Skip to main content

On learning to like things

My two nieces spent the night at our house over the weekend. Jasmine is eight and Keona is seven. They're both learning to assert themselves and testing their boundaries, so they were quite a handful when it came to things they had to do, like eat or take a bath.

When you tell Jasmine to do something, she studies your face closely to see how serious you are and decides to follow (or not to) based on what she sees. When you tell Keona to do something, it's a battle of wills and, sometimes, fake tears. They're both beautiful, kind, and sweet, and they're also stubborn, strong-willed, and, really, too clever for their own good.

They are also very picky eaters.

When my mom served them red rice (we're trying to eat healthier) and corned beef (I said trying!) with scrambled eggs for brunch, they both said matter-of-factly that they only ate white rice. It took us a lot of convincing and prodding to make them eat.

We told them how red rice is healthy for them. "I don't like it."

We told them them how red rice is princess food in the mountains of the North. "I don't like princesses."

We told them how we wouldn't leave the table until they were done, so no Minecraft until they clean their plates.

Keona liked corned beef, so she was the first to yield. The moment she realized the red rice "doesn't taste like anything," she couldn't stop eating. Jasmine, on the other hand, declared she would just eat the rice, after having convinced herself that it tasted like chocolate. Eventually, she asked to try "just a little" of the corned beef and was surprised she liked it. The two girls finally cleaned their plates--and they both decided on their own that they actually liked what they ate, even the strange red rice.

In fact, Keona asked for a second helping in the afternoon.

This got me thinking about the things I like and how I got to like them. For instance, I love to eat, but I'm not a very adventurous eater. For years, I would order the same items in restaurants, because I liked knowing that I already liked what I was going to have.

This week, I'll blog about at least three things I know for sure I like and try to recall how I learned to like them for the first time.

Popular posts from this blog

The work for which all other work is but preparation

I've been thinking, off and on, of something I once read: The purpose of marriage is not happiness but holiness. Never having been a "good" Christian despite my many attempts, I couldn't understand this line of thinking. Having been raised Catholic, I understood "holiness" to have as one of its main ingredients suffering — and why even want to get married if to be successful at it means to suffer? But these words never left me, bobbing up every now and then from the flotsam and jetsam of my brain. Until, one day, it dawned on me what the statement meant for me. On that same day, I also realized that I do want the gift of marriage. In fact, that is my Christmas wish this year.  My view is not a biblical view, but I don't think it strays too far from it. To be holy is to be set apart from others, as God is, in his perfect goodness and righteousness, in his perfect love (yes, this is biblical; yes, I know I said I wasn't looking at it biblically).  The

Visita Iglesia

My mom and I went with my sister, her family, and the in-laws to their Visita Iglesia for the Holy Week. I'd never done this before, but I had such an interesting time, and I think I'd like to do this again next year. We didn't do the Stations of the Cross, though. We just prayed and lit candles. A lot of candles. Here's a list of the churches we visited. Recto The University Belt churches, all of which are within walking distance to each other. The path to all those churches were lined with vendors hawking all sorts of things, from food, like calamares (I'd never seen calamares being sold as street food before! Lucky U-Belt kids!), all-sorts-of-balls-and-the-like (chicken, squid, fish, kikiam , and kwek-kwek ), to bottled water and flavored beverages, to candles and religious paraphernalia. 1. The San Beda Church , which I loved for the gilt of gold on the statues and the ceiling, and because once a Bedan, always a Bedan, though I didn't go to San Beda

Dream: Disaster

Last night's dream. This is a long one. I was in a management class that suddenly became a cooking class. The teacher whipped up this Italian dish with pasta, meat and some mushrooms and vegetables. "Would anyone like to have this?" she asked us. Nobody replied. A bit miffed, she handed it to the student in front of her: me. The dish looked delicious, actually, so I stood up and went around the classroom to get everyone to try it. Some of my classmates feigned interest, and some didn't bother to hide their annoyance, but most got some of the food. The plate was soon empty, even for me, so I went back to my seat. The teacher, who'd been watching me serve her dish, asked, "Why do you have blood on the seat of your pants? Do you have your period?" Surprised, and suddenly anxious, I whispered, "I just finished my, um, girly thing, ma'am, but I'll go check. I might have just sat on something that looks like blood." I saw what looked like blo