I don’t recall craving for banana leaf rice when I was expecting my son.
I may have had it about five times throughout the nine months, but there was no specific urge to have this mouth-watering delight every day.
Why am I reminiscing my pregnancy?
My better half and I have been ‘tortured’ to dine at banana leaf rice restaurants almost every weekend by our three-year-old.
This has been going on for a few months. And it’s the same dialogue every weekend.
Me: What do you feel like having for lunch today?
Three-year-old: Banana leaf rice!
Me: How about something else … pasta, chicken rice or mee hoon soup?
Three-year-old: How about banana leaf rice, mummy?
Shane was slightly over two when my husband and I introduced him to this South Indian staple and he’s been hooked ever since.
There was one period when we had banana leaf rice every weekend for 12 weeks straight!
Just imagine all the chicken varuval, rassam, chicken 65, lamb peratal, fried fish, papadam, vegetable, dhal and curry we had to devour, for the sake of our little one!
Is this a rant?
Well, yes and no.
I suppose the experience of eating from a banana leaf is something a toddler finds fascinating.
Once, I attempted to create a home banana leaf rice experience (complete with non-spicy dhal and fried chicken) as a way to surprise him.
With some luck, I managed to find banana leaves at a supermarket and after several hours of carefully preparing a four-course meal, the feedback I received was: “It’s not the same, mummy. The leaf is just too small … I think we need to go to the banana leaf rice shop now.”
Ah, the joys of motherhood!
Sometimes we try to be creative by telling him the shop is closed, but since all the makan shops we frequent are nearby each other, he’ll inevitably discover that his favourite banana leaf rice shop is open and would request we take him there.
“You need to be more creative next time and make sure it’s a full-proof plan if you want to find your way out of it,” said a dear colleague.
The boy is growing up fast and I am sure it won’t take long before he discovers his favourite banana leaf rice shop is open seven days a week.
Earlier this week, I asked my other colleague, Graig Nunis, a father of two teenagers if my son is growing up too fast.
“They grow up too fast,” he said.
I suppose I’m not the only one asking such questions.
When it comes to parenting, there is no one answer that fits all and we have to just go with the flow as parenthood is the longest commitment we’ll make in our lives.
You need to incorporate a good amount of patience, diligence, flexibility, sacrifice and in my case, a whole lot of banana leaf rice meals to be on the right track!