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Pasta with red sauce

Sophie & her parents moved yesterday; six streets north and about 1/4 mile east to a larger place. She spent the night at our house, which meant getting up very early to get her to school in the city by 8 a.m. She’s not a breakfast eater, except when I make her pancakes. But when the radio announcer said that traffic was backing up on the George Washington Bridge due to an accident, I decided there’s wasn’t time for pancakes; instead I followed her mother’s recommendation to take a bag of Cherrios for her to eat in the car. I handed her the Cherrios, but no luck. In my typical information-conveying style, I started telling her true stories, hoping to motivate her to eat. First, about how when I was on the NJ Commission on Hunger we did research to find out whether or not breakfast was important for school children & discovered that it is! Sophie was interested but unmoved so I told her two more totally true stories, hoping to what?–I’m not sure. Anyhow, I confessed that a long time ago when I was a kid, I didn’t like breakfast until one morning my grandmother offered me a cold hamburger, which I ate with gusto (a fun-to-say-word, Sophie said). Then there was the case of who-is-going-to-eat-the-trout: during my early teenage years, I spent two weeks in the summer with my grandparents, who lived in New Hampshire. Gramp & I we liked to go fly fishing for trout, until Grammie said we couldn’t go anymore unless someone starting eating the trout that were piling up in the freezer. (Knowing that Sophie is a passionate animal lover, I interrupted my narrative to tell her that nowadays many fishers catch and release fish.) Gramp refused; I agreed & ate trout every morning for the two weeks of my stay! I ended my storytelling with a tidbit about how when Linda’s son Jeremy was in kindergarten he said he’d only eat soup for breakfast. Then I said (naming Sophie’s favorite food), “I wonder–would you have eaten pasta with red sauce for breakfast this morning?” “Yes,” she enthusiastically answered. “Ok, next time,” I replied. “But, I also like pancakes.”

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