No More Mister Nice Mom

March 28, 2014 at 10:46 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Picky eating came to a head last night. For weeks we’ve been trying this new method of introducing food to Liam suggested by the therapist. And in theory it made sense. If I could just get him to put this stuff in his mouth and chew it up, surely he would discover it’s not so bad, right? We started with grapes. For five days he would take one bite and spit it out. The next five days he would chew up his bite, then spit it out. But when we entered the next phase – chewing and swallowing – we hit a brick wall. I talked to the folks at Heartspring and they suggested offering him a prize. So we did. And he ate it! Once. I tried the next night, and even with the offer of a prize, he wouldn’t eat it. In theory, once they’ve gone through this lengthy process, you’re supposed to be able to add the food to their rotation and they’ll eat it. But I’ve tried numerous times adding grapes to Liam’s plate, and it’s always a no go.

Not to be deterred, we moved on to peanut butter and honey sandwiches. I thought for sure he’d be on board. He likes bread. He loves honey. He even likes peanut butter, eating it right out of the jar sometimes. But as a sandwich? Apparently that’s akin to torture. We went through five days of licking it. Then five days of biting it. Then five days of chewing it. Last night he had to swallow it. And he just wouldn’t. I sat there for an hour bribing him with prizes and candy. He wouldn’t budge. I sliced off a small piece and said just to eat that. I sliced that piece in half again. Still a no go. Finally, James got fed up and said he couldn’t play Xbox until he ate it. Then he said if he didn’t eat that bite by 8:00, he wouldn’t be sleeping with his dog Lucy tonight. Finally, in an act of desperation, I threatened the unthinkable: I told him I’d take away the boo boo, his beloved baby blanket. That got his attention. He begged. He pleaded. But he wouldn’t. Eat. That. Bite.

Eight o’clock came, and to bed he went. No stories, no dogs, no blanket. And I told him in the morning we would try again at breakfast, and again at lunch. And if he still refused? No dogs or blanket are coming with us on our trip to KC this weekend.

Picture that scene in Footloose where Kevin Bacon is driving a tractor straight toward his high school rival. No fear, momma. And no jumping! He’s telling me he won’t eat his sandwich this morning, but he’ll try it at lunch. I have a feeling we’ll be dogless and blanketless on our trip this afternoon.

James and I had a lengthy talk last night, and we’ve come to the conclusion that the kid gloves have got to come off. Even if, after all the bribes and punishments, Liam does take a bite of his sandwich, what are the chances I’ll get him to do it for five nights in a row? And adding it to his lunchtime rotation? A pipedream. This tiptoe routine clearly doesn’t work for our son. He’s entirely too smart, and he’s totally playing us.

Plus, we’re still having issues with potty training, and clearly his diet is a huge factor. He eats freeze-dried fruits and veggies every day, nothing fresh. Unfortunately, it’s been too easy for me to pop something in the microwave for him, pour out some freeze-dried veg on a plate, and his separate meal is complete.

In the immortal words of Red Foreman, “Fun time is over.”

Starting Sunday, no more separate meals for this kid. He can still have his usual waffle for breakfast, and I’m happy to heat up a hot dog or chicken fingers for lunch. But for dinner he gets a plate of whatever we’re having. And if he doesn’t want to eat it? Fine. No yelling, no threats, no bribery. The consequence will be hunger. I think he’s old enough to understand that, and to handle it. But he’s young enough that he won’t go sneaking food behind our backs.

One hurdle I’m facing is my almost equally picky husband. But James and I talked through the plan, and I think if we allow one or two nights per week when Liam gets a separate meal while we eat our favorite super spicy recipes, we can make that work. And James is happy to eat popcorn shrimp or baked chicken fingers, so we’ll have some kid-friendly options. But the freeze-dried food is off the table for dinner.

No more half measures! This is it! Stay strong! And at the very least, if this goes anything like my last experiment in picky eating, I’ll have a lot of amusing blog fodder.

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