I mean when I was a kid, I recall being able to recognize that I was behaving like an asshole. . .not that it stopped me. . .sometime around the age of four. Yet I’m not sure what the state of my self-awareness was prior to that.
I’m asking because lately this kid has been a real ass about his food. And I’ve been maintaining my patience with him – telling myself he’s teething, and he’s a toddler, and he doesn’t understand.
Yet, if there’s any chance he does understand that his behavior is supremely frustrating and completely ridiculous, I want to be sure to properly document everything so I can give him a horrific guilt trip about it in his later life. . .That is what Mother’s do right?
Yes, he’s getting teeth and I have little doubt that he’s very uncomfortable at times and honestly, most of the time he’s a real trooper, despite the discomfort.
Yet, our meals have become a bit of a pain. It’s not that he’s a picky eater. In fact, he’ll eat almost anything. . .but only if HE feels like it. And as hard as I try, it’s virtually impossible to anticipate what this kid might desire to eat at any given meal.
One minute he’s completely boycotting home-made vegetable soup with whole wheat pasta but a few short minutes later, he’s demanding pieces of uncooked whole wheat pasta from the canister to gnaw on plus some frozen corn for good measure.
And this might sound a little selfish, but because I just want to eat myself without choking or suffering horrific heartburn, I gave it to him.
Even though the sound of his little Chicklet sized teeth grinding on uncooked pasta made my skin positively crawl.
I thought perhaps this would be a teachable moment. . .As in – Only ding dongs eat uncooked pasta and freezing cold corn. Trust me, what Mommy offers is better so shut it and eat already.
I was sadly mistaken. He mowed down that uncooked penne like some kind of voracious rodent.
Since he’s healthy and typically eats a variety of foods, I am always tempted to just let him chuck a fit about his dinner and not offer other food. BUT we end up paying for his hunger come bed time. The kid just doesn’t sleep well if he’s the slightest bit hungry.
This creates a dilemma for me: Do we all tough it out so he learns to eat what’s placed in front of him or do I essentially become a short order chef for a 30 inch tall tyrant?
I really do not care for either option so I have been putting a lot of effort into meal planning – fast, relatively healthful, attractive to kid and sometimes us too.
Last evening, I made what I thought would be a teething-toddler friendly meal. Some cheese and potato perogies with a warm cabbage and apple slaw plus sour cream for dipping the perogies.
I was pleased that he willingly went to his high chair as I was dishing up dinner. I had high expectations for this meal. (I mean what kid doesn’t like some sort of “dipping” activity included with his meal?!)
I placed some food on his tray and went through the theatrics of handing him a fork and explaining what we were eating. I even pretended to grind some pepper on his food just like we do.
He was all smiley and giggling.
With optimistic exuberance and great flair, I added a small dollop of sour cream to the tray.
His face instantly sobered. He eyed the sour cream and then looked at me suspiciously.
“It’s good. Really. Here, look, you can dip your dinner in it. Isn’t that fun?” I coo at him.
He hesitantly stuck one pudgy index finger in the sour cream.
And went completely bat shit crazy!
He was wailing and there were tears and his face was red.
I rushed to wipe the sour cream off the tray.
Just wiping up the offending dairy product wasn’t adequate. This teaspoon of sour cream had apparently ruined the entire dinner.
He screamed as I attempted to entice him to eat some perogie. Or apple. He screamed while Chris ate some of his own dinner going on and on about how delicious it was.
He screamed until I threw two half-shredded slices of dry, whole wheat bread at him like he was some kind of animal at the zoo.
And as I ate my own sticky cold perogies – without dipping them in sour cream for fear it would set him off – I swear he shot me a look that said I OWN YOU!
So, today I’ll be updating my resume to include “short order chef for 30 inch tall tyrant.” Sigh.