J is generally a pretty happy little kid, but today he is even more happy than usual. "Dr. Carol," he shouts in a tone several decibels over indoor voice level, "Dr. Carol, look what I got!" Before I can get close enough to see, he is at it again, "Dr. Carol, Miss G. (one of the cafeteria ladies) made me tomatoes. Tomatoes are my favorite vegetable! And they have ranch dressing."
I draw a little closer and see that J does indeed have a tomato, cut into quarters, and covered with ranch dressing. His face, his shirt, and the table are all covered with ranch dressing. "Miss G. made me tomatoes," he shouts again. "I love tomatoes! I didn't like any of those other vegetables today, so she made me my own tomatoes!" He is beyond ecstatic and gobbles an entire tomato as I watch.
When he is done eating, he throws away his tray, then comes back to find me. "We have to go talk to Miss G," he says, putting his still sticky hand in mine. We head for the back of the cafeteria.
"Thank you, Miss G," says J, "I loved those tomatoes. Tomatoes are my favorite vegetable."
"Sure J," replies Ms. G. "I'll make you some more next week."
"Did you hear that?" J says to me as we walk out of the cafeteria. "Ms. G is going to make me more tomatoes. I love tomatoes. They're my favorite vegetable."
Aside from catsup and tomato sauce, I really don't much care for tomatoes. And I know that they are not a vegetable. Even so, today tomatoes were my favorite vegetable too.