The first bit of sign language that Matthew learned after joining our family was the sign for “more”. I will never forget it–we were sitting in our old dining room, and he had only been home for a few weeks or maybe a month. I had prepared chicken tortilla soup, and he LOVED it. He simply could not get enough of that spicy soup.
I couldn’t believe it. I was used to Isaac, who is a much pickier eater. He has never even tried soup. I adore soup, and here was my new son slurping it up with unabashed glee. It was one of the very first times I FELT like his mother. And as I fed it to him, he watched me adoringly with a big grin, while he signed “more” over and over. Maybe it was also the first time that he thought of me as his mother too. I mean how bad could I be if I made spicy soup with meat in it, right?
Matthew’s personality can absolutely be swayed by food. I have written about how he reacts to Korean food, but he has many other favorites. Sprite is a huge treat for him, as are pizza, ice cream, shrimp crackers, laver and french fries. Offer him any of those and you are guaranteed to get in his good graces….at least until the food is gone.
Recently, we were having a not-so-great day, he and I. We spent the morning butting heads, about everything, about nothing–you know how it is. He is an expert at pushing my buttons, and somehow I still struggle with needing the last word, which is kind of sad, considering I am trying to one up a 4-year old. Anyway, I put the boys down for a nap, and heated myself up some leftover pizza for lunch. It soon became clear that although Isaac had fallen asleep, Matthew was not going to. As much as I loathed to do it, I allowed him to get up…..and he spotted my pizza.
Now most of you who know me for real or who read my blog know that I am averse to food sharing. I actually wait to eat my lunch during their nap so I can have it to myself. And I had heated myself up the last 2 pieces of pizza, and I wanted to watch my stories HGTV and read my blogs in peace.
But here was a tiny, non-napping Korean who I had spent the morning sparring with, and he was eyeing the last two pieces of pizza. My “mommy-needs-a-few-minutes-of-quiet-and-some-pizza” pizza.
“I have some?” he asked slyly, suddenly my BFF.
“Matthew, this is mommy’s lunch. You’ve already had your lunch. I need you to play and when I’m done with what I want, I will give you some.” You see, I am actually not a very nice person, no matter how saintly I may portray myself in blogland.
He didn’t wander far from my plate and kept working to get my attention. If I looked at him, he would just say, “I?” while staring at my pizza.
Finally, I decided to be the bigger person (appropriate since I outweigh him by over 100 pounds) and called him over to share. I fed it to him by hand and he danced and laughed the entire time he ate it.
It was more than the pizza, it was that I gave in, that I shared MY pizza (did I mention it was the last 2 pieces??), that I fed it to him myself, that he was awake and his brother was asleep. That he was having a private pizza party with his mama.
Seeing his glee forced me to chill out for a minute. To see him as the giddy little boy he can be. To see him as my son.
Dear boy, it’s true–on some days, you and I may have our issues.
But we will also always have pizza.