My husband insists my family eats plenty of fruit and vegetables. Thank god for him. Left alone I could go weeks without touching either. He’s probably lengthened our lives by a decade.
Still it can get quite heated at dinner time.
I hate broccoli! My seven year old son will shout.
You need to eat it, my husband will say.
If you don’t you’ll shrivel up and die and all your teeth will fall out, he’ll add helpfully.
My daughter is better at eating her vegetables but even she balks at broccoli. She prefers to avoid confrontation though and is usually so busy talking whole food groups go uneaten. In fact there are some nights she outtalks the dinner and arrives at bedtime famished.
You need to eat your broccoli, my husband will remind her.
I am eating my broccoli.
No, you are not. You’re pushing it around.
I’ll get to it, she’ll say with a steely smile.
Just get it over with.
I will. No need to micromanage.
And my husband will glance over at me for support. Which I give unreservedly, joining in the fray with all sort of clever threats.
I then try to give him an encouraging smile. I also want him to notice my gleaming plate devoid of all vegetables. Because I eat them straight away while they’re still hot. In fact I tend to gulp them down. Been even known to hold my nose to avoid the taste.
And then I sit there afterwards with a smug smile, not wanting to divulge that actually, I hate broccoli, too.