Recently, the whole family went out to dinner together. This is a rare occasion, especially with my mother-in-law in tow, and it stems from her general opinion about the low level of hygiene in restaurants and her preference for cooking. I also have to admit that getting the kids to eat out is usually a challenge, which takes from the adult pleasure of being served in a restaurant. The array of selection for them is narrow: french fries, ice cream, sometimes macaroni and cheese—i.e. mostly junk—because they refuse everything else. This outing, however, brought us a new feeding tactic that will forever be known now as “The Noodle Competition.”
As a kid, I loved the movie “The Lady & The Tramp.” The moment when they share spaghetti and “accidentally” kiss is one of the sweetest in the film and the one that flashed before my eyes as my husband and daughter realized they were simultaneously consuming the same long strand of noodle. I had to smile.
However, this moment of father-daughter noodle war was so hilarious to my daughter that she began to challenge my son with “who could suck the noodles in fastest” and “who could get the longest noodle.” Together, my kids polished off a whole bowl of (plain) Chinese noodles without a second thought. There was no need for coercion or ice cream bribery; there was no need for insistence or sternness. While their grandmother held her tongue about them using their fingers to eat (unhygienic), they ate happily and heartily.
(Later, I fed them a smoothie with well-disguised veggies to complete their vitamin intake.)
Today, my daughter asked me when we could have those kinds of noodles again. I told her “anytime” and she beamed up at me with the kind of smile that fills your heart until it feels like it will overflow.
Sometimes I forget that life really can be as simple as a noodle.
Photos: Courtesy of Ember Swift