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.