I’ve come to realize that Passover is a lot like pregnancy in that you are so excited at the beginning and so nauseatingly OVER IT by the end. I’ve eaten my weight in french fries this week and my husband came home from work each night with heroic stories of how he narrowly escaped the stacks of Easter cookies, cake, and brownies being flaunted in his face. He texted me yesterday saying, “Tonight after we say some Baruch Atah Adonai, can we eat real food?” This man is going to owe me some serious sexy time when he finds out that I bought back some Girl Scout Tagalongs. The only person in our house sad to see the sun set on the eigth day of Passover is our 14 month old son.
Last year, he was a fresh baked meatloaf and spent Passover sleeping, eating, and pooping. Now, he points to farm animals and blows snot bubbles, so I didn’t expect much in the way of observance from him this year either. Breastmilk and sweet potatoes were still on the menu so my picky eater was none the wiser. I figured I’d offer, as I always do, whatever we’re eating and do my best to hide my horrified-Mama-face when he refuses or spits out whatever he’s chewing with a dramatic tongue thrust. Because honeslty, what toddler doesn’t like bananas or macaroni and cheese!? Mine.
During first seder he sat quietly and chewed on salty parsley for AN HOUR. My husband told him that matzah was a “cookie” and his little eyes lit up. In retrospect it seems more like a cruel joke, but my kid asked for “cookies” all week. Cookies with butter. Cookies with jelly. Cookie lasagna. He ate spoonfuls of charoset and picked up tiny pieces of chicken while announcing “chicken!” with each bite. He squeezed the spongy pieces of matzah ball between his little fingers before popping them in his mouth AND SWALLOWNG THEM!
We traveled four hours to celebrate second seder at our home temple. My son ate so much during dinner that he barfed a stomach full of Pesach goodies down my cleavage in front of over 100 people (later my Rabbi commented that the dramatic vomiting act was most likely a ploy to build material for me to blog about here. Busted, right?) I sat on the floor in a pile of puke holding my whimpering boy as the, “next year in Jerusalem” prayers were said and Jewish mamas whirled around me with napkins and sympathetic looks. Me? I was just happy he ate. He threw up more food than he’s eaten in a month. Perhaps he is turning a corner.
I made a Moroccan potato-egg casserole that my husband graciously gagged on while my son cleaned his plate. The same kid that won’t eat rice scarfed down two of the quinoa burgers I made with a recipe courtesy of Mayim Bialik (which should have included a diaper warning about feeding babies red quinoa). And each night for dessert he enjoyed an entire almond Butter and Jelly sandwhich, which actually was by definition, a cookie.
I’ve spent the past year of his life struggling to get him to eat solid food and this Passover I sat back in amazement as he gobbled down whatever I put in front of him. For us, this week was different than all other weeks. It was a Passover I’ll always remember. The one where my son filled my bra his tummy with slightly palatable Pesach treats and lots, and lots of “cookies”.