I first read Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss several months ago with my 3 year old daughter. I remember reading it and being struck by how grumpy the character is who won’t eat the green eggs and ham, and how cheerful Sam I Am is, the one who keeps saying, “would you like them here or there, or with a goat? on a boat?”
I think this book is brilliant. It is exactly representative of how we don’t have to let our mood and well-being depend on others. Here is this cute little character who is cheerful throughout the entire book, despite the resistance and almost rudeness of the other taller, fluffy character.
It really hit me one day that this book is so useful for parenting. I was in the kitchen, preparing some food for my daughter which is always tricky. I asked her if she would like some food x, and she said no, so I asked her if she would like food y, and she said no. I felt myself slouch forward and I said, “oh,” and that was the end of it. I kind of deflated. Then I said to myself, “hey that little Sam I Am never lets it bother him that the grumpy guy won’t eat, so maybe I can be creative like him.” So I tried offering her the food in a more wild and fun way, and it made me feel great! I wasn’t giving up my power or my well-being to her food choices! I could still get her some food that she would probably eat and I could enjoy myself at the same time! It became fun and silly to offer her all kinds of wacky combinations of foods in wacky locations. How about that. Thank you sincerely Dr. Seuss. You helped me to see I had a choice!