Eat Your Peas!

Type these three specific words in your Google browser and you’ll end up with exactly 4,540,000 different results found on the subject.  Most of them will an article or a web link to some other whiney Single Parenting website, or maybe an online magazine for Mom’s. Whatever, let’s just say it’s the Holy Grail for Family Councilors and Child Psychologists alike as no three words have ever invoked such internalized rage and hostility.  But you bottle it deep down inside where it continues to stew and steep before it eventually boils to the surface in a single ugly, desperate display of pent up rage and frustration…


At first, I was all nicey-nice like “C’mon, please.  Finish your peas before we go.  Huh.  C’mon, what ‘a say kiddo?”  But later (on the inside anyway) I was more like “Girl, you have exactly three point two nano-seconds before I totally lose my shit”.  Of course, that’s where the ‘bottling part’ comes into play.  These three words alone, lately, will turn me into a simmering volcano that almost never erupts, but, apparently, should it ever do so, well, best cinch up your togas ladies and head for the hills ‘tout de suite’.  I’m the Mt. Vesuvius of parenting.  Even more dramatic, is that somewhere down the line I’ve managed to morph into my father.

But, seriously, someone please explain to me why is it that the pea, in particular, will also carry with it so much negative anxiety?  Why do kids have such an ingrained fear and loathing focused towards a small, unassuming and seemingly harmless looking vegetable?  Personally, I like peas.  I always have.  They’re like little balls of fun on your plate.  Maybe I’m weird, or whatever, but perhaps this is why I simply fail to connect with whatever it is that makes peas so unappetizing to kids in general.  Maybe it’s because had I ever chosen NOT  to eat my peas as a child my mother would have inevitably force fed them to me with a slingshot.  Maybe it’s the just holidays and that I’m tapped out financially as a result or that HRH is going away for nine days over the holidays.  Or maybe it’s that work sucks, or even worse, that all this delicious Christmas cooking is beginning to make me fat.  Speaking of which, I’m way behind in my training schedule.  Wait, I don’t even have a schedule!  Oh, then there’s my father who’s health has been suffering lately.  Ho! Ho! Ho!  And, then, just too really top things off, I decided to go and start a new Christmas tradition by stepping on a rusty nail so I’m limping around the house now like a lame penguin.  And…and…


Crap!  There, see?  See how easy it happens.

Perhaps it’s not about the peas at all, and more about peas being an easy opportunity (i.e. read that as peas are an ‘innocent and unwitting victim’) for vulnerable new parents with bottled up stress, like myself, to finally express themselves.   And if that’s the case, then it’s not really her fault at all that she has this strange, unfortunate and misguided association with ‘Pisum sativum’, but, rather, I’m an idiot.

“Hallelujah, I see the Star!”

In the meantime, I have ear-marked this ever-popular cruciferous protest as a possible ‘launch code’ to be aware of in the future to prevent other similar launches.  And should I ever feel the necessary urge to express myself or vent, there’s always the ‘ol tried and true holiday fallback that my dad so often relied on around this time of year as a way of coping:  late night sing-a-longs to ‘Peter, Paul and Mary’ while sitting in the car parked in the garage.  Beer may or may not have been involved.

But while in that moment of truth, while the challenge is being laid down by Kidzilla as that all-to-familiar pouty face presents itself over the small pile of spherical greens on her plate, I need to take a deep breath and remind myself that she’s only seven years old, then mentally pick myself up, simply admit defeat, accept my frustration and carry on with a smile on my face.  Surely, this too shall pass.  Hey, more peas for me, right?


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