The Gross Out

It has been well documented that Ollie will eat most anything. What has not been documented is how easily he gets grossed out.

Ollie is a budding germaphobe, especially when it comes to food. He cannot eat anything if anyone else has eaten off of it. If I had a slice of delicious, moist, chocolate cake, and I used a clean fork to take a single bite, and Ollie WAS LITERALLY STARVING TO DEATH, he would rather throw it in the trash than finish it up. If Evelyn sneezes on the other side of the kitchen while Ollie is eating, he can’t eat any more. The toothpaste he spits into the sink can be so gross it can make him cry. For that matter, I have seen him gag because he didn’t like how much toothpaste was on his toothbrush. If he himself leaves food on his own plate, then he can’t pick that plate up and bring it over to the sink because it’s too gross. Often, the only way we can get him to clear the table is by agreeing to play the “dirtiest dish” game, wherein he decides which is the dirtiest dish and refuses to touch it.

The thing is, he is always complaining about how hungry he is. “Sorry,” we say, “all the supper is gone. The only pasta left is what’s on Evelyn’s plate.” “But I’m so hungry!” he cries in despair. Sometimes he has food left in his lunch when he comes home from school. I ask him, “Hey Ollie, did you not like your carrots today?” “No, they tasted bad.” “They did?” I ask, sniffing the carrots. They look okay to me. “Well, I didn’t taste them, but they fell on the ground and [my teacher] washed them off…” Ah. Got it.

I mean, I’m not going to fault the guy for not wanting to eat food that’s been on the floor (even if it has CLEARLY been there for less than 5 seconds and EVERYBODY KNOWS the initial impact knocks all of the germs out of the way and it takes them 5 seconds to run back). Probably better safe than sorry when it comes to germs. I’m just baffled that a kid can both be so easily disgusted by food and *also at the same time* be so adventurous in his food choices (and also, also at the same time have no trouble at all picking up trash out the gutter and insisting it’s his new favorite toy and he has to keep it forever and ever and ever…).

He certainly doesn’t get it from me. I’m much more of the “yes-it’s-been-more-than-5-seconds-but-I-have-a-healthy-immune-system-and-whatever-it-can-do-to-me-it’s-probably-not-worse-than-starvation-which-is-clearly-what’s-going-to-happen-if-I-don’t-get-this-piece-of-popcorn” mindset.

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