of fruit (salad)

My darling girl is just tearing it up in the language acquisition department. But like all two-and-a-half year olds, there are always some interesting quirks.

For example, we often discuss (i.e. Mommy informs her) that we don’t play with this or that object because it is “not a toy.” The other day I got out my wooden whistle (but I did not spend THAT much) to practice a little. Now the wooden whistle is not exactly cheap, not like the two or five or ten dollar metal “tin” whistle type, which Ananda often gets to play with. (Well, not THAT often, the shrill crazed noise is not exactly melodious, even from a genius toddler.) When Ananda saw me with the wooden whistle she asked me what I was doing with it.

“I’m going to play it,” I replied.

“No, Mama, it’s not a toy,” she sternly informed me.

Of late, she has been asking for “fruit.” Which is fantastic because PLEASE PLEASE EAT SOMETHING ANYTHING and a request for something that is not baby marshmallows or chocolate is to be met with instant action! Quick! Before she changes her mind!

But … “fruit” means “fruit salad” which is a little more involved than just handing her an apple. That’s okay though, because I picked up some cans of fruit cocktail and mandarin oranges and pineapple, and even some fresh strawberries on the last foray to the grocery store, in anticipation of the “fruit” request.

“Okay, honey, Mom’s going to make you some fruit salad right now,” I say as I start washing and coring and slicing and draining.

“No, not fruit salad!”

At first I think this is the Toddler Whim striking YET again. Which is Very Uncool. But she follows this up immediately with, “Not fruit salad, fruit!”

And It All Becomes Clear (because, after being constantly with the toddler, I am usually able to follow the leaps in toddler-logic (an oxymoron if ever I heard one); though this is not something we DARE count on). Because last time we had fruit salad, she wouldn’t eat it with the cool whip mixed in, only plain, without. Which is great and fine, but … no cool whip? Where did you come from, child?

So, “fruit salad” = with cool whip, and that’s that. I tried to explain that this was fruit salad without cool whip, but no, no, no fruit salad, only fruit.

So instead we are calling it “fruit bowl,” because Mama can’t handle it without another noun attached; she doesn’t like to say we’re putting the sliced bananas into the fruit. It sounds like an incomplete sentence. Fruit… fruit what? Fruit BOWL, that’s what.

I must also add that the real reason that Ananda wants to eat fruit salad at all is so that she can hold up a piece of it and say, “Oh well, hakuna matata,” then slurp it into her mouth, chew a little and gulp, followed by, “Slimy yet satisfying.” Which is incredibly funny, especially when she does it with mandarin oranges, which are disturbingly grub-looking if you think about it — DON’T. DON’T THINK ABOUT IT. — even if she does do it after every. single. bite.

But hey, SHE’S EATING. Which, believe me, when faced with the threat of the Low Blood Sugar Madness, is all that matters.

The only question left is: do mini marshmallows and maraschino cherries cancel out the nutritional goodness of fresh sliced strawberries, apples, bananas, and chunks of pineapple (canned in it’s own juice, even)?

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