From the moment we left Utah on Sunday Leta has put up a fight over every meal, and for two days she ate nothing but licorice and breath mints, thank God for the latter. She wouldn’t even agree to any of the staples — crackers or orange juice or pancakes smothered in maple syrup — and if we mentioned that we were going out to grab a bite to eat she yelled, “NO! NO FOOD!” and shielded her head as if we were aiming biscuits at her head with a slingshot.
In the last several months I have learned to stop trying to control her eating, and in doing so the quality of our lives has increased more than a thousand percent. I make her whatever she will eat for meals and then instead of listening to her mew like a sick cat who has just had its tail run over by a lawn mower we get to eat our food in relative peace. The struggle was never worth it. And this, this sitting in restaurants and doing everything we can to convince her to eat a bite of something, anything, melted cheese on white bread, a fucking chocolate chip cookie, anything, this is the essence of pain-in-the-assedness. Does she not understand that Oprah would give her kingdom for that grilled cheese sandwich?
Yesterday afternoon she gave into her hunger momentarily and ate 12 French fries at McDonald’s. I counted. I have never known relief like that in my life.
Feeling more confident this morning we walked over to a lovely crepe place in the neighborhood, and before we even ordered our breakfast she asked for a chocolate pop tart. That sound you hear is the collective groan of every molecule in my body. I offered her the melted chocolate from my strawberry-chocolate dessert crepe, but because that chocolate did not have the exact form-factor of pop tart chocolate — there is a difference! ALTHOUGH YOU CANNOT PROVE IT SCIENTIFICALLY — it was as abominable as a plate of scabs peeled from between the toes of a llama.
Today we’re headed up to a cabin near wine country, and along the way we’re going to pick up some pop tarts. And some bungee cords to tie her to the top of the car.