Are my kids really Americans?!

A few weeks ago, as a special treat, I made one of our two treasured boxes of Kraft macaroni and cheese (all you health food folks, I know if you’re a true American you will have to admit that you honestly like the stuff too). I thought the kids were going to love me for it (they had it on furlough and I thought they liked it) and that my husband and I would have to fight them to get a bite. Oh, was I ever wrong. They cringed at the first glimpse of the orange fare. They scowled and nearly trembled in fear….

“Mommy, what IS that?!”

“It’s macaroni!”

“THAT’S not macaroni! Yuck!”

“Taste it. You’ll like it!”

“NOOOOOOO!!!!”

Finally we got both of them to take a bite. (Imagine, practically force-feeding your child Kraft macaroni and cheese? What kind of parents are we?!) Smiles all around? DEFINITELY not! There was gagging, and spitting, and probably some near crying…. and a lot of laughing on the part of myself and my husband. And then the reality sunk in. “Our kids aren’t American! Ah!”

Fast forward a couple of weeks. I decide to make box #2, mostly to satisfy my pregnancy craving for this delectable plastic cuisine, but also to see how the kids would react this time. The box came out, and instantly I saw the look of fear. “Mommy! Are we having THAT for dinner?! No!!!” I made them some buckwheat and other things instead. Buckwheat is a Russian staple and is probably one of very few Russian foods that I actually don’t enjoy. (The smell of the stuff reminds me of puking my guts out while having food poisoning at a conference. The cafeteria there smelled permanently of buckwheat, thus the association. )

And the kids’ reaction?

“Oh mommy! You made us grechka (buckwheat)!! Ohhh, I loooooove grechka! Can we have this for lunch tomorrow? Can we have it for dinner tomorrow too? Yummy!”

… and a little further prodding on my part to see if the contrast was as real as I thought, “Do you guys want some macaroni and cheese too?”

“Noooo! Mommy, please no! I don’t like mac n’ cheese! Do we HAVE to eat it?!”

Of course I didn’t force them and my husband and I gladly and rapidly finished off the box ourselves, again laughing hysterically about the reality that this represents.


My question to you today is, are your kids “Americans?” Have you had any funny moments where you’ve questioned the fact? Please share!

(Post by: Ashley)

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19 Responses to “Are my kids really Americans?!”


  1. 1 Regina @ Greetings from Guatemala May 3, 2010 at 2:18 am

    What a funny story. That gives me something to look forward to.

    Blessings!!

  2. 2 Ellie May 3, 2010 at 2:32 am

    My daughter hated the stuff when we first got home. For a few years, she hated anything at all with melted cheese. It was beyond awful and produced gags from her. She used to sit in her chair and cry for a piece of bread (the stuff we had over there). And she cried for rice if someone gave her a potato.

    Thankfully, she has adjusted.

  3. 3 Phyllis May 3, 2010 at 4:54 am

    Like I told you on your blog, we had the same experience. And our children love grechka! They tell people that they’re Russian. 🙂

  4. 4 Jess in Europe May 3, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    That’s hilarious!
    My kids eat the nastiest stuff here. They enjoy all of the traditional food, even what my husband and I call the cat burgers.
    In a lot of ways they aren’t American, but I think as a whole they are more like American than they are like the national children here.

  5. 5 Stephanie May 3, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    Actually…I can’t stand boxed Mac & Cheese either. 😉 The homemade kind? Yes. But not the kind with the powdered cheese. My husband and I jokingly refer to it as “Fake-aroni * Cheese.” Ha!

  6. 6 Sarah May 4, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    That’s so funny! Amazingly enough my kids will happily eat the boxed stuff (on the rare occasion that we have it) even though they’ve never really lived in America and my European husband won’t touch the stuff with a ten foot pole. 🙂 (Unfortunately for him, he married an American who is borderline obsessive about macaroni and cheese. And the kids are taking after me!!!!) 🙂

    I agree with what Jess said about feeling like my kids are American…in some ways I feel like they are so “American” compared to the kids here, but when we’re in America, I feel like they are so un-American…

  7. 7 Sarah May 7, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    This story made me laugh because just this week my two year old was not happy when we offered him mac n’ cheese (a treat for us since moving here). He asked for our leftoever arroz con pollo, a traditional dish here, instead! He actually almost always prefers the traditional Tico food we eat here over our American “comfort food.” =) And, best of all, he calls himself “Tico boy”!

  8. 8 Jami Gustafson May 8, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    I was at a Russian friend’s house with my two-year-old daughter, and my friend served us pancakes made out of liver with our tea. These pancakes totally gross me out- especially when the liver turns to gelatin and kind of squishes out the sides. Thankfully, my daughter likes it, and i kept sneaking her bites of mine to get rid of it.

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