Michael the chef

I've long had a difficult relationship with Michael about food. He discovered early that he had complete control over what he put into his mouth and has used it as part of his identity, defining himself as separate from his parents in part by how differently he chooses to eat.

A couple weeks ago, his disdain and disgust with what I cooked for him, even though the items had previously been on the 'acceptable' list, were too much to take any longer. I announced that I would not cook for him any more; I was tired of having what I make rejected and tired of the arbitrary changes in his decisions. From now on, he would have to cook for himself (under my supervision and tutelage). It was a traumatic evening for us all.

The next morning, Michael told me he'd decided to change his attitude about my decision (the night before, he'd been in tears because he was afraid he would starve). He decided that this was a good change and that he was fully capable of cooking for himself. That morning he made pancakes for himself, successfully.

Since then, with few exceptions, he's assembeled or cooked his own breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. He's made much the same choice that we made for him previously, but because he has control over the choice, he is much happier and eats much better than before. It has been, so far at least, a most successful change.

I also asked him, that first evening, to make a list of food he feels it's OK to eat, so he'd have a list to refer to in case of chef's-block. Here is his initial list:

  • Bread

  • apple

  • chese

  • pankeks

  • wofoles

  • crasens

  • penuts

  • cashows

  • cheps

  • samweches

  • carats

  • tost

  • eggs

  • yogurt

  • lettes

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