My Children Are Un-American

by Gigi Ross on January 3, 2013

After living with one of my kids for almost ten years and the other for almost 8, I’ve come to a conclusion.

They’re the most un-American children ever.

I don’t mean unpatriotic.

When I say they’re un-American, I mean that they don’t do a lot of the things you think of the typical American child doing, liking or eating.

The Four Horsemen of the Apoppalix (Or, Eat Some Freaking Ketchup, Dude

Boy Wonder does not eat ketchup. Or mustard. Or ranch dressing. Or tomato sauce. Or any other sort of condiment, sauce or otherwise-make-it-moist-and-tasty substance.

You should see what happens when a food establishment accidentally slathers a bit of ketchup on whatever he’s ordered. It’s like the four horsemen of the Apoppalix (what he calls the Apocalypse) have come to impart all sorts of deathly horrors upon him.

He eats cheese by itself, but won’t sprinkle cheese on his butter-only (he’s 1/4 Italian, for God’s sake!) pasta or eat a slice of cheese on a hamburger. The nerve!

He won’t eat hot dogs on a bun, but eats every sort of other bread imaginable in mass quantities. Except for pizza crust and bread crust. Are you freaking kidding me?

He eats dragonfruit. Craves kiwi. Inhales pears and raspberries. Won’t eat watermelon, pineapple or APPLES.

What kid doesn’t eat apples?

Speaking of apples, he doesn’t eat pie. He’s as un-American as it gets, if you ask me. Cookies? Cake? Candy? Giant heaping bowls of ice cream (he can eat a quart in one sitting, thankyouverymuch)? All good. Pie? He practically pukes. And pudding…well, let’s just not go there.

And then there’s Little CEO and her eating habits. Which of course, are defined as follows:

Eat nothing that Boy Wonder likes. Whatever is left, eat only 1/4 of those items. Also, do not eat bananas or berries.

Go! Team! Rah!. Okay, maybe not.

Neither of my kids are into sports. At all. Boy Wonder has attempted several team sports, but frankly, he could care less about the final outcome. He still doesn’t know how many downs you get in football. He can’t remember if the Padres are a football team or a baseball team. When other moms talk about busy Saturdays full of soccer games, we’re not doing any of that. We don’t own an easy-up pavilion or camping chairs with umbrella shades to protect us from the sun on game days.

Little CEO played soccer for about 5 minutes when she was 4. She was actually pretty good. However, she couldn’t stand the feel of shin guards and soccer socks on her legs. So she refused to play. I was not about to spend my Saturdays with a tantruming 4-year old, trying to teach her a life lesson about not quitting. Besides, my scalp was getting sunburned while sitting on the sidelines because we didn’t have an easy-up.

American Woman {Girl}, Stay Away From Me

My kids are not into the toys that most kids are.

Boy Wonder is not that into Legos. Do you know how many of my friends have “Tommy Is A Master Lego Builder” kids? A lot. Do you know how many Legos we have? About 2,000. Do you know how many get played with? Hint: the number is the same as the number of burgers with cheese he’ll eat.

Little CEO is not into American Girl dolls. She has never asked for one. She devours the magazine every month. She’s read nearly all the books in every series that they’ve issued. She loves their crafts. She does not want a doll. I happen to be pretty happy about this since they are an awfully expensive way to teach history to a kid.

Untrendy is the New Trendy

Justin Bieber? They can’t stand him. Okay, so they do like Gangnam Style (they have a way of hanging on to trends even after the 15 minutes is up).

Clothing? If I said, “Do you want to go to Justice?” Little CEO would think I was referring to a girl in our neighborhood by the same name, not the clothing store. Boy Wonder has no idea Abercrombie exists. He wears Hurley and Volcom shirts, but only because I get them cheap at Costco, not because he’s into skate fashion. I hear a lot that 9 year-olds are “really into” Abercrombie. How is this possible? How does a 9 year old know what Abercrombie is? And how do they draw the conclusion that Abercrombie is cool? Or something they MUST have at age 9?

Let me be clear: I am not bemoaning the fact that my kids are a little unique, and buck the trends. They’re perfectly happy not doing what everybody else does. In some ways, I’m thrilled that I’ve got the most un-American children on the planet.

But I’d seriously give my right arm if they’d just eat some freaking tomato sauce. Is that too much to ask?


