Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Suck it up, Princess

Today I am a New Mom. We have begun a new parenting strategy for meals, and so far it is going really, really bad. But I am strong, and I will not give in to the starving wails of children.
I'm done catering. With Girl Terror, we had a combination of luck and backbone. She ate just about anything. I was firm at mealtimes, and she still generally eats without complaining. Boy Terror, on the other hand, has been spoiled rotten. If he didn't like what I offered, I found something else. At breakfast I would list all the options in the cupboard, and let him choose. He never had to finish anything. He also developed a horrid habit of shoving all his food into his mouth, chewing (or sometimes not) and then spitting it out, declaring it "Yuck". No more! The new rule is "Eat it or don't. I don't care. This is all there is, so if you don't like it, too bad. Suck it up, princess."
For supper last night, he was given food he likes. He chose to eat a bit, and then chewed some up and spit it out. He was removed from the table. He did NOT get a different option for supper. This morning for breakfast, I put yogurt, applesauce, and cereal/bran bars out for them to eat. No more choosing each course from an endless menu! This is breakfast, whether you like it or not! He did not. He ate half a bran bar and a spoonful of yogurt. Then he wanted something else. Breakfast ended, and he was sent away hungry. Girl Terror said she didn't want yellow applesauce, she wanted purple applesauce (aka country berry). So, I took away her applesauce, stuck it in the fridge, and she went with none.
Lunch. I figured Boy Terror should be starving, but he is stronger than I thought. He ate his sandwich, and rejected his carrots. He wanted another sandwich. All he had to do was eat 3 pieces of carrot. He chose to fling them at me, which I think he realizes now was a HUGE mistake. Lunch ended with tears and anguish.
I am soooo looking forward to supper. I know it sounds harsh, and I promise that eventually I will let them make food choices for themselves. But for now, it's time to learn that Mummy is not a short order cook, and you will not die if you miss a meal. I might be driven to the brink of madness by the wailing and gnashing of teeth, but life will go on and in another 5 hours there will be the chance to do it all again.

Edit: Day two of the mission: Breakfast for Boy Terror = a tiny bowl of yogurt. He chewed a piece of toast, but spit it out. Girl Terror had the center of a piece of toast (her lips cannot touch crust) and 3 bites of yogurt. We are all very, very cranky.

10 comments:

Northern_Girl said...

Good for you. I learned right out of the gate that when the kitchen is closed, it is closed. My kids did, too.

Bravo.

Mary P. said...

Woo-hoo!

Of course you knew I'd be totally in your corner. GO, MOM!!

Anonymous said...

We live by the same rules in our house and have now for 4 years. Our boys have gone without a meal because it was not of their liking (even though the week before it was the best food I had even given them). They haven't starved nor are they malnourished.

Good for you! Stay strong.

Rootietoot said...

Be strong! You can do it! You're NOT a sort-order cook! You can do it! Be strong! Go Mom!

You can do it!!

It will be difficult, but worth it, and your kids will be better for it as well.

Mary P. said...

They'll crack. You know they will. And then - the world is their oyster - and they'll even EAT the damned thing!

Beth said...

This SO reminds me of my childhood!! My youngest brother wouldn't eat anything except bolonga sandwiches or macaroni and my Mother would make him that every singe day - regardless of what she was cooking for the rest of us - and continued to do so until he left home at the age of 25!!! She was otherwise a very sensible woman (Art was deathly ill as an infant and since she never expected to be pregnant with him in the first place - I think it was a guilt thing) The rest of us had to make due with eating liver with the promise of a yummy desert afterwards.
Funny thing was that when I came back home, after giving birth to my 'out of wedlock' baby and surviving for months on one chocolate bar a day for food .....the first meal she serves is liver!! And I'll remember for the rest of my life how good that home- cooked meal tasted and how I berated my siblings to appreciate what they had. Better liver than no food at all.

Mamacita Tina said...

Please keep us posted as to how it goes. I'm interested and inspired. Hold firm. You've got a lot of support via your internet groupies. :-)

Dawn said...

Wow - good for you! That is tough to remain firm and consistent. I am lucky when it comes to my son and eating, he is the least fussy child I have ever met. Listening on the other hand is a skill he needs work on...lol. He listens to everyone else okay, just not me...

BeckaJo said...

Heh. I can't wait to see how this turns out.

My mother no longer caters to the whims of children - she cares for my nephews and they get what she feeds them. They have a lot of allergies, so I suppose there isn't room for oddity. And they don't protest all that much anyway.

She catered to me as a child, and I look back and shake my head. I went through a period of three years where I would only eat things spherical or circular. To be honest I still maintain some very weird food preferences that should have been trained out of me. I'd rather have had my mother do it than have to do it myself!

danelle said...

Good job, this isn't easy but it is worth it. Is the boy gonna spit everything out when he gets to having school lunch?! Now that's a note you don't want to get from school...