Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Play in Five Acts

When it comes to eating at meal times, we tend to go through the 'Five Stages of Eating'. I decided a while ago that it's easier (and more productive) to let Little P eat when she wants to - she's a 'grazer' and doesn't really like having three separate meals; she'd much rather have a bunch of little ones through out the day. I've made peace with that, but M, well he still likes to play the game.

So, when Daddy is home for dinner, this is how it progresses for us:

Act One: Cajoling. 

Daddy: 'Honey, you need to eat more. Please eat some more for Daddy.'
Little P: 'No'.

Act Two: Bribery

Daddy: 'If you eat just one more, you can have (insert appropriate treat or favorite item)'
Little P: 'No'.

Act Three: Threatening

Daddy: 'You can't have (insert appropriate treat of favorite item) till you eat this.'
Little P: 'No.'

Act Four: Scare Tactics

Daddy: 'If you don't eat this, a monster (or giant bug or big clown - whatever works) will get you.'
Little P: 'No.'

Act Five: Admitting Defeat

Daddy: 'Fine. What do you want?'
Little P: 'Down.'

(Right about now, Daddy, sensing that Little P wants to get down more than anything else, starts the whole scenario again. At which time, I have usually finished eating, and simply let her get down. This generally results in Little P wanting to sit either in my lap or in a 'big chair', upon doing so she will usually eat a little something more.)

I'll admit, I would love for us to sit down as a family and have a full meal together, but I know I have to pick my battles when it comes to Little P, and for the moment, she's a healthy, happy kid that is gaining weight at a steady pace so I'm not going to worry about it. 

As for M, I have no doubt that this little scenario is going to keep playing out for some time. And that's okay - I enjoy watching the battle of wits between the two of them - it's like dinner AND a show.

Till next time, keep picking those battles and maybe one day we will be the victors!


Mommy-ism #21: Repeat after me; mealtime is not a battlefield, mealtime is not a battlefield, mealtime is not a battlefield. O, who am I kidding? It's totally a battlefield and my troops are getting annihilated by an 11 month old with a wicked right arm.....