“Happiness is a bowl of warm soup.”
WHEN someone in the family has a cold and no appetite for food, I usually prepare some hot soup and serve it to them in one of these happy faced bowls for I believe that these bowls can somehow condition their minds to make them feel better and lighter.
Incidentally one of my sons is not feeling well right now – not from any physical illness, but from a bruised soul. I knew it was an Icarian move he was taking, but he refused to be stopped. And how could I prevent him from following what he perceived was the right decision for his future? He is of age, way past his teens, and as the law says – emancipated.
Anyhow, as I was cleaning the cupboard the other day, and as I took out these happy bowls to get washed, I thought of the times when I would heat up a bowl of soup and give it to him whenever he had a cold. Almost instantly, he would be relieved with the steam from the hot soup which apparently helped unclog his stuffy nose.
How quick and simple it was to cure an ailing child. Sadly however, life’s twists and turns get more complicated in time and for my son, I know it will take more than a bowl of soup to heal his wounded wing.
* * * *
When my two boys were little, they – particularly Marco – could be very picky with their food. And as a mother wanting to give her children proper nourishment during their formative years, I would employ different tactics in order to make them eat right.
One of the tactics which was quite successful was telling them kiddie stories that I invented as they ate. However, since it was really difficult to make them sit down before the dining table and eat by themselves, I would spoon feed Aypee while the househelp would attend to Marco.
Me: (In a highly animated voice) And the lion roared so loud it frightened the other animals in the jungle. The mighty lion screamed at them: “Everyone should eat, do you hear?” And all the other animals were so afraid of the King Lion.
Marco: Then what happened, Mama?
Aypee: What’s their lunch?
Me: Oh, they had lunch just like this one you are having right now. Vegetables, fish, rice.
Aypee: (Now holding his toy airplane) They drank milk too?
Me: Oh, yes! They drank milk and nobody in the jungle was allowed to sleep until they have drunk their milk!
Marco: (Now assembling Lego blocks) They also take Nutroplex? (Nutroplex is a daily multi-vitamins for kids)
Me: Yes, of course. Okay, now, open your mouths and eat some more, so the King Lion won’t roar.
Sometimes, I would pretend that we were in the jungle:
Me: Come on, come on – eat this now. Look – the King Lion is watching. Open and show King Lion your big mouths.. That’s it.. aahh… amm! Very good!
And so it went on and on until the last morsel was gone from their plates. Whew!
I chuckle as I remember those yesteryears’ scenarios when we would follow them around at feeding time from the dining to the living room and even to the bedroom. Yet I held on to dear Patience because the whole feeding process sometimes took two hours!
Some years later when my daughter arrived to the scene, I did not have to use the same strategy anymore to make her finish her food. Gem as a toddler was a more disciplined eater. I could make her have her meals on the dining table. No qualms. She would use the spoon and fork on her own, and refused to be spoon fed. All I had to do was prepare her food on a plate or a bowl, position her in her high chair and she would then voluntarily feed herself.
Oh, memories just keep flooding my mind these days…