"Clean your plate, there are starving children in Africa!"
Now I have to say that this is not a saying that I ever heard my mom say but I know that some mom's, sometime must have said it 'cause it's out there.
My mom's rule was "two bites." My sister Jennifer, my brother Michael and I all had to take two bites of everything, no matter what.
Some things were not a problem. Thin, farm raised pork chops (poor Lucky the pig) were probably one of my favorite things for dinner. I'm pretty sure I could eat 5 pork chops in one sitting. Toast with butter and brown sugar on top, yummy! Sometimes my mom would come home to find that my sister and I had eaten a whole loaf of bread.
Other things, another story completely! Slimy okra, squash, liver and onions (does anyone feed their kids that anymore??), zucchini, blech! Utter torture! But nothing was worse to me than fresh goats milk.
Now that I live in CA again (as an adult) I realize that goats milk is very cool, trendy and even more expensive than regular milk. However, when I was twelve (everything in my memory happened when I was twelve) there was nothing I hated more than goats milk.
Here's the story, "The tale of the Goat's Milk", it's told every time my family gets together, somehow, someway it always gets told (Mom hates it.) I love to tell it. It makes me feel better about myself. I don't feel so bad about whopping my daughter on the head with a cereal box when she was in 4th grade when I tell it.
One day Michael and Jennifer were outside playing and I sat down to have lunch. My mother poured me a glass of delicious (not) goats milk. I let her know that I would not be drinking it and gently slid the glass across the table toward her. She calmly let me know that I would be drinking it and politely slid it back across the table to me. I felt the need to let her know that there was no need to boss me since Jenn and Michael were outside and they would never know that I hadn't had any milk with lunch. She let me know once again that I WOULD be drinking that milk. I, with anger and a little fear said "I will NOT drink it!" No one watching would have known that my mother was about to lose it. Only I knew by the slight quiver in her bottom lip. She very calmly picked up that glass of milk and poured it over the top of my head. She then said "Now clean up this mess" and walked out of the room. I was so shocked! I couldn't believe it! But, I thought to myself, at least now I don't have to drink it. Think again! I was soon poured another glass of that wonderful fresh goats milk and that time I did not argue. I still hate milk.
My mom did not lay on the guilt of starving children in third world countries, she didn't force us to eat full plates of food when we simply were not hungry. But she loved us enough to be the boss, to not back down, to make us try new things.
Pretty is "The tale of the Goat's Milk".