One of my absolute most favorite parts of my job as the author of Meet ClaraBelle Blue is reading to groups of kids. They say the funniest things, and ask the most real, honest questions. I love reading to kids because, well, they love being read to. They get so engrossed in the story and the illustrations...they all guess whether or not ClaraBelle could beat them at Duck Duck Goose, and they always...ALWAYS gross out at the fish sandwich part. ALWAYS. In case you're not familiar with that illustration:
Without fail, those kids make faces, gagging sounds...I think once a kid even threatened to puke his guts out. That one made me laugh *way* out loud! I always ask them if they would eat a sandwich like that, and of course they yell out "NO!" at the top of their lungs. Then I ask if they think their *moms* would eat a sandwich like that, and again "NOOOOOOO!", and that's when I go in for the ultimate gross out.
"Well....MY mom did," I tell them.
You should see their faces. They usually look something like this:
And honestly, I don't blame them. It is gross now, and it was gross then. But as we all know, when you're a mom and your kid proudly hands you the "lunch" they made you, you eat it. At least some of it. In front of them. And you smile.
So yes, when I was around 6 years old, I made my mom a sandwich for lunch that was made up of the following ingredients: tuna fish, turkey, peanut butter, jelly, mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, butter, lettuce, and gum drops - because everyone knows a sandwich is NOTHING if it doesn't contain gum drops. And because she's my mom, she did what moms do - she took a bite. And then she chewed it. Slowly. Because MOTHER'S LOVE. My mom loved me so much that she took a bite. She took a bite and ingested that travesty between 2 piece of bread, and hugged me and thanked me for making her lunch. Also, how could anyone say no to this face?
I remember feeling proud. I remembered that feeling while I was writing Meet ClaraBelle Blue and knew that it had to be part of ClaraBelle's story with her mom. It was so important to the story, and the line running through the story "ClaraBelle Blue is just like you" - because it's so true. My relationship with my daughter is *so much* like my childhood relationship with my mom. My daughter is silly and precocious and a total prankster - like ClaraBelle, and probably like your kiddo too. And I think if she could, she'd make me a tunafish and gumdrop sandwich too. And because I'm her mom, I'd eat it. With a smile on my face (but let's be real, as soon as she looked the other way, that bite would go right into my napkin).
What's the most interesting "meal" your kiddo has ever made you?