Thursday, October 8, 2009

WTF Moment

I read this blog recently and relate to a few things in it, like having an infant who is not interested in a lot of the food offered and doesn't want solids until seven months (G--premie thing) and also I relate to DREADING dinner. It's gotten completely out of hand. I'm sorry about all the times I felt I had this feeding thing under control. I'm sorry about all the times I gloated in my head about how my kids eat salad and like a variety of foods. I wish I were working so I could blame this absurdity on that. I don't know why, but S (my six year old) has decided that she will make each and every dinner a power struggle. She has been the best eater since that first bite of rice cereal she was incredibly eager to consume. Her tastes have varied through the years, but she usually liked most of what was put in front of her and was always will to "just try a bite." Now there's no rhyme or reason to her MADNESS. She sits down and starts grimacing. Then she chooses some minute aspect of her meal (I don't like mustard, Yes you do you told me you liked when Daddy put it on your turkey sandwich the other day, Well, I don't like it). Then she starts looking all around her plate and becomes exasperated by everything she sees and slams back in her chair pouting. That's when I give her the 5 count down to get rid of the negative attitude and start eating or leave the table. She's had to leave the table numerous times, says she has calmed down and comes back to eat. Then she eats a couple bites and is all "Oh I do like this." WTF!?

Tonight was it, though. It's been at least a week of this behavior. Starting tomorrow, I told her, she'll get ready for bed (shower, pjs) after she's done homework and then she'll spend the evening in her room while the rest of the family has dinner. When we're through she can come down and have dinner--what has been made for everyone's dinner (with the exception of beef/pork)--and then go to bed. Her negative attitude makes me sick. It stresses my parents, too. No amount of their pleading and reasoning changes her attitude.

The problem is she often has a negative attitude, even about things she has told me she likes, such as school and Sunday school and camp this past summer, which she said she never wanted to go back to but now wants to go again next summer--WTF?!

One night months ago, before we moved, maybe even last year, we were leaving the Y after my weekly kickboxing class and she started in with her complaining and negativity and I told her I hear that she is not happy, but I just had a great work out and am full of positive energy and her negative energy will push out all my positive energy and then I will be very angry and not a happy mommy and she needed to either blow out her negative energy, throw it away or keep it to herself. Her response? I DON'T BELIEVE IN THAT. WTF?! I said, That's fine, people didn't believe the Earth is round, though it is. One day you'll realize energy is real and it can be positive or negative. All she heard was blah, blah, blah.

Many things are power struggles with S. I know it's a normal kid thing and kids like boundaries and restrictions and they push to see what they can get away with. But food? Dinner? I really don't want food to be an issue with her. She already self-mutilates, bites her arm when frustrated, which is also a fairly common thing. I don't even want to imagine her teen years with food issues and self-mutilation involved. If that happens it's not WTF, we're just F-ed.


mommaladybug said...

I totally understand where you're coming from with dinner time. James isn't as smart a S (he's younger), but we have the same problem with not eating dinner. He'll give the excuse of "I've never had this before" so that he doesn't have to eat it. He obviously doesn't understand what he's saying, he's 3. But we just have to be strong and not back down about all of it as parents. You're right, kids need boundaries, and I think they'll be testing them until they are adults and living on their own. And perhaps even after that if they are still "finding themselves." Be strong! She'll get the picture sometime (though it's not always in the time frame that we are hoping for).

Lauren said...

That's very interesting that he says he's never had something before. Is it true when he says it? Or has he actually had some food that he says that about. I keep in mind the idea that kids have to be exposed to a food seven times before they will willingly try or eat it. I've found it to be true. I just make them take a "no thank you" bite where they don't have to eat more. Like baked beans, the kids have consistently all summer said they don't like them after trying them. But recently they both had seconds and S had thirds of baked beans. Took them long enough!

mommaladybug said...

He says he hasn't had a food before even though we had it the night before. He likes to take his own sweet time for dinner. Sometimes it takes an hour for him to eat 5 bites. This is for every dinner, every night. Ugh!