Friday, October 26, 2007

Eat it - Or, I'll shove it down your throat

No, I haven't said that ... not yet, anyway. But, I've wanted to, especially when I know it's a food she liked just the day prior.

One of my dearest twin girls has become a fussy toddler. Suddenly. Practically overnight. She'll eat one meal with little protest and the other two -- please God let it be just two today -- with a huge battle. She will look at her plate and close her eyes and turn away in disgust, crying. She's starving hungry, but she won't touch it. To hell with people who say a child won't starve themselves. This child would.

I am on the front lines of the food wars, folks.

Luckily, I know I am not alone. My friends in the blogosphere soothe me with their kind words of honesty about this topic.

So, lunch was two fruit and cereal bars and some raisins instead of the peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat bread, a slice of cheese and peaches. And, dinner was 8 small meatballs instead of spaghetti and meatballs and green beans. Though, a game of 10 little, 9 little, 8 little green beans with her sister, who was happily eating, coaxed her into trying -- then realizing she likes green beans. Duh. (There are some advantages to having twins.)

Of course, I'm breaking all of the picky eater rules by giving her more stuff that wasn't planned after dinner because I know she -- well, they both were last night -- was still hungry. I do have a rule about nutritious snacks only so they had an apple and Zoe's cereal. Except, unlike dinner, the apple was swallowed instead of spit out in that special, "Look Mama, I diced apples for you today" way.

Besides I fully admit that the only reason I want her to eat said meal is because I want her to sleep for her nap or at bedtime. I worry that if she goes to bed hungry she'll wake up starving in the middle of the night.

So, anyway, a new battle has been waged. But, I'm up for the challenge today. Momma Zen has done it again; she brought me peace when I thought it was burning in the California fires. I thought it was lost forever and that I would be grieving for it the rest of my life. She also brought me to sobs. Not tears, but sobs that told me the stress of everything was finally able to release inside of me.

And, then, I read Bella's recent post.

And, I wanted to fly into her comfy arms and give her a hug.

Those two posts made dinnertime better, even though it wasn't an improvement by any standards. The only thing that changed was my disposition. My mental awareness. My capacity to hold it all and watch it unfold, even the apple spit.

Today is a new day, and despite saying that three other times this week, it really is going to be a new day. We really are going to have a good day.

I am going to trust my daughter today. And, I am going to trust myself.

Food will not be an issue in this house.

This post was written for ParentBlogger's "Deliciously Deceptive" blog blast.


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9 comments:

Karen said...

If only someone of the frontlines of the food war would give up. Then, no war. And the kids eat in peace. Congratulations. You know it's not about the meatballs.

Shannon said...

Yeah, I'm waiting for the kids to give up, but that's not going to happen, is it? lol

bella said...

Oh do I hear you.
Our only acceptable meal currently is cashews, peanut butter sandwiches cut like pumpkins and grapes. I'd go out and buy these things in bulk accept it will change again, maybe today.
It is hard to let food be food.
I hope today is, indeed a very good day.

love.

ktjrdn said...

oh yeah, I definitely have been there. I totally understand what you mean about wanting them to sleep through the night. yes, a child will not starve itself, but they certainly will make your life unbearable until they break downa nd eat. who wants that?

mama k said...

diced apples.. hehe

Everything's a phase, right? ;)

My entry is up here:
http://mamaknj.blogspot.com/2007/10/lay-off-jessica-people.html

SAHMmy Says said...

My son regularly forgets which foods he loved just the day before and refuses to eat them. When I finally coax/threaten him into tasting a teeny morsel of the offensive food, he yells, "OHHHH! Green Beans! I love Green Beans! Mommy, did you know I have Green Beans?" Yep, just like yesterday.

Jozet said...

Lol! You win for best title!

Michelle said...

It is hard to avoid power struggles at the table, but we can never force a kid to eat. That is one place where kids can actually have a little control in their lives for a change - they can decide what does or doesn’t go into their mouths. The best thing we can do is to keep giving them healthy options and eventually they will make the right choice.

On my blog, I have been talking about this book, and its rival, The Sneaky Chef. I love that they offer good information about the nutrient content of certain ingredients and that they offer healthier alternatives to many other “typical kid foods.” But I don’t like that they are advocating dishonesty.

Check out the article (http://whatscookingblog.wordpress.com/2007/10/08/is-deceptively-delicious-too-deceptive/) and see some of the discussion about balancing the act of getting our kids to eat well while being honest.

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

Oh, honey. As the mom of an autistic child who will, literally, starve himself to death rather than eat a non-preferred food -- and one newly picky eater, I so sympathize. I hate mealtimes more than anything -- thus the recent Halloween candy and vomit fest at our house! ;)