Colson is 35 days into his Double Digits Quest to become a Big Kid when he turns 10. The Quest adventure is a really neat story for another time. Today’s short story is that 10 family members and dear friends provided 10 tasks Colson has to accomplish before he turns 10. My contribution was that Colson must plan, shop for and prepare a complete dinner. Last night he completed that task really well.
Meal planning and prep are completely new to Colson. Because we had passed the first 30 days of The Whole 30 I gave Colson some latitude. On the menu were GF pizza for the guys (olives on Colson’s and green peppers on Ryan’s), shrimp for me, broccoli, ice cream with granola and chocolate chips for dessert. Beverage was Zevia rootbeer ginger soda, which is sweetened with stevia. These choices are a big deal because the guys are leaving their super clean eating plan, and Colson wants ice cream and pizza bad. I am not breaking the clean eating diet, hence the shrimp and broccoli for me… and I had to make the boy work harder than just putting some sauce, cheese and toppings on a GF crust.
Colson made his shopping list, we drove to Whole Foods, I gave him $60 and turned him loose after taking a picture.
I was to read a book and drink kombucha in the eating area, but I snuck out a few times and took some pictures. The first time I tripped on him his first stop after getting his free organic Whole Foods sucker (which he isn’t usually allowed) was the potato chip isle, which was hilarious because except for this night potato chips are banished from our family food plan. We laughed so loud.
Colson didn’t like being spied on and banished me. After the shopping portion was over he informed me that I just needed to ask to take pictures and not sneak around. Rats. I was going for the spontaneous shots. When Colson reached the checkout he was $25 short, he came and asked for more, which I shockingly gave. When he was done I asked how the heck did he spend $83 on Food Catastrophe Night?? Well…a few things jumped into his cart that were not on the list, like potato chips, strawberries, and extra big ice cream. Still, $83! Colson said that he loves food shopping alone because he can just grab what he wants.
As we were pulling out of the parking lot, Colson realized he forgot my shrimp and we went back, thus averting the need to do this Quest task a second time. Whew! I don’t know if our budget can handle many more tasks like this one.
Once we got home Colson put the groceries away while I went to visit the neighbors to discuss Paleo eating (they are fighting two types of autoimmune diseases). While I was gone, Colson cut up the green pepper for Ryan’s pizza topping and cut up the broccoli for our veggie. When I got back the kitchen table was cleared and set, his impulsively purchased strawberries were washed and in a bowl on the table along with the potato chips, and Colson had moved on to peeling the shrimp. While he was peeling the shrimp he said that he wished that he was having shrimp. I asked why because he said in the past that he doesn’t really like shrimp. He said that he thinks he likes it now. Yay!
When Ryan got home, Colson began the pizza preparations. He only needed help with opening the tomato sauce can (I wished he would have bought glass to avoid the BPA, but I didn’t say anything because this was his night. We will tackle that another day). He needed help figuring out how to spread the sauce appropriately. I had to use questions to help him realize he only needed a spoon. After this I left the kitchen until dinner was served.
Ryan joined Colson in the kitchen and began taking pictures. It was amazing to hear the pride in Colson’s voice as he explained his shopping experience to Ryan. I learned while listening in from the office that Colson is a chatterbox when cooking. He explained that we listened to “The Raven” as read by James Earl Jones, Christopher Walken and Vincent Price today. We listened to The Raven in preparation for Colson’s upcoming reading of a stanza of The Raven as part of his debate class. James Earl Jones was his favorite reader and the conversation then trailed off into how Darth Vader had a sad life and Colson felt bad for him.
Then Colson warned Ryan that potato chips are not regular things. Yay!
Colson had to learn how much water he needed to boil shrimp and how to know if the shrimp are cooked. He remembered the butter at the last minute. He cut the pizzas, served the shrimp, served the drinks and we all ate. Before eating he demanded that we say our blessing and we gave his hands extra squeezes of gratitude. Colson was very, very proud that he completed his Quest task and has decided that his pizza is the best ever made. I broke my Whole 30 Quest to taste his pizza and it was excellent, as were my shrimp. Half way through dinner Colson realized he forgot to make the broccoli, so at my request he cut up some carrots.
Colson said that while this Quest task was a lot of fun, he is tired. It took a lot of thinking to complete it. He withdrew his offer to make dinner tomorrow night and has decided he will make dinner once a month. I explained to him that as he makes dinner more it will become easier and he won’t always have to plan it.
Because Colson did such a good job, I think we will institute Colson dinner night once a week so that he can ramp up his cooking skills. We are super crazy proud of him, and he is even prouder of himself I think.
THE POST DINNER HANGOVER
The guys did have organic ice cream, but without chocolate chips. Last week we figured out that Ryan swells when he drinks unfermented raw milk, but he willingly ate the ice cream, which included his first sugar in 35 days. Within an hour his eyes began to swell and his formerly broken back (old Army injury) began to hurt and spasm. His pulse was insane. Colson’s heart was about jumping out of his chest by bed time. Ryan was unsure he would be able to sleep, but Colson said he was so exhausted from the planning, shopping, cooking and cleaning that he could sleep through anything. Ryan has sworn off ice cream and I am not sure where Colson stands yet.
We have come a long way from this experience four years ago when I hardly knew a thing, and it is interesting to see the same outcome four years later even with healthier ingredients.
As for me, I tried a small piece of pizza at Colson’s urging, and it was wonderful. I had one bite of ice cream, my teeth started to buzz and I had an almost immediate shooting pain on the right side of my head for about 20 minutes. I had just finished bottling a new batch of broth, so I quickly drank a cup and I am fully back on The Whole 30 through February at least.