It started nicely enough tonight. I stopped at the grocery store and picked up a special food for Blake. I’ve gotten somewhat lax in my plan to have Blake prepare all of his own meals. And he has been a great deal better at eating what I’ve prepared. But tonight when I came home, pleased to be able to prepare something I knew he’d approve of, it all came tumbling down.He wasn’t going to eat what I was going to prepare and I was left feeling deflated, rejected even. I think my feelings were a bit hurt. I’d gone out of my way to do something, but there was no need for what I had done. I felt foolish for having even tried. My frustration was evident. Blake tried talking to me about it. We exchanged words. He ended up in his room with the door shut while I cooked dinner for the rest of the family.
When dinnertime arrived, Blake “prepared” his own meal. I use the term, “prepared,” very loosely because what he did was show up at the table with two frozen Trader Joe’s pizza burgers. When I say “frozen” I mean that they were literally still frozen solid.
“Blake, did you cook those pizza burgers?” I asked.
“Cook? What do you mean by that?”
Oh boy, are we really going to play this game?
“I mean, did you heat those up?”
“How did you do that? They still look frozen.”
“I ran them under some water.”
“Blake, that’s not cooking them. They are still frozen. Did you look at the package? Are they even safe to eat without being heated up?”
He got up to look at the package and returned to the table.
“It doesn’t say. It just says, ‘Heat and Serve.’ I don’t know how to do that.”
“The microwave. Put them in the microwave,” I said.
No response. He is halfway through one frozen patty, using a knife and fork to get through this unusual meal. I wonder how he can possibly be enjoying this food. I seriously doubt that he is. The cold, hard truth (no pun intended) is that he won’t heat his food because the microwave is contaminated. Yes, the microwave is another of OCD’s casualties in our home.
Blake has never actually said that the microwave is contaminated, not in so many words, but I see the way he looks at it, with fear and panic on his face. Sometimes he will outright refuse to eat something that was warmed in it. Sometimes he pretends not to notice. But lately he will never use it himself. I came to this realization a couple weeks ago when I found him crouched in front of the heater one morning at breakfast time. I thought he was just keeping warm until I discovered he was holding a frozen bagel in his hand (I buy fresh bagels by the dozen and freeze them).
“What are you doing there, Blake?” I asked.
“I’ve discovered a new way to defrost a bagel,” he replied.
Defrosting a bagel in front of a space heater does not work as well as a microwave oven does. While the bagel gets toasty warm on the outside, the inside remains rock hard and frozen. Blake found that out when he went to cut into his heater-defrosted bagel and hit ice in the middle.
“Put it in the microwave,” I suggested.
“No. I’ll eat it like this.”
In case you are getting the impression that our microwave is unsanitary, please know that it is cleaned quite regularly. I think most people would find it quite satisfactory.
Blake finished his dinner tonight, cleared away his plate and walked upstairs. Big Brother looked at me with confusion on his face. He had been silent until now.
“I am seriously concerned about his mental health. Put all the scissors away.”
I am caught in the middle of two children. One thinks I should bow to all his food rules and allow him to eat however he wants. The other thinks I should force the other to eat whatever I prepare or not allow him to eat at all. I cannot win with either one. I’m zonked. It feels like it’s been a long night and I’m ready to call it an evening. But, first, I’m going to make myself a nice warm cup of tea – in the microwave. 🙂