She insists on ketchup with every meal. Eggs with Ketchup for breakfast. Grilled cheese with ketchup for lunch. Pasta with ketchup for dinner. And although I cringe to think about the sheer amount of high-fructose corn syrup she ingests every day, I am happy that there is something that makes her eat carrot sticks or non-nuggetized chicken. Plus, I hear that in school cafetierias they actually consider ketchup a vegetable.
But this new phase is really getting on my nerves.
Lila refuses to share her ketchup with the rest of the family. We rarely eat foods at home that ACTUALLY require ketchup so in that way, I guess we're lucky.
But we go out to eat a lot. I realize I should be ashamed of how often we eat out but I just wrote a piece for Band Back Together about accepting that I am not perfect and not eating at home is one of those things that I just don't give a shit about, broke or not. I WILL eat out twice a week. It's my guilty pleasure.
So as I have mentioned in a previous post (see here) we go to Friendly's a lot. The last time we were there, I ordered a burger (which I never do because I am terrified of raw ground beef) but I was premenstrual and needed some iron so I ordered one. When the server brought our meals, Lila snatched the ketchup and happily squeezed several small dots around her plate of Friendly Frank and mac and cheese. I waited until she snapped the top back on and set it down so that I could ask her politely to "please pass the ketchup."
The look on her face was one of utter disgust, as if I had just asked her to pass the kitten entrails. She just stared at me.
"Um...Lila...can I have the ketchup, please? Now?"
She leaned forward as if she was considering my motives. Did she think I was going to molest the ketchup or something? Did she think I was going to use it for evil? Then she slowly picked up the ketchup bottle and set it on the seat next to her.
|This is what I saw in my head.|
Of course, through all this, her father is just sitting there next to her blissfully (purposely) ignoring the ridiculous power struggle that was taking place right in front of him. When Ben reached over and helped himself to the bottle of ketchup, completely oblivious to the fact that I was asking for it just seconds ago, Lila snatched it out of his hand and clutched it to her chest, having rescued her "Precious" from the grip of doom.
"Seriously, Lila? Really? You can't just share the ketchup? That's fine. The next time I am having something that I really like, I will refuse to share it too. Hey, guess who isn't sharing my french fries? Guess who isn't getting my Reese's Peanut Butter Cup off my sundae? Guess who is never, ever, EVER getting a sip of my soda again?"
She just clung to her ketchup bottle. Ben, in the meantime, had simply gotten up and gotten another bottle of ketchup from the next table. He never gets the underlying POINT of making her do things she doesn't like to do. He tends to believe that these stupid power struggles are best left unfought. I (obviously) tend to get sucked right into them and turn into a kid myself saying stupid things that just make her think it's funny to upset me.
After we were all finished with dinner and had put in our order for ice cream (because it is seriously just MEAN to not allow a kid to have ice cream at Friendly's no matter how unable to behave they may be), Lila put the ketchup back on the table and said, "You can use it on your ice cream if you want. Can I still have your candy?"
"Mother Fucker!" I thought.