One look at Baby Duck’s stick-thin body will tell you he’s not a big eater. Sparrows have bigger appetites. A common scenario at our place involves everyone sitting around for half an hour after we’ve finished eating, watching him endlessly chew his food.
So if he is ever not the last person to finish a meal it’s a cause for celebration. And if I’ve really hit the dinnertime jackpot it’ll be because I’ve managed to find a recipe the whole family enjoys and will eat without complaining or negotiating which disgusting bits they can leave.
The dinnertime jackpot is a moving target. You might think that by now I would have a good repertoire of meals that all the ducklings will eat and enjoy without involving any trips to MacDonalds. Ah, Grasshopper, your innocence of the ways of children is amusing.
Just because they like something this week doesn’t mean they will still like it next week. Demon Duck’s list of fruit she will eat is rapidly narrowing till soon she’ll be living on air. We’re always saying to her “Since when have you not liked mandarines/peaches/watermelon etc? You used to love it.”
So I’m crossing my fingers that tonight’s universal approbation for curried chicken salad continues for at least a few more weeks. Baby Duck finished before I did and proudly displayed a very clean plate.
“You must have liked it,” I said.
“I didn’t like it,” he said. “I loved it!”
Then he came over to give me a somewhat greasy kiss from all that yummy barbecued chicken and added, “Just like I love you for making such a good dinner.”
Yep – that’s the jackpot all right.