Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and the Suspicious Eater

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle said, “Don’t worry so, Mrs. O’Toole. Some of the most charming children I know were once Answer-Backers. Fortunately Mary has only just begun so she can be cured in no time at all. You drop by here after lunch and I will give you Penelope Parrot to keep for a while. Mrs. Garrison has been using Penelope but she has had her for a month now and Garry should be cured by this time.”

I had not thought about Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle in years. Betty McDonald wrote four of these books during the 1940s. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle was a favorite childhood storybook character and when I had children and then grandchildren she seemed to reappear on a regular basis. If you are not familiar with these books and you have children or grandchildren you really should go to the library and check them out. Mrs. Piggle Wiggle is a charming character that live in an upside down house and was the widow of a pirate. A real honest to goodness pirate. She is a 1940’s version of the child parenting specialist. She had a cure for everything from picky eaters to sassy children. She used a little magic, a lot of common sense AND she made you laugh!

Now I have a “suspicious eater” for a granddaughter. She never puts a bite in her mouth without knowing the exact ingredients and she may even demand that you produce the package that the food came from!!! You might say “How do you let her get away with that?” Or “Just make her stay at the table until she finishes her food.” I, on the other hand, see it a different way. I gagged on many a meal as I grew up and lost my appetite as my poor mother appealed to my sense of duty. I don’t want to do that. My granddaughter is 10. She really does know what tastes good to her and what doesn’t. And I find the conversation we have at every meal I fix for her in the summer just plain comical.

Today we had a chicken sandwich. She asked “Where did the chicken come from?” I wanted to say the chicken farm but thought better of it. “A can” I said. “It tastes like tuna.” she said and went to the cupboard to check. I was actually willing to get the can out of the recycling when her brother informed her he had eaten all the tuna so it had to be chicken. I was thinking rattlesnake tastes like chicken too. Tuna fish and rattlesnake taste like chicken!!!! She is not naughty or defiant or sassy. She is just really suspicious!!!

I don’t know how Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle would handle this. She probably had a detective and a magnifying glass and a pet re dish and a little fairy dust. I just laugh. My granddaughter eats and her brother rolls his eyes.

Now let me tell you right now, it is not my fault she is suspicious about her food, well at least not all my fault. I hardly ever add mustard to the mac and cheese and that mystery pickle in her sandwich was not my idea!!!

I do love my granddaughter a lot!




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