It's burger season. Actually, it's everything on the barbecue season...burgers just happen to be among the most loved. Well, I'm more into steak, but that's beside the current point.
Anyway, yes, it's burger season.
That being said, this usually means that there's a fairly large group of people hovering about my future in-law's place, as Rob (father) is all about the grill this time of year. Among the usual guests are two children. Connor, an 11 year-old boy with an attitude that needs some serious adjusting (I could spend quite some time illustrating how this could be done, but his parents have made their choices); and River, a precocious 6 year old boy, who has a charming personality with all of the lovely 6 year old quirks.
I've had many conversations with River, as it's always a wonder to see the world how he does. He's an intuitive little guy with a ton of personality to match. However, this isn't to say that when it comes to picky eating, he's anything special. Like most little boys I've met over the years, the idea of vegetables is something to scoff at (even if they've eaten them before). "They're gross!" is the most common reason for stripping a perfectly amazing burger naked of all the frills, leaving just a drop of mustard, a well of ketchup and a lonely meat patty.
Ah, but on this particular day, I was put in charge of assembling the burgers for the two boys, as Connor is messy, and River was too short to reach the counter.
Connor's burger was easy to make...some mustard, ketchup, a pickle and the patty. River, however...well, he provided me with a wonderful opportunity.
"What do you want on your burger, River?" He looked at me, lighting up.
"Whatever they put on a burger at McDonalds!" he exclaimed. Alright, I thought. Time to be creative. He watched as I put on some mayo, then lettuce, then tomatoes...cucumbers, pickles and some cheese followed before I added some ketchup to the other bun. It was an awesome looking burger. "Do they put that on burgers at McDonalds?" he asked, sounding doubtful.
"Of course! It's the best burger on the menu, kiddo." I fibbed, but he seemed satisfied. However, before I could be too pleased with myself, Connor decided to pipe up.
"Um, I've had the burgers at McDonalds, and they don't have, like, any vegetables on them," he said, looking at River, trying to indicate that I was giving him the run-around. But no, I was not having any of that. Not when I'd almost succeeded in getting a notoriously picky eater to devour a veggie-laden burger.
"You've had every burger, Connor?" I asked. He nodded, with a victorious grin crossing his face. "I bet you've never had a Royale with Cheese," I concluded. The grin faded right away.
"The best burger ever," I said, pointing at River's burger. Connor proceeded to add a few more veggies to his meal.
Thank you, McDonalds and Pulp Fiction, for providing me with a tool to get kids to eat their vegetables. I never thought I'd say that.
How do you like your burger?
Have you ever stretched the truth or told a white lie to get your youngin' to eat something?