My mama always said “pick your battles, and win the war”. I never really understood what she meant when I was younger. However, I have learned as my children get older exactly what she meant by that phrase. Kale is almost 12 and we have started ‘the struggle’ when eating out.
He almost always asks “Can I order off the adult menu?” There are some restaurants that he can order off the regular menu, because a happy meal just won’t cut it for this growing boy. Other restaurants he takes food home from the kids menu, like Olive Garden for example, because the salad and breadsticks are the best.
Recently while in the Wisconsin Dells, we continued our family tradition of eating at Buffalo Phil’s. As soon as the menus were set in front of us, Kale asked the question. “Can I order off the adult menu?” I said no, the kids menu would be fine. He immediately sprang into a speech.
“I am older now… there is never enough food on the kids menu. MOM! I am starving! I promise I will eat it all…”
I knew the portions of this restaurant were large and had a feeling he would never be able to finish the food, but I felt this might be a good teaching moment. So I gave in. He ordered a Buffalo Phil burger and fries. Both Owen and Max ordered off the kids’ menu, never even questioning about the regular menu. Ryan and I ordered and all was good.
When the food came Kale was the happiest person in the place, his smile was huge and his confidence was high that he could finish this large plate of food. The whole while I was eating my food, I kept asking Kale how he was doing. The answers ranged from “great” to “this is the best food ever” to “I’m still just so hungry”.
As the eating pace slowed, I asked again, his response was “This is where the eating stops and the I think I am going to die starts”.
We took enough food home from the restaurant to eat supper that night. Kale has yet to ask to order from the regular menu, but he does ask if the kids’ menu will be enough. After the chicken salad sandwich ordeal, he now also asks if I think he will like it. These were great battles, fought hard on his end, but I’m still winning the war.
I thought about how this blog could possibly relate to anything outside of a cute story about my son. But, I think it does have a message that relates to Farm Bureau. Our county Farm Bureau continues to become more and more active, which is a great thing. However, as we grow our involvements we have to make sure that as individuals we don’t bit off more than we can chew. Moral of the story here is that we can ‘clean our plate’ if we all work together. Even more blunt: volunteer to take on some of the work, so the rest of us aren’t left with a belly ache and too many leftovers.