Sherry Carr-Smith January 3, 2013 at 12:01 pm

My kids and your kids would get along famously. Maybe we could share the cooking duties.

Gigi Ross January 3, 2013 at 12:04 pm

Let’s do it!!! :)

renée a. schuls-jacobson January 3, 2013 at 12:51 pm

You have described TechSupport. My non-traditional sports loving, fruit-munching boy who lectures me about how evil KFC is and how I need to stop eating it. I buy all my son’s clothes, and he doesn’t care if they come from Walmart or Old Navy or Nordstroms.

{Hahahaha. That’s funny. As if we lived near a Nordsroms.}

But seriously, my son loves to hang out with his friends. He DOES like technology. And he loves to play Minecraft. If you don’t know what that is, be glad. We have to have something to do when the weather gets c-c-cold. We can’t all live on the left coast! 😉

Sometimes it’s challenging parenting an ONLY child who doesn’t do what everyone else does and cares so little about what’s cool or what’s in. Let’s face it; it’s always easier when your son is a “ball-boy” and excels at sports that are offered after school.

But I am confident that in the long run, I’ll have an independent thinker who knows people in many circles.

I hope.

Gigi Ross January 3, 2013 at 12:54 pm

As we’ve discussed, our boys are similar, I think. I was actually thinking about your kid when I was writing this post, in fact!

Boy Wonder does love Minecraft (I just.don’t.get.minecraft.anditsallure). And he loves friends, and computers. But yes, it is sometimes challenging to have children who just aren’t interested in doing what everybody else is. As you said, hopefully in the long run, it will be a blessing! :)

renée a. schuls-jacobson January 3, 2013 at 1:45 pm

So when am I coming to SD? Or when do you feel like a little snow in your life? 😉

Gigi Ross January 3, 2013 at 2:26 pm

You need to come west for a blogger conference. I had more snow in Chicago for the first 28 years of my life to last me a lifetime :)

angela January 3, 2013 at 1:03 pm

My kids don’t like condiments either. Weirdos :)

Abbey, however, WILL eat pasta sauce if Ryan is home for dinner. “Is Daddy eating it? Ok. I want it, too.” If it’s just the three of us or at lunch, it remains untouched and disdained.

Happy New Year Gigi!!

Gigi Ross January 3, 2013 at 2:27 pm

Wow, selective eating of pasta sauce. I’ve never heard of that one. Kids are odd with what they will respond to!!!

Connie @ Real Food Family Meals January 3, 2013 at 1:11 pm

What a hoot! I can definitely relate to some of what you are saying, especially about sports. My kids are not really into sports, which makes me feel like I am missing out on something. Other parents talk of shuttling kids every evening and Saturday while we hang out. My daughter just joined volleyball, and I must admit I love watching my kid excel (when she does:) But I guess we just have to accept them for who they are – even if we swear they came from a different country.

Gigi Ross January 3, 2013 at 2:27 pm

Yep, I have a fear of missing out on something too. But I also really enjoy having Saturdays to myself!

Jackie January 3, 2013 at 1:46 pm

Be happy… oh so happy about the clothing thing! Eventually they will want to look “cool” and dress in the lastest and most expensive fashions! With my kids it hit around 8th grade…. now, I’m poor.

Gigi Ross January 3, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Oh believe me..I am verry happy about that!!!

Valerie January 3, 2013 at 5:05 pm

Good for them!! Condiments are totally overrated. ;0)



Gigi Ross January 4, 2013 at 9:19 am

Gosh, I so love condiments myself. Except yellow mustard. I don’t get that stuff. :)

Lea Ann January 3, 2013 at 8:10 pm

I have the same kids. Luka will only eat Spanish cheeses and Quinn orders his water with no ice. They both prefer Ben Folds music to just about anything else. All my 15 yr old wanted for Christmas was a dry-erase whiteboard. I like them this way. They are not sheeple. I think it’s way easier to raise kids who don’t give a flip about what everyone else is doing. No competitiveness, jealousy, or drama.

Gigi Ross January 4, 2013 at 9:18 am

Sheeple. I love it. I know I will be grateful for their differences long-term. :)

Sam@India carnival January 4, 2013 at 1:38 am

This is good point to note down because often you can need it in your life.

