Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Food Fights

Before I was a parent, I made all kinds of ridiculous promises to myself.  Chief among these was that I wouldn't cook meals that were catered to the kids.  They would learn to eat the well balanced meals that mommy and daddy eat.  And they would eat their veggies without complaint.  Yeah.  I'm not really sure what dimension of reality I was living in, but it certainly wasn't this one.

Ignorance is Bliss.

I really should have known better.  After all, I was a notoriously picky eater as a kid, myself.  Not just picky, no, I was a total food racist.  I discriminated against foods based on color .  If a food was green, I wouldn't eat it.  No ifs, ands, or buts.  But don't think that it was just limited to vegetables.  Oh no, regular, run-of-the-mill kid pickiness wouldn't do for me. I also wouldn't eat green skittles, green m & m's, green popsicles or even drink through a green straw.  Because, you know, some of the green might get into my drink and I would turn into a leprechaun.  Makes total sense, right?  I may have had an overactive imagination.  Collateral damage of being an only child.

Anyway.  Enter Miss Chatterbox.

She had food problems from the get go.  She was over a year old before she ever drank more than 4 oz at a time.  And She never ate baby food willingly. It didn't matter if it was homemade or otherwise, veggies or fruits.  I used to call her my little llama, because she was a spitter extraordinaire.  Seriously.  Feeding her, used to require a poncho and some serious dodgeballesque ducking skillz, homie!   Somewhere around 9-10 months old, I started on table food because she had about 10-12 teeth already.

But nothing is ever simple,  is it?  Miss Chatterbox isn't your typical type of predictable picky.  She has no fail safes.   No hotdog, mac and cheese, chicken nugget, biscuit or rice that I can build a "normal" meal for the rest of us around.  There isn't a single food on this planet I can guarantee she will eat.  I will get all excited because one day she will just chow down on something I made, and I think, "Great!  Something she will eat!"  But the next time I present her with the exact same food, she will spit it out and proclaim, "That's yuck, Mommy!"  All the while, projectile spewing the chewed up bits into my hand.  Apparently, there is no acceptable substitute for my hand.  Napkin?  Trashcan?  Nope, she REALLY wants me to get just how gross it is.

She just randomly decides to eat some days and not others.  It doesn't really worry me because she's a healthy weight and gets a daily dose of vitamins.  But it does annoy the crap out of me!  Why?   Because, she's not eating because she's not hungry.  She's not eating because she is stubborn.  And the days, and sometimes weeks, she goes eating only minimal amounts, she spends most of her time exhibiting a stunning array of split personalities and an exuberance of emotions.  Seriously, she could give that chick on The United State of Tara a run for her money.  I'm thinking a career in acting might be in her future.   Or maybe I just need to start saving for the therapy bills, now...

Note for posterity - Just kidding, Sweet Pea, Mommy doesn't really think that.

Miss Chatterbox does throw epic tantrums, though, when her blood sugar swings and is, in general, unpleasant during her periods of food refusal.   It is so aggravating because the solution is soooooo simple.  Just eat something, child, anything, damn it!  Chocolate milk, cookies, french fries, I don't care - just eat something so we can all go to sleep!

Which leads to my "I'm a bad mommy" secret.   The real reason why it pisses me off, isn't because I'm worried about her nutrition or the development of bad eating habits. (Hey, I give her vitamins)  It's because she won't sleep.  If she won't sleep, I don't get any "me" time.  I absolutely depend on that small window of time between her sleeping an me crashing to get stuff done and try to recharge my batteries.  If I don't get that time, I get parental burnout.  And that's not happy for anyone.

So, you can see, "What's for dinner?"  is totally a loaded question.  If I choose correctly, everyone's happy.  If I don't?  Sigh.

I wish!  This kind of stuff does NOT impress my picky eater.  

As we round the 5 month mark for The Bun, all I got to say is, "Bring your A game, Baby.  Mommy's ready for you."

How do you handle your child pickiness?


  1. I haven't experienced this firsthand, but some close friends of ours have a son who barely ate the 1st 3 yrs of his life - and his pedi WAS worried about growth. They finally stumbled on a solution: if the TV was on, he completely zoned out. So much so, that they could shove food in his mouth... AND HE WOULD EAT IT. Pretty much anything, in fact.
    Not the most elegant solution, but it worked for them. He's four now. He still doesn't eat much, but enough that they're no longer worried. And they no longer have to shove food down his throat while he watches TV. So... success? LOL

  2. I have to tell you, I tried that last night...Success!! Thanks for the awesome suggestion!!!