I look over as he starts screaming. There is a soup crusted into his hair. His eyebrows have small chunks of green bean embedded in them. And there is blood dripping out of his mouth. He is screaming and hysterical, so it takes a moment to track down the source of the blood. Apparently he bit himself as he devoured his soup. Just moments earlier he had thrown a fit because I placed the soup (sans broth) in a plate in front of him. I had tried to hand him a fork. But he grabbed both and attempted to toss them on the ground, arching his back as he screamed no. I shrugged and placed his plate on the counter. He will get hungry eventually.
I spoon some soup into my bowl and walk toward the table. Baby E starts to squeal and beg for my bowl. The bowl that is filled with the same contents that were on his plate. But somehow it must taste better in a bowl, because he begins to inhale it the moment I put it in front of him. Soon his shirt is dripping in soup, and he has a hard time holding the spoon because it is so slippery.
Eventually the bleeding stops and he begs for more soup. At least one child likes it.
It never fails that my children are starving until the very moment that I set food in front of them. Then all of a sudden they aren’t hungry, or they find the meal completely disgusting. I used to sigh and give in and prepare them something more to their liking, but one day I decided that that was a ridiculous, time consuming practice that didn’t work with our lifestyle, so I no longer do that. Tonight, as Big E stared at that table he said, “I guess I’m going to bed hungry.”
Yup kid, I guess you are.
Before you think that they are justified in turning their noses up to dinner, I would remind you that I do not serve them things like liver and onions or frog legs (both of which were served to me as a child) but I stick to pretty standard meals like soups, pasta, tacos, chicken, etc. And I serve them things that I have seen them eat before, so there is no pity!
I really don’t want my children to grow up thinking that it is ok to demand a certain type of food from other people. I want them to be respectful and accept what is put in front of them, wherever they are. And that needs to start at home. So if you ever hear my kids whining that they don’t eat much dinner, gently remind them that it isn’t because of lack of opportunity!