Rice-A-Roni Is Not Actually Made Of Worms (Monday Memories)

sandwich making
Tiny-Small made a sandwich by herself for the first time and operated the microwave. Yes, I am crazy.

When I was a kid my dad plopped a steaming bowl of brownish rice in front of me. I asked him what it was and he said, “That is Rice-A-Roni. It’s made of worms.” He was trying to be funny, but I don’t think I ever ate Rice-A-Roni again. I mean, I won’t even eat it now. At the time he made his worm announcement I was reading a book about a boy who ate earthworms: How to Eat Fried Worms. The combination made quite an impression on my young mind. Even now, just seeing the box go by in the grocery store makes me feel sort of squeamish. I am aware that my distaste for the rice is irrational, but I just can’t seem to help it.

My dad had a habit of telling me tall tales and I can’t really blame him. I was so gullible I believed every single story he told was true. That must have been impossible for him to resist. I would even argue with people who tried to tell me that my dad was wrong or that he was just joking, probably because I thought my dad knew everything. I thought he was the smartest person in the whole wide world. I tried to copy my dad as often as possible because I thought he was really cool. When I was little he was in the Navy and he wore black shiny shoes to work with his uniform every morning. I had to have shoes like that. I begged for them. Finally, my Memé bought me a pair from the boys shoe department. I remember walking up and down the aisle of the Kmart shoe department admiring the reflection of my feet in the little mirrors under the seats. I think she let me wear them all through the store before she paid for them. I also remember her pointing out the much prettier girl shoes in the next aisle and asking me if I was sure I wanted those ugly black shoes. I did.

I wore them proudly even when the kids at school laughed at me and taunted me over them. I didn’t care. They were shiny and black and made me almost as cool as my dad was. Looking back on it now, I probably just missed him a lot because he was out to sea for months at a time. I also probably wanted to get his attention. Wearing those shoes was a quiet daughter’s way of screaming, “Look at me! Look at me!”

One time my dad told me the ice cream truck would be coming by soon. He gave me a dollar and sent me outside to wait. I waited for hours. Well, it seemed like hours to my little kid self, but time is flexible when you are six or seven. The whole time I kept wondering why the ice cream man had never been down our road before….

peanutbutter and jelly
Peanutbutter and Jelly: making sandwiches like a boss.

Anyway, now that I have my own child I think about what I say to her. You just never know what is going to stick in those elastic brains kids have. Will she have negative associations with particular foods because of a silly joke or comment I make? Will she want to be like me and wear the same shoes I am wearing? Will I notice when this happens? When she is quietly screaming, “Look at me!” through her actions, will I look? I hope so. The one thing that gives me comfort is knowing that Tiny-Small is not a quiet child. She is pretty high-spirited. She doesn’t put up with anything. We always know when she is unhappy with a result. While this might drive me a little crazy at 8pm, when I want her to go to bed and she is mad that I read the wrong book to her, a secret little voice inside of me is grateful that she is comfortable enough to express her real feelings to anyone within earshot. I hope she never loses the confidence she seems to have. I hope she isn’t ever afraid to make waves or to speak her mind. I hope she is never like I was.

I know Rice-A Roni is not actually made of worms. I am an adult and I can read the labels. I know it’s just rice and salt and seasoning, but I still don’t want to eat it.

Monday Memories

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Monday Memories: How I Was Almost “Poisoned” By Cat Food.

 

 

19 thoughts on “Rice-A-Roni Is Not Actually Made Of Worms (Monday Memories)”

  1. My Dad once told me tapioca pudding was made with frog eggs. I believed it into my adult life until my husband made him tell me the truth! lol. Talk about gullible!! I love seeing your daughter making sandwiches. That’s such a great learning experience! 🙂

  2. Oh Lily, how I love to read your posts…:)
    Adults have these habits of scaring the little people with some silly nonsense…My uncle used to do a similar thing to us, too. While you will never eat Rice-A-Roni I am never comfortable while taking a bath. And bath should be damn comfortable, no?! Yeah, well. My uncle told us that it is dangerous to sit in the bathtub near the drainage (is it the right word? I have serious issues with English technical words – maybe because I do not even know this word in my native language) because it will definitely suck us in! I hate him for telling me that, even now I feel insecure while taking bath.
    And when it comes to Tiny-Small and everything she absorbs – well, nobody’s perfect, it may happen that you will say sth that will stuck in her brain and she will never forget it (worms, drainage…) but hey – we have been told many weird things and we turned out to be perfectly fine, didn’t we?! 🙂

    1. Fear of the drainage is pretty common I think for kids. They don’t always like the water going down the toilet either! It is scary when you think about it. As adults we just never know the impact we are having and we are imperfect so things are going to go wrong sometimes!

  3. I don’t eat Rice-a-Roni either…but I thought it was acky. And it did kind of look like maggots. Erm… Anyways. I love this story. So much. I love the way you wore boy shoes to look like your dad. I love that you were gullible (because it made for a cute story). I love that Tiny Small is making a sammich. 🙂

    1. I don’t feel too bad about the Rice-A-Roni because it just looks gross. I don’t think I am missing much. I am really glad my dad didn’t mess up something good (like sushi) for me!

  4. One of my sons was gullible like that when he was really little. I’d say things off-hand and follow with, “It was a joke!” Then he’d laugh as if it had been hysterical.

  5. LOL! Your dad giving you a dollar for the ice cream truck is classic! My mom told me Bay Scallops were mini marshmallows to get me to try them. I was pissed at first, but I loved the scallops so it worked out. Still, thanks for the reminder that I could really screw ollie up with a little food lie.

    1. haha…I can’t imagine biting into a scallop expecting a marshmallow! That must have been a surprise. I am sure Ollie will be fine! We’ll probably screw up our kids in some other way…it’s hopeless!

  6. This is so true … just the other day I posted that Reagan thinks of Brian’s armpit hair as grass. So, is she going to run around thinking that grass is armpit hair? Yikes!
    So far we haven’t gotten any crazy food scenarios but I am waiting!

    ¤´¨)
    ¸.•*´
    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo
    http://www.raising-reagan.com

    1. That is so cute and funny. Kids are the best. They come up with the best ideas. Armpit grass…it makes so much sense. You even have to mow it sometimes…haha!

  7. Oh, you know me, Lil. I think a little childhood trauma is good for coping skills. My dad told us all sorts of tall tales and fibs, and just look how I turned out.

    Hmm. I think I just proved your point.

    1. Haha…I remember most of these tall tales with affection. You turned it sort of normal. Don’t be too hard on yourself. 😉

  8. Actually rice a roni just might be made of worms. I once opened a box and poured it into the frying pan and the magots literally began to surface. It was the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen in my life. Then I began to wonder if I ever actually ate any of them before because my mom use to buy those boxes all the time. We had a few more boxes in the pantry so I opened them all to see if it was just a bad box but no all of the boxes had magots crawling around in it! I’m itching thinking about it now.

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