So by now you've probably heard the uproar about the controversial book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua. It's been talked about everywhere (here are two examples, at Momversation and The New Yorker). Basically, in a nutshell, it talks about how Chinese mothers raise more disciplined children than Western mothers because they're much more strict. I mean ... there's a lot more to it, but I haven't read the book myself, so I don't exactly feel qualified to give y'all a complete review or anything.
But anyway. I digress.
I may not be able to give you a review of Amy Chua's book, but I like to think I know a little bit about Chinese mothers. True, the extent of my Chinese upbringing was eating almond chicken and egg drop soup at a little place called Hunan's. But I have read almost everything ever written by the wonderful author Amy Tan - one of my favorites (and I'm a total book whore, so that's saying a lot) - whose primary topic is Chinese mothers and their relationships to their children. I've always been fascinated by the differences in their households ... and there are lots. However, it isn't the strictness that has always stuck out to me. Nope. It's something completely different.
There's a scene in one of Amy Tan's books, The Joy Luck Club , in which there are a few Chinese families eating crabs together. And when the mother picks out the crabs for her family, she chooses the best for her kids before choosing a less-desirable crab for herself.
I don't know about y'all, but when I'm sharing any type of food with my kids, I get all stingy and keep the best for myself. I mean ... they don't know any better, right? At least not at this point. I didn't even think about this too much until the other day when I was on Facebook, and my friend Kate mentioned that she was eating blueberries. She said she was doling out the smaller, more sour ones to her kids and keeping the nice big fatties for herself. And I was all, "I totally do that!"
With me, it's not just confined to blueberries. No matter what I'm eating, if I'm sharing it with my kids? You can bet they're getting the second-rate stuff. That extra-cheesy piece of lasagna? It's going on my plate - they only eat the noodles anyway. That morsel of chicken with the weird little dark streak running through it? Here, baby, do you want this bite? They'd never notice it, whereas I would be kinda creeped out by eating it. So you'd better believe that if I were picking out a crab, the hierarchy would be different: the best one for me, and then maybe the next-best for them.
The way I see it, they're lucky I'm sharing anyway. Because I'm serious about my food, y'all. Maybe that's not the most motherly way to be, but I can't help it. I did give Cameron a gorgeous, perfect pickle yesterday even though I wanted to eat it myself ... baby steps, right?
What about you? Do you share your food with your kids - and when you do, do you give them the best or save it for yourself?