Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hell's Kitchen

Wow... what a couple weeks we've been having. Busy busy busy. Fear not, I have returned. And today's post is going to be more of a journal entry type of post than anything else.

For a few weeks now, we've been  having quite the conflict with our daughter about something that's never really been an issue before: food. She's always been pretty open to trying foods, and pretty diligent when it came to eating all her food. She's never been one to pick around the vegetables and eat only a certain portion of her dinner. Well, now we've reached a bit of a road block. She suddenly likes absolutely nothing. Chicken, hamburgers, tacos, macaroni, vegetables, nothing. Doesn't want anything to do with it. Well, I want her to eat, obviously. So what do I do about this little conundrum? My parents were not as lenient as I have been. They cooked whatever they cooked, and if I didn't eat it, I was gonna be pretty hungry until I decided I better eat what was there. Which I think is perfectly fair.

Now, I have to believe that she's just testing her boundaries on this one, because I KNOW she is crazy about macaroni & cheese. She loves the stuff. We went out to lunch with a few friends recently, to Olive Garden. She orders the mac & cheese (which she affectionately refers to as "mac-e-rone"). Great, something she knows, something she'll eat. Well about a bite or two in, she decides she doesn't want anymore. Well, that's not gonna work, since she didn't have much for breakfast and she needs to eat to keep her energy up and her attitude better adjusted (gets that from me). So I make the offer of just a few more bites, and then she can share my dessert with me. Refusal. So I ask her if she'd like some of my dessert. Of course I get a positive nod. So I come back with, "Well, then I need you to have a few more bites of your mac-e-rone. Negative. Sigh...

I'm going to be honest, this whole situation has me baffled. The conversation continues with some more bargaining, and slowly but surely she begins to get more belligerent about not wanting anymore. And that's where my line is. I refuse to allow bad behavior simply because she "doesn't want to". Not on my watch thanks. So we have a talk about that next. Slowly, she comes around a little, and accepts the few more bites from me. Deal made, dessert enjoyed, mission accomplished.

It all sounds easy now right? WRONG. This battle has been waged at pretty much every meal for a while now. We have no idea where it came from, how she picked up that she doesn't like ANYTHING anymore, or why. But we're trying to be as diplomatic as possible about it, because the more we have fights about it, the more averted to mealtime in general she is going to be, and it'll be worse. I refuse to make a special meal just because she "doesn't like" what we're having. That's not the way I was raised, it's not the way my wife was raised, case closed. So the general consensus is that she will get a plate with her food on it, and eventually, she'll get hungry enough to eat. If she doesn't want to eat it, well, she's gonna be pretty hungry then. I hate this approach, I really do, because one of the most sensitive subjects in my heart is hungry children. I don't like to see ANYBODY hungry really. But I also know that if she comes to me and says she's hungry, I will have something to offer her, it just may not be what she wants.

Hopefully this whole phase will be something she can use as a lesson later on life. I honestly believe it's a testing of boundaries, and that it'll pass. She just has to have those boundaries established so she can get it out of her system. Toddlers are tons of fun, but sometimes the struggles can be overwhelming.

Overall, I'd like to say to other parents out there, that if you're going through the same struggle, God be with you, haha. And if you haven't gone through it yet, I hope you fare well in your battles. This situation is a definite test of a parent's patience, and it's not always easy.

P.S. For all of you who thought I had the most easy going daughter in the world and just got your mental picture shattered... sorry, hahaha.

See you next time!

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