Nom.

Despite our best efforts (or, pretty good efforts) The Who ended up equating “dessert” with the end of the meal, after he has eaten the rest of his food. Although at home, we don’t insist on eating a certain amount of certain things before eating other things and we regularly allow a dessert-type food to be served along with a meal, we do discuss making sure to leave room in your belly for protein and food that helps you grow.

Oh, nothing. Just a little filet mignon with truffle butter in NYC while wearing a necktie.

Oh, nothing. Just a little filet mignon with truffle butter in NYC while wearing a necktie.

Last year, when he began Pre-K, he somehow learned, “Eat your healthiest first.” I’m sure he doesn’t always do that, though, and I can’t say that I really mind. (His lunch today was a peanut-butter and honey sandwich, a handful of Honey Nut Cheerios, an organic fruit leather, a bunch of fresh strawberries, and one marshmallow. I’d bet cash money that some of those strawberries come home, but there’s no chance the marshmallow does.)

Fruit Kabab

Fruit Kabab

Here at the coffee shop where I am planted, doing some work, a mom and her preschooler are having lunch. “Do you want chips? Then you need to have a bite of your peanut butter and jelly. No dessert if you don’t eat lunch.” The kid pretty much ate nothing, aside from nearly a full cup of what looked like Pepsi. (In fairness, it could have been iced tea, but I think I saw carbonation.)

The Voodoo Donut

The Voodoo Donut

I’m not writing this to criticize that mother. I just know that the notion of eating one type of food as a means to another type of food is problematic and although we try really hard not to do that, I still often fall into the trap of wanting to make sure he eats”good” food before, like, cake. (Speaking of which, labeling foods “good” and “bad” is problematic, too. We don’t use that language with him, though.)

Fingerberries!

Fingerberries!

It was easier to maintain this laissez-faire attitude toward food when he was younger and his exposure to non-nutritive foods was limited. Did it matter, when he was two, if he chose an organic, whole grain cereal bar vs. an organic, low-sugar cookie? Not really. But the choices are more complex now. Grilled chicken vs. artificially colored pink frosted cake. Seared steak vs. Cheetos.

Baby's First Pomegranate

Baby’s First Pomegranate

I don’t know how to create a healthy relationship with food. I didn’t and don’t have one and although there seems to be a lot of information floating around right now, I’m not sure anyone really knows for sure.

Meh.

When I first moved here, I compared almost everything to Boston. And almost every time, Boston won. I think, finally, after 10 years, I have moved past that and there are plenty of things here that I can honestly say are better than home. But the Aquarium is not one of them.

There was some cool stuff. Just not enough.

There was some cool stuff. Just not enough.

The local aquarium here (actually in New Jersey) is ok. And I admit that I might just be spoiled because there are probably thousands of towns and cities across the US who don’t have anything nearly as great as our local aquarium, but I’m here to tell you: it’s no big whoop.

Why do kids love these hanging sheets of plastic? No matter where they are (we've seen them at the Please Touch Museum and the zoo) he is drawn to them like a magnet to metal.

Why do kids love these hanging sheets of plastic? No matter where they are (we’ve seen them at the Please Touch Museum and the zoo) he is drawn to them like a magnet to metal.

We spent the day there today — about 2.5 hours — and I think we saw it all. We even saw some things twice (and some three and four times!) I don’t think we could have spent longer there if we wanted to — and it wasn’t cheap to get in, either.

I have a photo like these from each of the three times we've been here -- the first of which was when he was under 2 years old.

I have a photo like these from each of the three times we’ve been here — the first of which was when he was under 2 years old.

The frozen tundra outside.

The frozen tundra outside.

The Who had some fun, for sure. He could have watched the “Shark Cage” movie a hundred more times, but ultimately, I have to say: Adventure Aquarium? Meh. Especially when compared with the New England Aquarium with its enormous spiral tank, dolphin shows on an attached boat, and huge hands-on room. Granted, it’s been years since I’ve been back to my “home” aquarium, but this is the third time I’ve been to the local one and the third time I’ve been underwhelmed. Just sayin’.

He weighed as much as a "juvenile shark" and I weighed as much as an adult one. I guess that's appropriate.

He weighed as much as a “juvenile shark” and I weighed as much as an adult one. I guess that’s appropriate.