As a parent, I learned early on that consistency was not on the menu (from them or from me, but that's a separate blog post).
During the toddler years, I marveled at how while peas were on the yuck list, sippy cups swished around in toilet water were totally, A-ok, fine.
Now that my children have reached, what I believed when they were two, would be the ever-so-rational ages of eight and eleven, you'd think their likes and dislikes would have some rational basis in human experience and western civilization.
You'd think that, but you'd be wrong.
When we decided to stop and try the spiders being offered at a small roadside stand in rural Cambodia (sort of redundant, I know) I assumed we'd take pictures of them en masse, watch them being prepared and buy a few.
The buying, I assumed, wouldn't happen out of any desire to eat the spiders, but more because the people who are selling them are extremely poor and my family can amply afford thirty-five cents worth of spiders that we don't plan to eat. Heck, we could even afford two helpings.
My husband had a whole different take on spider tasting.
He inspected the live spiders (according to Child #2 they're tarantulas, but we don't know for sure because when we asked everyone just agreed with us). While I was snapping pictures of the market, playing with two local children, a praying mantis and my own kids, I turned around to find him nibbling on spider legs.
The next thing I knew both children were following suit. "Yum, it tastes like crunchy barbeque, Mom," said Child #1. "You should try them."
Given the toilet water years, their adventurous palates shouldn't have surprised me, but they did.
We're now home to a place where spiders are smaller, uncooked and usually unwelcome surprises found in the shower. The other night I made asparagus grilled in olive oil and sprinkled with salt.
"That is disgusting!" announced Child #1 as I was parceling it out onto plates. "You don't expect me to eat that, right?"
I could have mentioned the spiders or the toilet water or the strange baking soda heavy creations she and her best friend make and call cookies, but I didn't.
Instead I just told myself that I was off by about ten years. Maybe they'll be rational when they're in the twenties or thirties. Or maybe I just need to expect irrational behavior will be on the menu for years to come.
And the other thing that's on the menu....spiders. At least now I know my kids won't starve to death in the event of an apocalyptic food shortage.