Cause I'm a Genius

OK, quick post about food issues. In Addis Ababa, the kids would only eat traditional Ethiopian food. That's usually a spicy stew and injera, which is really good with the stew, but kinda tastes like Yak if eaten alone. (To me, that is.) H&Y hardly ate anything on the plane... like crackers and juice, maybe. They kept trying to order a Coca (Cola)... ha ha... no dice kids. We kept intervening and I think the Ethiopian stewards were like "Just give them a Coke." Well, later, there were children running up and down the aisles of this PACKED airplane, and I had a righteous moment because they were all the kids that I had seen drinking Coke. Ours were sitting next to each other, copying English words from magazines. They LOVE doing this, and will do it at least an hour every day.

Anyhoo, I made spaghetti last night when we got home. I know that they had spaghetti a few times a week at the transition center. They both said "No, mommy... no pasta." I said OK, but didn't offer anything else. We had everyone come to the table and pray, and they reiterated that they weren't going to eat. I said OK, but you have to wait for Mommy and Daddy to finish. After a couple of minutes they started to eat... just a very little bit, then they said "Finished." So, I wrapped up their bowls for today.

Today I made a yummy vegetable curry sauce for rice. Um, without the curry. How can I not have curry? As I was making it, they both walked by and said "Lunch?" And I said "I'm making lunch." They said NO. I said "Oh, this is for Mommy and Daddy." Again with the "no lunch". So I heated up the spaghetti from yesterday without comment and left it on top of the stove. I'd made a big batch of rice in my new rice cooker. (Thanks Greg and Julie for picking that stuff up for us! It was awesome to come home to a fridge full.) I put plain white rice on H&Ys plates and we all came out to eat. They said again, "No lunch." Lee and I made no comment, but started eating ours, which was so good. Surprised myself even. After a few minutes, Habtamu says "Mommy, Me" and pointed at the "curry". I made him say please. heh heh. Then Yordanos said "Mommy, me please." I got them "curry" and they tucked in... I even got a heartfelt "Thank you, Mommy." from Y. They didn't finish... ate about 1/2 (about 1/10 of what I've seen them eat in one sitting.) And H says, "Mommy, pasta!" I said, "Oh, there's some on the stove." So they both ate about 1/2 bowl of that too.

We have decided to make no comment when they say no to something. I think it'll work. No tears, they ate, we all sat together at a meal. Awesome.

Lee and I high-fived at the end of the meal. Go Team Gardner!


Ali BG said...

You ARE a genius! *High Five* from me, too.

Ann said...

Way to go Team Gardner...you guys are doing awesome.

Roscoe and Julia Richardson said...


You guys are AWESOME! I'm a YG member but have been following the posts since you were in ET. I'm very impressed! You're doing it just like my parenting book!! :)

Julia (Ohio)

Apryl said...

This is so funny because all Fetya would eat (if allowed) is pasta! At the prep of every meal she screams out "Fasta!" I know they ate it daily at Kids Care, but really... Also, just to let you know--I knew this couple, who went to Ethiopia and couldn't find anything their daughter would eat, so they let her eat bananas all day to keep her from screaming. She was fine (and still is).