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And I wonder where she gets her affinity for loopholes

May 20, 2011

I love V, oh my how I love that child. And for the most part, life with her is full of unicorn farts. But. She’s a child who doesn’t sleep (it’s 10:30 as I type this and there’s some sort of hoe-down happening in her room – her distracting me and my corresponding rise in irritation levels are totally to blame for any suckatude associated with this post). She’s willful and she’s not a great listener. She also is pretty damn terrible with her eating habits.These facts make meals So. Much. Fun. She’s much more of a grazer than a meal eater, and she’ll leave her plate full but demand dessert. She’ll use the same carrot to eat a whole serving of ranch dressing or the same french fry to eat all her ketchup (thanks hubby) and then demand more. She’ll ask for toast then decide she wants bread, and so on…add her tired whine and let’s just say I’m glad I have coffee before eating breakfast with her. Also, she eats better when there are other children around, (hint, hint hubby) I think she’s very motivated by peer pressure (which has those future worries all lined up in my brain).

Getting the bus back on track, I’ve been playing this sort of bargaining game with her where I’ll ask her to eat say, 3 more bites before she can be excused (oh, there’s another one – she’ll wash her hands a bajillion times during a meal – STOP PLAYING IN THE WATER! [Have you ever seen the CFB short ‘The Big Snit’? I always think of ‘Stop sawing the table’ when having discussions with her]. Right.) Now the game part comes in because it seems I always ‘miss’ one of her bites. I’ll have something engrossing on my plate and when she says she’s finished, I’ll come out with, ‘oh, I only saw two!’ [note – TECHNICALLY NOT A LIE] and ask her to eat another. Sometimes, if I’m a particularly distracted mama I’ll miss that one too and request that she take another, so I ‘see’ her eat the required number.

Game’s up, buttercup. Tried this last night and was met with a child who refused to put the spoon in her mouth until she had my full and undivided attention. And she totally has the teacher voice, ‘mommy, look at me!’ ‘No, look at me!’ down pat.She sat there, fork poised, death stare at the ready, waiting and willing me to be done my grout inspection, my fridge cleaning, my feltacking, my mopping, whatever it took.

I’m ashamed to admit I caved, but I’ve already established this child can stay up later than I can, and I had some Words with Friends to play!

Do you have an unmotivated eater? What sort of strategies do you use to keep your child from starving while managing to accomplish it before fossilization sets in? (A small bowl of cereal can honestly take upwards of an hour to get in to her.)

Oh, and to save you looking it up, here’s The Big Snit. Minutes 5 to 8 bear an uncanny similarity to discussions around here these days.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The Big Snit by Richard Condie – NFB, posted with vodpod

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Anita permalink
    May 21, 2011 7:20 am

    I’m not a grazer; rather a big eater and large snacker hence my size. I do however work with a gal who is a grazer and spends the better part of her day munching on carrot sticks, celery sticks, cheese, whatever. The thing is that it’s always healthy. This girl rarely spends time sitting down to a meal and seems to have developed the habit of ziploc baggies in her pocket or eating between patients. Now this might have born out of necessity since a Respiratory Therapist rarely has a ‘schedule’ and working in a sprawling hospital that is built out as opposed to up could factor in here. Suffice it to say that this girl is in fabulous shape! She’s thin, healthy looking and always energetic. There’s got to be something to this grazing thing. Have you tried to put out say cut up apples / fruit / veggies in small quantities that allow her to come and go?? We did this with Sean by times and it worked better than forcing him to sit at a formal table setting. Being someone who never had to sit at a table growing up helps me to be a bit lenient in this custom.
    As far as negotiating with a 4 year old, you get less sympathetic and are less inclined to negotiate as they start school (or at least that was my experience). It becomes a matter of practical application and you start to feel ridiculous really that you have friends that have like 6 kids who all eat what is served and you can’t manage the one you’ve got (lived this one). I have always allowed the negotiation piece in because of Sean’s limited “like” column but if it’s ordered, he eats it. We now have to deal with comments like “it tastes bad”, “it’s not like you normally make it”, “that’s not right” . Sean is a kid who does not eat sandwiches except cheese whiz, no vegetables of any kind, no sauces/gravies/dips, no cereals, only white bread (can’t even sneak it by in toast), no casseroles, you get the idea…Sigh. There has always been a great deal of creative cooking in this house. Jessica Seinfeld would have her biggest challenge yet in this house I’d imagine!
    As far as the late evening thing, I gave up on that years ago! Sean never was and never will be programmed to go to bed before 10pm. We fought his entire childhood and all it did was give me stress and headaches. This makes him wake up a bit later in the morning (7:30 – 8am) which cuts it a bit close for my liking but as long as his kitbag is packed, clothes are ready and washing has occurred in the evening, we have come to some level of peace about this. Seamus although a much better eater, is another night hawk. I for one have come to thoroughly enjoy the golden silence that allows me to be the first to wake up in my household. Small consolations are better than nothing! Enjoy every one of those ‘loopholes’ as they grow up entirely too fast!!! I am already missing my little by who is 10 in a couple of weeks. Our discussion has now moved to girls Yeash!

    • neeroc permalink*
      May 22, 2011 10:41 pm

      Thanks Anita. Gives me lots to think about. I wouldn’t be so fussed about the table thing except I know she doesn’t get away with it at school, and it gets embarrassing if we eat out. And yikes, I don’t want to think 6 years down the line that’s scary

  2. Gary permalink
    May 21, 2011 7:24 am

    The Big Snit? My wife and I for years would throw the “Stop sawing the furniture!” and “Stop shaking your eyes?” routine!! If V is as wilful as our girl was, she’ll be a handful but will be a strong determined woman someday.

    • neeroc permalink*
      May 22, 2011 10:43 pm

      Lol. I’m not sure I’ll survive. My other favorite just happens to be another Richard Condie – The Cat Came Back

  3. May 22, 2011 5:32 pm

    LOVE The Big Snit…my husband and I warn each other to “STOP SAWING THE TABLE!” often. We have it on DVD, you can buy it in a set from the CBC.

    Good luck with the eating – it’s so tough getting your kids to eat, always a struggle with every kid.

    • neeroc permalink*
      May 22, 2011 10:44 pm

      Heh. I hate to admit it, I have it on VHS. I may have gotten a bit lazy since they closed the downtown store.

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