I honestly don't think I ever heard my Mom or Dad say the famed,"Just wait 'til YOU have kids!" when I was screwing up royally, costing them either time, money or years of anguish.
But I think that's because they have the patience of saints. And I am sure that even with that supreme patience, they muttered it under their breath countless times.
Especially when I refused to eat chicken. Or pork chops. Hamburgers. Most definitely they were thinking it when I sat at the kitchen table for FIVE hours because I wouldn't eat the ONE fish stick I had to eat in order to leave the table. And I did that every year, every Friday during Lent until they finally gave up making me eat fish and cooked me a grilled cheese sandwich.
Well, Mom and Dad, the time has come.
And payback is a bitch.
Bjorn used to be a great eater. Since he was a little babe, he ate everything (except sweet potatoes) that we put in front of him. Fish, chicken, broccoli, squash, carrots. You name it, he ate it.
Oh, my, how the times have changed.
Now he refuses to eat anything at meal times. The second we call him for dinner, he yells "No, I no want to!", making a big fuss about how he isn't hungry. He sulks into his chair, crosses his arms and pouts. "No. I not hungry!" With a sigh, he shoves his plate as far as he can.
Every freakin' meal time.
But the problem isn't that he doesn't want to eat. I think he doesn't want to sit and eat. Or sit at the table and eat, because if I were to let him eat in front of the TV, he is perfectly happy eating his entire meal. Of course, the kid will do anything if he can watch TV at the same time - even clip his nails (torture!).
All day long he asks for snacks. ALL DAY LONG. Like the trash compactor I imagine he will be at 14, he seems continuously and always hungry. So we eat string cheese and apple slices. Grapes and strawberries, goldfish and almonds. We have ham slices, grape tomatoes and pickles. The kid loves food.
I have tried not giving him snacks, in the hopes that if he is hungry enough, he will eat dinner. No difference. None. It only made the whining worse all day. If you can imagine that.
I am at my wit's end. Between the screaming tantrum fit every single freakin' time he takes a nap or goes to bed, and the refusing to eat at any mealtime, I have just about.had.it. I don't know what strategy to use on him - the "I'm disappointed in you", the "Eat your food, or go to time-out" or the ignoring it and hope it goes away route. We tried to solve the problem of throwing a tantrum when taking a nap by ignoring it, thinking that as he grew older, he would grow out of it. That it was a phase.
He hasn't. And it's not.
He still screams "No!!! No I no want to!!", sometimes for up to an hour before he finally stops, succumbs to the obvious need to nap, and sleeps for three hours. It is absolutely ridiculous, and he has been doing this every nap time since he was 6 months old. (Minus the saying words part of it. He's not that smart! But he has been crying and screaming every time I put him down for a nap since he was little.)
I don't want this to happen with food and mealtimes, too. I want to be able to take him to a restaurant, or to a friends for dinner and not cringe, anticipating the inevitable meltdown. Discussing beforehand with The Hubs how we were going to handle it -whether we should ignore it, or give him a time out.
So, wonderful Bloggy world out there, I need your help. My sanity needs your help. My son's future career as a quarterback is in jeopardy. For how is he to develop the muscles and stamina needed for a pro career without the necessary nutrition that starts now?!
Please. How do I get my son to eat at the dinner table?!