Kim@Co-Pilot Mom January 4, 2013 at 6:04 am

I so relate to the ranch dressing, pie and the both-of-them-liking-the-opposite thing. My 8 year old is still perfectly happy letting me shop for his clothes – and would even let me pick them out for him; he is not into fashion at all. Comfort is still the key factor in his apparel at this point.

Gigi Ross January 4, 2013 at 9:18 am

My 9 yo too…he totally lets me pick his clothes. OF course, he’d prefer to stay in his pajamas 24/7 :)

Carolyn West January 4, 2013 at 9:25 am

I’m dying. My daughter has taken to eating pasta with only butter (yuk!). She will, however, down a bacon cheeseburger in 2 minutes flat. None of my girls are into sports either. Riding their bikes is about as much exercise as they can handle. They wouldn’t step foot in Justice because, well… it’s just tacky. But it’s perfectly okay if I buy them clothes at Target. Kids are strange.

Gigi Ross January 4, 2013 at 10:40 am

Strange, indeed. :)

Olga January 4, 2013 at 10:09 am

I think it’s great that they are picky eaters and that they are happy not to participate in team sports. It shows that they’ve got character. They know what they want and aren’t trying to be like everybody else.

I hear you though, having kids that just eat everything sounds so much simpler! As a mom of one gluten and another nut free kid, I know what it’s like to feed a kid with a particular diet.

Gigi Ross January 4, 2013 at 10:40 am

WOW! One nut free and one gluten free?

I am in awe of you. THAT is tough. I should be good with the no ketchup thing :)

Natalie C. January 4, 2013 at 11:11 am

My son won’t eat ketchup either, and neither of them like ranch. So funny their idiosyncrasies! My daughter hasn’t discovered American Girl dolls, though I have somehow gotten on their mailing list. I recycle the catalog before it even hits the house because I don’t want her dreaming about stuff we won’t be buying her. I actually have an American Girl doll from when they first came out- she’ll be getting that when she’s ready to keep track of all the stuff- maybe that will be when she’s 9.

Chris Carter January 4, 2013 at 8:09 pm

Oh that is stinkin’ HILARIOUS!!! I can SO relate to alot of these things you shared!! And isn’t it the hardest thing ever just to feed your family? My kids do/eat/wear similar things than yours!!! Such a pain…

Mary @ A Teachable Mom January 4, 2013 at 8:27 pm

If my 9 yo finds out about Abercrombie in the next three or four years, I’ll cry. And rant and rave. And blame her dad or something! 😉 My kids are similar on food, but they’ve been seduced by the marketing machine known as American Girl. Could be worse, I guess! But Abercrombie, ugh!

Ginger January 4, 2013 at 10:49 pm

Yeah, this sounds familiar. My kid doesn’t like pizza, macaroni and cheese, pasta in any form (or with any topping), ranch dressing, hamburgers, and will only rarely eat chicken nuggets.

He will, however, eat calamari, curry mayo, salsa, sriracha, and broccoli.

Granted, he’s 3, so he’s got plenty of time to gain his stars and stripes.

Rachel January 5, 2013 at 7:14 am

Your picky eaters sound a bit lke my husband! He will eat tomato flavored anything, but no actual tomatoes. He likes his grlled cheese burned, and with as little butter as possible.

Back to your kids, they sound much better off than the little girl I used to babyst who colored all ofher coloring pages with only pink. Her reasoning? She was a girl and pink is the only “girl color”.

Susi January 5, 2013 at 10:39 am

Is is sad that I was very happy to read this and nodded along to some of it. We are not a sports family at all and it has always seemed kind of strange to me, especially since it’s very prominent where we live. Glad that we are not the only ones! Maybe my kids are the way they are because up until a year ago their mother was not an “official” American! 😉

anastasia @ eco-babyz January 5, 2013 at 10:46 pm

I can relate! My kids were born here, but my husband and I are from overseas. They are not anything like a typical American child, they don’t really fit in anywhere except with their close cousins. My daughter doesn’t follow any kindergarten age trends, styles, toys. We have no TV, so she doesn’t even see the ads. We don’t do any extracurricular activities (yet) and like our slow lifestyle. We may do come playgroups and field trips with local homeschoolers, but that’s about it. Otherwise we spend most time just with family.

Lady Jennie January 7, 2013 at 12:35 pm

I think even if we lived in America, my kids wouldn’t be very American – I’ve never really been myself so they don’t stand much of a chance.

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