That was the question my three-year-old daughter asked the mom of one of her classmates at his birthday party on Saturday. The boy’s mom asked Rosa if she wanted some cheese, referring to the cubed cheddar nearby, and Rosa asked, “Do you have any Parmigiano?” The mom reported this conversation to me, laughing. She knows that food is a big deal at our house, and she wasn’t altogether surprised to hear those words coming out of Rosa’s mouth.
When I heard, I was both proud and embarrassed. It was a complicated emotional reaction. I thought it was adorable that my little girl would ask for Parmigiano – using the real Italian name, no less! But I was also embarrassed. I didn’t want the other mother to think we were food snobs (even though maybe I am), or have her think that I was overly proud of Rosa for her food precocity.
I want Rosa to be choosy about what she eats, but not picky or snobby. So, I guess the happy ending to this story is that upon learning there was no Parmigiano available, Rosa happily ate the cheddar.