My father has a favorite story about me. Not sure when it happened, but it probably was around Christmas.
We were at my maternal grandmother’s house with extended family visiting. I ask my mother for a cookie. She says, “No.” So, I go into the kitchen looking upset. My grandmother asks why I look so upset. I tell her about not being able to get a cookie, so she gives me three. I walk back into the living room right in front of my mother to eat these cookies. She naturally reacts as any mother would about my having defied her and asks why. Taking my time by eating and talking at the same time, I tell her: Well, <munch-munch> Nannie gave them to me. <munch-munch> I have to do what you say. <munch-munch> And you have to do what Nannie says.
I totally expect my mother to exact her revenge by having Fleur do this to me.
Part of parenting seems to be to tasting foods given to our children. We get that taste in before it is put in front of the child. Call it a toll or tithe.
My wife still does it to Galahad before letting him have an interesting new drink or dish. Or one that she likes but did not get.
They argue about whether or not she took too much. She calls it a bite or sip. He calls it a mouthful or guzzle.
He also complains about her taking the best candy from his Halloween exploits.
Primarily, he is suffering from loss aversion. He envisioned having it. Only now Mama is taking it away from him and diminishing the value.
In encouraging Fleur to eat new foods, I often give her something I am eating. When she falters at consuming her meal, I often eat some of hers and make yummy sounds with the idea of showing it is safe to eat.
This safe to eat approach is based on evolutionary theory that children pay attention to what parents eat to determine what is safe. She would look dubious at some things we gave her that we also were not. And then she also demanded things we had in front of us.
The eating and saying yummy has backfired because when she is done, she now holds it out to me to eat. No one else. Just me.
Recently, this has morphed into her feeding me. She will put food next to my mouth until I eat it. Of course, these are foods given to her to eat that she stopped consuming.
At least the food doesn’t go to waste.