Saturday, March 22, 2008

soliciting suggestions

Help me!!! What am I doing wrong? Seriously, I think my child is trying to starve himself just to spite me. Is it torture to make your child sit at the table to eat? And I am not talking cleaning the plate, making a "happy" plate, or even eating half of what is there. All I am asking for is some type of consumption.

An example of how this process plays out:

"AJ, breakfast is ready. Come sit at the table."
"No Mommy. No eat."
"AJ, you need to come to the table now."
"I'm busy." (That is his new phrase of choice.)
"AJ, I mean it. It is time to sit at the table and eat. If you don't come over here right now you are going to get a time out."
"Whaaaaaaa!" (Place the sounds of a toddler scream crying here.)
"OK, that's it! Time out right now!" (I now have placed him on the time out mat that is by the front door.)
" I need you Mommy! Mommy, I need you! I NEEEEEED you Mommy. . . " (This continues until his time is up.)

Once time out is up, I go over to him, explain that he needs to come to the kitchen and sit down and eat. At this point, I think I might have a glimmer of hope as he mopes his way over to his chair and plops down. Keep in mind, I am also trying to satisfy the needs of two other hungry vultures. Anyway, AJ is now at least where I want him, but to no avail - he is not going to eat. And then it starts again...

"AJ, it is time for you to take a bite now."
"AJ, you need to take a bite now or you are going back in time out."
"Hmmpphhh!" (Picture this - arms are crossed so tightly across his chest that he is giving himself cleavage and the furrow in his eyebrows would make a plastic surgeon giddy with the thought of the amount of Botox it will take to repair the damage!)
"This is your last chance. Take a bite, now." (I know the lack of patience is certainly apparent in my voice at this point.)

Surprise - He takes a bite. Most would think that the battle is over and the parent is victorious but this is just his check mate. This bite is taken and then it is back to pouting like a pro. I am serious about that! If he could get paid for pouting, we would be rolling in it - but that is a subject for another post.

He finishes his bite and then starts to slink out of his chair or poke his sister or tell me he has to go find something. At this point, I am done! I am done having the patience for this. I am done being the good, calm, cool and collected Mommy. I am putting my resignation in for the day! I AM DONE!!!!

I put him in his booster seat, which conveniently has straps to contain his skinny little self. I tell him, that he is not getting down until he eats. The water works begin and it is all chaos from this point on. I know, I know! I mean, I really know - this is not the most effective way to deal with this at this point.

Today he found solace in giving his sister a hug after the whole ordeal was over.

My ultimate goal in this post is to ask, beg, solicit help! How do I avoid this scenario every meal? How do I get nutrition in him? HEEELLP!!!! (Do you hear me begging yet?)

On a side note: Just to let you know, I do not let him have snacks at all times and I have limited his milk intake in an attempt to make sure he is hungry at mealtimes.


Sarah said...

Okay, not to make light of your most recent problem, because I am sure it stressful and I know my turn is coming, but I have to thank you for this awesome 'play' you wrote...even if the pictures didn't completely tell the story (and they do, they are priceless) your words had me dying laughing and I could see it so clearly. Oh, AJ, I know buddy, it is so hard!! Miss you guys :)

Anonymous said...

Well, as AJ's Gamma, he is always perfect to me, I can't imagine what you are talking about. Anyway, all the motherly advise I can give to you is hang in there, it will get better. If you remember, Elizabeth never use to eat either and your sister and brother were the same and look at them all now. AJ should get the award for being the "Drama King" though!!
You are a terrific mom and this too shall pass.
Love you and all those perfect grandkids of mine,