Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Day 35 Food Fight

Before you get excited, no, we didn’t have an all out food is flying type of food fight. My son and my husband just didn’t seem to agree on dinner and on how much of it should be eaten. 
Preface-- My son has a horrible diet. It takes everything in our power to get him to eat anything that didn’t cluck prior to being turned into nutrition. As for fruit, he sometimes likes bananas, pears and apples. Veggies, hmmm... corn on the cob is about the only thing he’ll eat. Great nutrition, right? We try everything. Veggie pasta with extra veggie sauce, I’ve added vegetable baby food into sauces for pasta and pizza. I’ve switched from fries to sweet potato fries (baked) and all he wants is chicken slathered in ranch. When we eat spinach salads, he can’t swallow the greens. When I serve beef stew, he gags on it. Now, he’ll eat a few things like sandwiches, but he doesn’t run to them. So, now to the story...
Maybe it was our schedule or unexpected cancellation of track that did it. Maybe it was the rain or just maybe it was because he fixated on modeling clay and then I didn’t buy it. Maybe it was that he found out our modeling clay dried up after not being able to buy more. Maybe it really was that he didn’t like what was on his plate. Whatever it was, he was not happy about dinner. He took a look at his plate and declared that he didn’t like peas. My husband explained that he could eat around the peas, but he would need to eat the other vegetables, pasta and chicken. Well, he didn’t like the pasta either. He began to raise his voice to a yell and storm off to put his head into the couch cushions. I was on the phone in another room and I could hear the escalation of frustration. I was not going to get off the phone. My husband could handle this time, he would just have to. With one ear listening to my phone conversation, and my other trying to keep tabs on the battle beginning outside my door, I could make out enough of the issues to know it wasn’t going well. 
By the time I got off the phone, my son was on his bed behind closed doors and his plate was still full on the kitchen table. Apparently, he was told that he would not get any treats after dinner if he didn’t eat what he was asked. Then, he put his clean fork back in the silverware drawer. My husband told him that he wasn’t going to eat, then he might as well go to bed. Now, that was a short description of what actually happened, but what’s important to understand is that my husband stood his ground, and didn’t yell. My son just wasn’t in the right frame of mind tonight. He was so disgruntled and clearly overwhelmed. It took me quite a few tries to get him out of his room and settled down. After my calm suggestions didn’t work, I pulled out the whole there are others less fortunate than you that would love to have this dinner routine (ugh, did I really say that? Of course I did). But after all of that, I was so glad to see him emerge from his blankets and sit at the table. He ate the chicken and while I’m not thrilled that he didn’t eat his pasta or vegetables, I was glad that he pulled himself together. I was happy to see him get past the issue even though it wasn’t the perfect outcome for us. He ended up smiling and trying to perform tricks for his sister. I don’t know... maybe I should’ve put my foot down and had him eat more, but I just didn’t want him going to bed more upset. Instead, he went to bed reading a book to his sister. That’s enough for me, more than enough to smile about...
Side note-- I realize that I will have to retire the phrase “Put my foot down” from my repertoire of articulation. Tonight, while playing UNO with the kids, my daughter was showing her sore loser side and refusing to take on more cards. I expressed that if she didn’t want to play by the rules, she could leave the game. She declared “NO! I’m not going!” to which I replied that “This would be your last warning. I mean it, I’m putting my foot down. I will not allow you play if you’re going to complain the whole time.” As I spoke those words, I could see her expression go from scowl to sly grin to giggle. She mocked me! “I’m putting my foot down!” She says and goes on to tell me how that the turtle in the movie “Over the Hedge” said he was “putting his foot down and he stepped on a squeaky toy and the dog heard it and they were chasing each other and he lost all their food! It was soooo funny!” Guess I’m not putting my foot down anymore.

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