It’s not easy living with a bunch of omnivores

Yesterday when my son came home from school he couldn’t wait to tell me all about this boys club he started with some of his friends from school. I’m very familiar with these. He loves to create clubs that are just for boys and by the end of the day he always asks me if I want to join the club and all is well again. Last night was different; he told me girls were allowed if they liked dairy or dog food. He always finds a way to include our dog Lisa so that’s where the dog food comes in.

She is the best who wouldn’t want her in their club.

When I tucked him into bed that night he held his ground about the dairy. He posted this sign on his door. Just to be sure I got the message.

No Moms allowed except if they like dairy.

I thought to myself, maybe he isn’t OK with my diet. Maybe he doesn’t like that I don’t eat dairy or meat. After all we once ate a lot of cheese together. Two years ago cheese was one of my favorite foods. I often ordered the cheese course after dinner when my husband and I went out to eat.  My son and I loved to eat nachos after school and have yogurt in the morning. Now all that has stopped and I guess he is still making sense of it all.

I thought he understood why I gave up dairy. I’m lactose intolerant and despite how bad cheese made me feel I continued to eat it for most of my life because I was addicted to it. He knows now that I feel so much better since I’ve stopped eating it and that if I do eat it again my stomach will hurt. We have talked about this many times together. Something tells me it’s not really about me not eating dairy.

I recalled the comment I left on Crabby Vegan’s blog yesterday, he’s not that crabby once you get to know him. He was struggling with a similar issue with his sons who were not vegan. I suspect this is a common problem in homes where there are vegans living with omnivores. This is why when my son and I are playing dinosaur together he is always a meat eater and I’m always a herbivore and his dinosaur always attacks mine at the end. He is not happy that we eat different foods.

My son and I are very close I stayed home with him all his life, he is now 7 and in school. We did everything together before he started school, on some level he thought we were the same person. He would like to say things like” We don’t like that do we Mommy” Or “That’s our favorite right Mommy”. Now all of a sudden I’ve become this person who doesn’t order a cheeseburger when he does or want to eat pizza on movie night. He takes comfort knowing that Dad will still eat what he eats and he enjoys saying things like “The guys want meat tonight” There is a big separation there, one that I didn’t realize existed until yesterday.

Today when we were at the grocery store he asked me to buy some almond milk for myself so we could have cereal together. I usually tell him I like to make my own and move on. This time I bought the almond milk and I will make sure to have a bowl of cereal with him even though I don’t eat cereal anymore. I will make a big effort to make myself some vegan mac and cheese once in a while when he is eating his mac and cheese. I will have coconut yogurt at the same time he has his yogurt. I realize now that it’s not about the food, but about the ritual of eating the same foods at the same time. It’s worth the extra effort to try and eat more of the same foods. I know it will make my son very happy. He might even invite me in his club.

  • Manar3

    what a great post! I love the sign that my sweet angel made! I really believe, that no matter what you choose to et, sharing food is a comforting ritual for all of us. I know that in our home, we like to share meals together and talk about what’s happened that day. I am sure you’ll find a balance that works for you and your family. You can be in my sisters club anytime!

  • Manar3

    what a great post! I love the sign that my sweet angel made! I really believe, that no matter what you choose to et, sharing food is a comforting ritual for all of us. I know that in our home, we like to share meals together and talk about what’s happened that day. I am sure you’ll find a balance that works for you and your family. You can be in my sisters club anytime!

  • neven,… i can totally relate, and thanks for the compliment 🙂 i am only beginning to enter this as my kids are sensing that this is more than a “phase”. i think they probably thought it was funny for a little while of course evenings like last night dont help. my father took us out to dinner, and him and my son and daughter consumed a slab and a half of ribs, kindly mocking us in the process. it was all in good fun, but i try to explain to my son to respect other peoples choices. he has a muslim friend in school that has dietary restrictions, and he respects that, i tell him this is similar. it doesnt change our relationship. i feel for you though, and i will be following your story. great post!

    • First of all that’s a lot of ribs. I think your kids are older than my son, so I guess at their age they deal with it through jokes. It’s a tricky thing.You are so right about teaching them to be respectful of your dietary change. I don’t think there is a “right” answer that fits for every family.

  • neven,… i can totally relate, and thanks for the compliment 🙂 i am only beginning to enter this as my kids are sensing that this is more than a “phase”. i think they probably thought it was funny for a little while of course evenings like last night dont help. my father took us out to dinner, and him and my son and daughter consumed a slab and a half of ribs, kindly mocking us in the process. it was all in good fun, but i try to explain to my son to respect other peoples choices. he has a muslim friend in school that has dietary restrictions, and he respects that, i tell him this is similar. it doesnt change our relationship. i feel for you though, and i will be following your story. great post!

    • First of all that’s a lot of ribs. I think your kids are older than my son, so I guess at their age they deal with it through jokes. It’s a tricky thing.You are so right about teaching them to be respectful of your dietary change. I don’t think there is a “right” answer that fits for every family.

  • The Waspy Redhead

    This is such a sweet post. I think you’re completely right about it being the ritual not the specific foods.

    • Thanks Elizabeth.

  • The Waspy Redhead

    This is such a sweet post. I think you’re completely right about it being the ritual not the specific foods.

    • Thanks Elizabeth.