Parenting and the art of banana eating

When my son Hunter was little, he was a very picky eater. It was frustrating to get him to eat anything that was not a hot dog chopped up into small pieces. I had to use a combination of patience, creativity, and perseverance to get him to try new foods. As he got older and began going to grade school, I started packing lunches for him to eat at school. Among the different kinds of snack foods I packed, I occasionally included a banana. He would often not eat the banana and when he arrived home later in the day, the banana was smashed to a sticky pulp inside his lunchbox due to all the heavy books he had to carry in his backpack.

Since nobody eats the skin of the banana, I got creative and began to draw pictures on it. I was hoping he would find these pictures funny which would interest him in actually eating it. Below is my first attempt.

This seemed to get him excited about eating his banana. Since Hunter was a reader, I added text to my next banana creation.

Eventually, I stopped drawing pictures and included only text. I wrote messages that would appeal to his interests. He loved playing the online game Minecraft, so one day, he got a Minecraft banana from his Dad.

Hunter has a wicked sense of humor, so I began writing funny banana messages to him.

I started connecting my humorous banana messages into current events to make my bananas more politically relevant. Hunter and his fellow classmates were following the 2016 Presidential campaign at the time. That is when Donald Trump began his campaign for President. My banana messages reflected that.

My son is now 16 years old. He is now a great eater and he no longer needs his Dad to write him funny banana messages. He eats them all on his own as well as apples, grapes, oranges, peaches, quinoa, rice, steak, Indian cuisine, and just about every other food you can imagine.

My job is now done in this area of parenting. I know that he will continue to become more independent in everything he does and he will need me less. For old time sake, I recently wrote him this banana message to let him know how proud I am of him and what he has accomplished in the area of eating. And as a dedicated and loving parent, why not show him my love through a banana message one last time?

August 2020

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