Toyota…you have a problem, in the form of my kids. My kids love to watch the news with their dad, afterall, that’s his job. So we do a lot of news watching around here. They ask questions about what they hear, and we tell them the truth about what’s going on, but in simple terms they can understand. We explained that something went wrong and people got in accidents that caused people to be killed. Well, this struck a nerve of some kind and is now of great concern to them. We have a recurring conversation in the van. It usually starts with this from Z, “Oooh…there’s a Toyota, A! Why they have a Toyota??” And, “There’s another one!” And then A chimes in like Rain Man, “Toyota’s kill people.” He even went up to a guy in the store aisle and announced, “Toyota’s are bad you didn’t know. Some people died.” So think about what this means for Toyota. Talk about a P.R. nightmare! How can they ever recover from this? I mean, we’re talking generations now who will never buy a Toyota. I’ve seen some ads with offers of huge incentives to buy one, and our joke is that they can’t even give them away. Although…if they wanted to give me one, I might take it. But then, how would I explain that to my kids?
So Pia has decided she wants to be a vegetarian. It started when we lived in Cleveland, Ohio. We often went to what I think is the most fabulous farmer’s market in the country, the West Side Market. The kids were mesmerized by the butcher’s counters, fascinated by the dead pigs, chickens, and cows, and every body part that was on display; feet, tongues, brains. But the most disturbing sight was the whole pig, hairless and pink, spread out on its stomach and smiling at us. It was not long after that I noticed Pia pushing her meat aside at meals. Then she started asking me, “Is this pork?” What I made the mistake of doing, however, is mentioning my observation to a friend in front of her, joking that she wants to be a vegetarian. What followed was a more blatant refusal to eat most forms of meat, and then anything that she deemed not worthy to put in her mouth (a pizza crust that was a little too brown, or a vegetable that wasn’t exactly the right color.) Now she separates things out, eats super slowly and dominates the conversation so we won’t notice her lack of eating. It’s like her permission slip to be able to decide what she’s going to eat now. I will remind everyone too, that because of the prior neglect, for a very long time my kids would literally eat anything I put in front of them. It’s not that I mind if she wants to eat healthier, of course that’s a good thing, but she is 9, and I am not the mom who’s going to make separate food for the “princess vegetarian” of the house. The funny thing is though, if it’s meat and it’s something she likes, she’ll eat it. Sooo…Pia has decided to be a vegetarian…or has she…??