Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Post. Author: The Master of the Universe

My boys are picky eaters. And when I say "picky" I am taking about the "they only eat about five different items haven't consumed a vegetable in years make you want to tear your hair out from making five different meals every night" kind of picky.

Sometimes when I bring this topic up to another mom, I get this response:

"My kids will eat whatever I give them--they know there are no options."

Translation: Me and my non-picky kids are better than you and your picky kids. I am superior to you because I persisted and offered peas the requisite ten times before Little Johnny accepted them and now he eats them like candy! He is just so smart-advanced-genius-wonderful-flawless-perfect-superior! You are a sucker for not showing your kids who's boss and making them eat whatever!

Reality: 1. Perhaps your kid doesn't go completely postal when offered foods that are even slightly out of the norm for him, and 2. Perhaps your child doesn't have a big brother (who he emulates) that does the aforementioned postal going, therefore making him also refuse to eat anything "different." Cause in Little Brother world, if being just like your Big Brother is wrong, you don't want to be right.

Every couple of weeks, I cook a meal. And sometimes I decide that the meal I made is something a normal kid would totally eat, and therefore I decide I will try to make my kids eat it and be normal. Tonight I made chicken, potatoes and green beans. And onto the boys plates it went.

The natives were restless from the beginning. I got the typical afternoon inquiries:

"What's Daddy bringing home for dinner?" (I am well aware how bad it is that they think Daddy is the meal delivery man.)

And when I started rumbling in the kitchen, they come. "What are you making?"

When I flip on the oven light, show them perfectly normal looking chicken (without breading and not in the nugget form), I inform them this is their dinner as well.

And the freaking out begins.

Mason: "But I don't LOVE that kind of chicken." (Wails, wails, sobs, screams, wails.)

Cole: (sees Mason, repeats his actions: Wails, wails, sobs, screams, wails.)

I diced up the chicken, and split the boys apart, Rey with Cole in one room and me with Mason in the other. Let the games begin.

We take to bribery a lot. When it works, it works well, so why not? We were both armed with a pile of Goldfish cause my boys, they love 'em some carbs.

About ten minutes in, I was a little hopeless. I was developing a headache from the crying and was about to declare Operation Chicken Dinner a failure. And just when Mason was about to go to bed hungry, he asked me to feed him a piece. When he wants to give in but retain a little control, he asks to be fed. And I do it, cause whatever, at least he's eating. And just like that, for the first time in his life, my boy was eating chicken that wasn't a nugget.

Rey, however, was having no such luck with Cole. Soon Mason was on a blazing roll of chicken - Goldfish - chicken - Goldfish. He was smiling from ear to ear, amazed that this foreign chicken was actually tasty! I was feeling lucky, so I decided to move on and try my smooth moves on Cole. Rey and I traded spots.

Cole was surprisingly a bit tougher to crack. I decided he needed a different approach. I actually force-fed him a potato. Judge me if you will for prying that kid's jaw open and stuff in a spud, but it was like a gateway drug for the kid. Soon, he was gobbling down potatoes faster than I could shell out a Goldfish reward. Before I knew it, the chicken was gone as well, and the kid was eating green beans. One green bean, after another, after another! I swear, that boy has not consumed a vegetable since he was subsisting on pureed food. The fact that he was eating green beans was so amazing to me, I would have bet he'd sooner walk on water.

Mason did not eat the green beans, or potatoes for that matter. But the fact that he ate the chicken puts me on Cloud Nine.

I am proud. I mean like prideful boasting pleased delighted elated tickled-pink PROUD. I am looking forward to the days where I can make ONE meal and have everyone eat it with no complaints. I have a feeling those days are still a ways off, but a girl can dream.

I guess I better learn to cook...

In the meantime--Moms of picky eaters, bow down and worship, cause my kid ate green beans.

So until tomorrow, when mealtime becomes a battle again, I anoint myself Master of the Universe.


Kathleen said...

The meals that I make aren't that weird, as I'm a pretty picky eater myself. In fact, sometimes I'll cook a meal and then eat cereal later because what I cooked didn't look very appetizing to me. Normally my girls aren't very picky either. But lately, they've been giving me a really hard time about eating the dinners I've been making. And then they ask their dad for cereal or toast or something because they're hungry and they can't go to bed hungry. This is SO frustrating for me. Keith complains if I haven't cooked dinner and tell them to just eat cereal because he says that's not really dinner and not nutritious enough. But then when I cook dinner, he gives them cereal? I don't think so. This last week, I cracked down. If they didn't eat their food, they were going to go to bed hungry. Téa cried for an hour that she just wanted a cinnamon roll, not the beef stroganoff that I'd made. Keith went in and gave her one behind my back, but I found it and took it away. When she realized I wasn't going to give in, she went and ate her WHOLE PLATE and then got her cinnamon roll. Last night, Elena said she didn't want to eat the dinner so I told her she could just go to her bed. She ate.

Sorry this got so long - I just wanted to let you know you're not alone. And tell those other ladies to go suck it - their kids aren't perfect and they're not fooling anyone. :P

Lucinda said...

I wouldn't consider my boys to be picky eaters, however, they have gone to bed hungry many-a-nights simply because I WILL NOT make something different for them.

I promise you, if you stick to your words, those kids will eat..or suffer the consequences! Good Luck Mama, Stay Strong!

Amber Greenawalt said...

I bow down to you!

My kids act like vegetables are going to kill them.

BUT they eat whatever they grow.(or think "they" grow b/c Brian does the actual work) Seriously, what they grow in the garden they eat...its freaky wierd.

Today they ate salad from our garden for lunch AND dinner...and then we went to Brusters and undid all that wholesome goodness.