Thank you so much everyone, for your well wishes and congratulations! It means a lot to me. I'm also super EXCITED because every time I make something new in the kitchen, I think squee, project! And then if it doesn't turn out right, I make a big sad face in my scrapbook where I write down all my recipes.
I've been reading Catherine Newman's blog ever since she was writing over at Babycenter (and it's been so long since I had actual reason to read anything at Babycenter that I actually just blanked on the name Babycenter). I read this last week about her solution for weekend lunches: getting the children to make their own in an Iron Chef-like contest. I wondered how that would go over in my house. Most likely, the following would happen:
1) The children would take out the package of bagels from the fridge and ask for help slicing them, since they are not allowed to use the large serrated knife.
2) The children would put said bagels into the toaster.
3) The children would put peanut butter on the bagels.
4) The children would request my help in mixing strawberry and/or chocolate syrup into their milk glasses.
5) On a very hungry day the children would spoon yogurt into bowls and top the yogurt with frozen berries.
There is almost a zero deviation from the mean, people. When it's lunchtime, my kids almost always request peanut butter bagels, with a frozen berry and yogurt parfait, washed down with chocolate or strawberry flavoured milk. A couple of times a month, on a weekend or a school holiday, the children may request French toast, or perhaps a ham sandwich, but otherwise that is the extent of lunchtime creativity.
There are negatives to food ruts, of course, but there are positives too - for one thing, predictability is nice. And I am no different from the children, really. Here is my confession: we have a wide variety of dinners in our house, a wide variety of snacks and baked goods, but I have the same exact breakfast and lunch every day. I do not deviate. I have a toasted tomato and cucumber sandwich and a piece of fruit every single day. Sometimes I vary the bread and I usually vary the fruit, but that is my standard lunch. Oh sure, occasionally I will shake things up a bit and have a tomato and cucumber PITA with hummous, and maybe a spinach/berry smoothie, and once in a blue moon I eat lunch out of the house and so my menu is necessarily different, but as a rule I just like to eat the same breakfast and lunch, day in and day out. I do not tire of it. I enjoy it. I look forward to those meals with anticipation. I am the kind of person who finds something they like on a restaurant menu and then orders that item each and every time I frequent that restaurant, from here to eternity. I don't take the risk of ordering something I might not enjoy as much.
And so if my kids want to eat the same thing every day, I go with the flow. After all, maybe the apples didn't fall so far from the tree.