I have always said that Kwezi loves food so there is no story there. I have also always said that she is not picky but I guess I was wrong. Again. I got measles when I was almost a teenager and to tell you about how I stared death in the face is another story altogether but in my struggle to get back to my health, I definitely will never forget one thing; silver fish, commonly known as indagara. I have since heard interesting stories about them and my dear mother still swears that most of my healthy life should be owed to those little things. But even when I should be thankful, and according to my mother, even respectful to the little creatures’ significant contribution to reviving my life, I just can’t stand them.
But again this is not about me. I am a firm believer in the saying that ‘mummy knows best’. Always. So when fellow mummies brought back the importance of silver fish to me more than two decades later, I jumped on that ship like the sailor I have never been. I bought the ‘creatures’ and happily brought them home. I do not know anyone who doesn’t believe in the nutritious value of silver fish actually.
Anyway, the silver fish was fried and spices added and they were served. No one anticipated the drama that followed. Kwezi’s cousin ate without any reaction but when it got to my dear daughter, it was a scene made for the movies. One look at the little things and she took off. She stood up very quickly like someone who had seen a ghost and jumped into the couch and started shouting ‘koko, koko, koko’. Now koko is a word used by many kids to mean ‘animal’ but in most cases, the scary kind. She was calmed down after a few minutes and that was the end of the silver fish episode in my house.
What really is the point of this story? I have seen some mothers feel sad that their children can’t eat some foods. I do feel bad that my daughter is missing out on something nutritious but at the end of the day, it’s not the end of the world. If we can all remember that even as adults, there are things that we can’t stand, then perhaps we can cut our children some slack. Not all hope is lost, she may not eat silver fish that ‘looks alive’ but we have found other ways. When crushed, we add it to food and she does not even know that she is eating it. You can always find alternatives but if that also fails, it’s also fine to remember that some of these things are really not a ‘one size fits all’ kind of thing.