Thursday, December 9, 2010

Eaten

Getting little kid to eat lunch is a struggle every single day.

Nine times out of ten, I make him a sandwich and he picks at it, nibbles at it, lets the cheese slide off, allows a piece of bread to fall onto the floor and then crumbles the rest into a ball so I won't notice that he hasn't eaten it. (I do notice, I'm actually much smarter than he thinks.)

Yesterday I was sick of this so I made him two chicken strips (his favorite and a reasonable quantity) and stood there and watched him eat them. At the 45 minute mark of obnoxious little bites with lots of lip smacking and face making, I told him I had had it and to eat the meal. At about 50 minutes and late for school, I lost it:

"YOU ARE GOING TO EAT THAT CHICKEN! Do you understand? I'm not playing this game with you every day. I make you a nice lunch and you are going to eat it! Two chicken strips!! That's it and you can't get that done! I HAVE HAD IT!! Do you hear me?? When I make you lunch, you WILL eat that lunch! All of it! Without me standing here and feeding you like a baby!!!! It's YOUR body that needs to grow healthy and strong and if YOU don't eat then YOU will have to deal with being puny forever!! Don't you want to be big and strong? Don't you want me to be HAPPY?!? YOU WILL EAT THIS CHICKEN!! YOU WILL EAT IT!! Do you understand me? I AM DONE WITH THIS! EAT THE CHICKEN!! DO. YOU. HEAR. ME?" 

He looked nonplussed. There was a quiet pause as we stared at each other.

"Yeah, I hear you. You are bein' very aggwessive and a little bit mean. Very aggwessive of you. I don't like your attitude."

But he did eat the chicken strips.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

O_o How frustrating and hilarious at the same time. He is so wacky and then when you least expect it - kind of adult. I so get a kick out of little kid.

Jamie

Anonymous said...

Good grief! How old is LK again? He is starting to sound like his older brother with all that fancy vocab.

And I can so relate to the unfinished, picked-at meal. I come unhinged on a regular basis for this wasteful foolishness. See...there I go. Let me stop now.

Kelli in LA

MissBellaBae said...

Ashley, my "big kid" said to ask you for more details on how Mr. Piggybottom is doing!! I follow your blog, and HE reads your posts about the elf! He loves it! So no "giving it away" lol

Ashley said...

MissBella, I will definitely update you on Harold's shenanigans. My camera ran out of batteries so I had to have Mr. Ashley take photos with his phone and email them to me...and any disruption throws me off. He's been making all kinds of messes though and is on thin ice with Big Kid.

Ashley said...

Kelli, little kid is 4 and most likely learned that word from Big Kid who has frequent discussions with him about his aggressive behavior.

Rebekah said...

This is my 4 year old exactly. Right down to the back-talk. I have lived this moment more times than I can count.

le sigh.

Anonymous said...

I love your blog - the stories about your kids are so wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I am thinking maybe you should pick up one of those industrial looking lunch boxes and a whistle. When it is time for lunch, pack it up in the lunch box and blow a whistle. Tell him that it is lunch time and he only has 30 minutes before he is expected back at "work"..... with his work pre-occupation it might take some stress out of the ordeal for you.

ms vicki

Mommy Wis(h)dom said...

I am so using this speech on my 3 year old tomorrow. If it doesn't work can I send him your way? He and lk can happily sit at the table together...not eating! : )

bethany said...

Eh, just leave him alone. A couple days of being hungry will probably cure him, and even if it doesn't, it won't kill him. You just have to watch out for snacks if you do it though. (and candy :D)

Jenny said...

My "big kid" is 3. And have this exact same conversation with him every single night. Tonight I said, "You have 2 choices--eat the chicken or take a bath and go to bed." His response? "Take a bath and go to bed." So guess who was in bed by 7:00?!?! Little smarty-pants.

Ashley said...

Bethany, that's the real problem--he hounds me for snacks for about 90% of his waking hours. He's relentless and makes me crazy about it, raiding the pantry several times a day if I tell him no. So not eating lunch but expecting a daily snack buffet just doesn't work for me.

Anonymous said...

This is precisely why we have a locking pantry door. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Schedule snack breaks and lunch and let him make his own. Miss Gi is 8 and over 5 feet tall with this method. She only weighs about 65 pounds but the doctor says she is fine. Give him a kids cook book and a chef's hat and apron for Christmas. The deal is that he has to eat what he makes. Kerry

bookstalker said...

I love Miss Vicki's idea, so creative!!!

LK stories make my day every time.

Theresa said...

I'm pretty sure I've engaged in that same rant several times. It's so ridiculously frustrating! I feel your pain!

Jewelie said...

Ugh. Sophie pulls this business.
Me: Dinner time last night: SOPHIE! EAT OR GO TO BED. YOUR CHOICE. NO TALKING.
Sophie: ...but...
Me: NO! No talking til it's gone. STOP. Either sit and eat or go to bed. NOW.
Sophie: *stands there staring at me with tears threatening to fall*
Me: Well?
Sophie: I'll eat....

then continues to pick at her food for another 45 minutes. uuugh. children.

Bethany said...

I hate the snacking requests. I ended up putting out a box of 'approved snacks' (fruit snacks he doesn't like anymore) and locking up everything else. I'm about to lock the fridge now that he has the strength to open it. Good luck!

Cake said...

Ugh. I've had that conversation with my Big Kid over pizza before. PIZZA! I told him I could easily go that crazy about making him eat broccoli. He acquiesced. But it was frustrating and I felt like an asshole. :-P Pretty sure that's Karma coming back at me for refusing Kraft Mac n Cheese when I was a kid.

P.S. SO jealous of the golf carts, although we would need them in 4WD here and full snow gear.

Cake

Linda said...

I'm going to use that speech at dinner time. We go through the same thing every night with my daughter. Weird, breakfast and lunch are no problem for her to eat.

sarah said...

I totally hear you, right down to the "agwessive" yelling. My oldest is 3 and does the same thing. More than once I've said "you have 5 minutes to finish your food and then YOU'RE GOING TO BED" regardless of how much he's eaten. I think it's so frustrating because you can't actually MAKE them eat.

MDO said...

I had the same conversation with my 5-year-old about going to bed with NO bedtime antics (Me: "GO TO BED RIGHT NOW WITHOUT ANOTHER WORD!!" Her: "Mommy, this conversation feels very one-sided..."). It's hard to be frustrated and laugh at the same time. :)
On the eating thing, I got my VERY picky eater to stop being such a pain by giving him until the rest of the family was finished with dinner. If he wasn't finished, then I would package his plate up, and he could eat it for his next meal. I was the meanest mommy in the world for about three days until he realized I meant it. Now he eats most things in a reasonable time without much complaint. We do have to negotiate on some items, but for the most part the argument seems to be over. Good luck!