babu

... requires no less ingenuity than feeding a Bhablet, I find. In between that post and this there were a couple of years when the boy gobbled up everything you put in front of him (more or less) and yelped for more and had things like raw fruits and curds every day. As he grows older and more articulate he has more opinions on what he will and will not have. Peas, for instance. So mealtimes now resemble one of those workshopping sessions all management types will recognise. Where thinking 'out of the box' is mandatory.

Those of you who know and love Calvin and Hobbes will see what's coming. Those of you who don't, will get the picture from this strip.

So one day, when the mother-in-law lovingly brought some pasta over for her ungrateful grandson, I only got him to eat some by promising him that it was in fact 'pasta poka' (pasta insects). Little grubs that had been cooked with vegetables in white sauce. And then the child gobbled them up.

My mother got him to try Chicken a la Kiev at Mocambo this January by telling him that those big, round things were 'ghoNra'r dim' (horse's egg, a nonsense word in Bengali). And, of course, he gobbled his up. She has also fed him sundry other things under the generic name of 'beral'er boo' (I have no idea what that means) -- so he associates good food with 'beral'er boo'.

In Madras two weekends ago Baba took us to lunch at Mainland China, where M Bhabbles refused to touch anything. Until I showed him the little bits of 'cheese' (tofu) that were swimming in my soup and trying to escape from him. I even had to do tiny voices crying out in fear as the Bhabzilla slurped the soup to trap them in the spoon and then gobbled them up. Sometimes, he needed a bit of spinach or some corn to help catch them.

Two nights ago I made three-layer parathas with masur dal cooked with paaNch phoron and onions. He came into the kitchen, asked what I was cooking and instantly announced that he wouldn't have any.

Eventually, he consented to have some 'boltapoka'r dal' (lentils with wasp) -- the white bits that floated in the dal were the wasp wings and bodies, while the paaNch phoron was actually the eyes.

These days, I read Calvin with a bit of a shudder.


dipali said...

I'm quite sure that he has grosser things in store for you:)

R's Mom said...

Gosh...are you serious...this guy is so calvin :)

Sue said...

Dipali -- Ugh.

R's Mom -- He even has a Susie Derkins, no kidding.

hack said...

brilliant, just brilliant

Rohini said...

LOL! I blame your dad and the litchi seed cockroaches

Sue said...

Hack -- Necessity is the Mother of Invention, child.

Ro -- Aaaaargh, I'd forgotten all about those. Another reason to go shoot the man.

Asha said...

and I thought Calvin is fictional!

Anonymous said...

HAHAHAHAHAHA!! I love it. Your pain is my entertainment.

starry eyed said...

Ewww ewwww ewwwww! You are surely not faint-hearted! And how is your appetite at these err exotic mealtimes?

@Ro: I spent my whole childhood trying not to think of lychee seeds' resemblance to cockroaches!

Mamma mia! Me a mamma? said...

Awww come on! You did not have to resort to any such trickery on Saturday!

Gyanban said...

The things is that they never give up - and when it continues, one runs out of insects or lentils to name and cook.

Anonymous said...

uff muahahahaha!
the perils of raising boys :D
something tells me this is going to get more "fun" with the years :D

suddenly the idea of having to raise drama queens seems so much more agreeable!!phew!

Mama - Mia said...

i like this, considering i LOVE calvin!

and its so much simpler than spinning out whole full feature length stories for every meal! :p


starry eyed said...

And thanks to you, we recently persuaded Dhruv to eat his tendli (gherkins) telling him they were fried alligator. This is good for my diet too, I promptly lost my appetite.

Anonymous said...

Oh this is HILARIOUS!!! about the funniest thing i've read all week! and very well written too! love the bit about the helping hand from the corn and the spinach..

Sue said...

Asha -- So, until a few years ago, did I. :(

I can still laugh at Dennis the Menace.

Amrita -- Nothing like friendly sympathy to make my day. Bleddy.

Starry -- I grew up with an older brother, so I'm more inured than I let on. ;)

M4 -- No, that day threats of violence worked just fine!

Gyanban -- There's no running out because we do nonsense names as well.

MayG -- And haven't I always said girls are easier on the nerves? Also, what I said to Amrita above.

Abha -- Yeah, that's true. I only do stories when we're eating outside and even then why bother if insects save the day?

Starry -- UGH! I fed Rahul pigeon and pork in Guwahai but couldn't bring myself to touch the pigeon. These boys will eat anything so long as it doesn't resemble what they think is food, I guess.

Ughsome -- Thanks. :)

Sam said...

Mother is the necessity for inventions, more like...

Sue said...

Baba -- That's right, take his side.