Squash. Just say it. Seriously, say it right now. Out loud. Sounds gross. Squash. Even thinking of it as a food isn't appetizing. Squash is what you do when a mosquito lands on your arm. Then again, it makes sense. Mashed pulp.
I know, I know; all of you gourmets and farmers out there think it's wonderful. Good for you. To me, squash looks festive next to a pumpkin on a porch on Halloween. I am typically an open-minded eater. I have even eaten pumpkin in forms besides pie. There's just something about that name.
Our son is not crazy about squash, either. As his third "solid" food experiment, squash was served for three days. The first was rice cereal. Didn't go over well. Next came sweet potato which, on the second serving, was a success. Squash, however, didn't go so well.
When I get a meal and don't particularly like it, I'll often finish is just because I'm hungry, motivated by the beneficial nutrients being absorbed. My wife, on the other hand, will push the plate away if she doesn't like the food.
Jackson is down one more rung...maybe two. First, he'll begin avoiding the spoon and will look everywhere in the room but at you or the food. There's the radio, there's the refrigerator, there's a grain of rice on the counter from last night's dinner. Eventually, I coax his attention. I've tried the airplane thing. I've tried waving the spoon around, making various noises and faces. He looks at me like the idiot I'm being but pays no attention to the spoon.
As for the rice cereal, he ate for a bit and then just stopped allowing it to go into his mouth. The squash, however, drew tears. When he pulled away, I just figured he was being difficult. Trying again, he waved his head. Then he finally opened his mouth just enough. As I slid in the spoon, his face tightened and he started whining. Did I get the point? No. It couldn't be me or the food, I thought. I put the little silver-handled spoon with the pink rubbery head back into the the little plastic food cup. Another bite made its way into his hesitant mouth. Whining erupted and the river flowed. Squash leaked down from his mouth onto his white disposable bib. His eyes were slits and his hands were out to the sides as he yelled at me in his baby jibberish. "Enough is enough," he said. "Can't you tell I don't like it? If you think it's so good, you try it." Can't argue with that. Carrots are tomorrow. Wish me luck. If this doesn't work, maybe he can just eat formula for the rest of his life.