Put the kids to work on that new garden bed!
There do come times in life when giving up is ok. Actually, it’s more than ok, it’s essential for sanity. I’m sure we all have a story to illustrate this point. Perhaps it was giving up the hope of a particular lover, or the ongoing tension with your boss wasn’t really worth it after all and it was time to give up the fight. I’m giving up on dinner.
“Muum? What’s for dinner?”
“Eew, I don’t like that. Make me spaghetti.”
“I beg your pardon? That is very rude. Plus, you don’t get tell me what to make for dinner.”
“But I don’t like that!”
“Muuum, what’s that?”
“Egg and bacon pie.”
“I don’t like it. I’m not eating it.”
“Well, that is dinner. You ate it last time.”
“But it’s yuck!”
“There is no other food. If you don’t eat that, you’ll be hungry later and you’re not getting anything else.”
8:30pm: “Muum, can I have a sandwich? I’m hungry.”
“You should have eaten your dinner.”
“It’s not fair!”
I have given up the following:
- cooking anything too experimental. She ain’t gonna eat it. Miss 21 months isn’t too bad. She doesn’t tend to eat much of anything at the moment though, so giving her a bit of whatever we are having is easy.
- the fight. I know what Miss 5 won’t eat, so I now don’t bother even giving her things I know she’ll turn her nose up at. I just am so very much over her thingy voice imploring how much she thinks something is disgusting.
- worrying about her eating vegetables all the time. There is some sort of vegetable consumption success most nights (even if it’s just carrot sticks), but really, if there is a night where she just has ham on toast, then whatever. Actually, last night it was jam sandwiches.
The only time I can get Miss 5 to see her dinner and say “Oh, YUM!” is when I serve up 4-5 small bowls each with a different thing. For example it could be one bowl for each of the following: carrot sticks, cherry tomatoes, stras or ham, grapes, dry biscuits, peas and corn (sometimes still frozen) etc. Or maybe when it’s chicken nuggets. They occasionally make their way out of the freezer, into my oven and onto her plate. But, she has to eat her peas, corn and broccoli (with butter on of course) before they even get placed in front of her.
I do still cook things that just myself and my husband eat, and usually make something separate for the smalls, but that only happens if the something separate is super easy, like putting different things into bowls and presenting it on a tray. Or in a lunchbox. Miss 5 loves to have her food compartmentalised, so I’m going to run with it. I always said I wasn’t going to fight meal time battles. I forgot that for a while, but now I’ve totally hung up my sword. It might even get rusty.
Are you still wielding yours?
This post is part of my Honesty Column series. Myself and Barbara Good of The New Good Life come up with a parenting related topic each week and have to be as honest as possible. This week’s topic is ‘The Whinge-a-thon.’
“Aaaawww (rising inflection). You NEVER listen to me.”
Roll over and bury face in pillow.
A couple of hours later, as I drove her to her friend’s house, having realised it was not going to be quality time that we would be spending together if she stayed with me that morning, we listened to ‘Let It Go’ in the car. Because we listen to it all the time, and the rest of the soundtrack too, and considering that the edge had already been hacked off my morning patience (oh how my husband would laugh to see those two words together!), I changed the music to something I wanted to listen to without consulting her first, which resulted in
“Aaaawww (rising again). You NEVER let me have Frozen!”
Grip steering wheel. Breathe out.
I had to go to the supermarket late the other night because I had very little to put in the kids’ lunch boxes the next day. I ended up buying them some packaged stuff they never usually get. Hey, it’s the end of the year. They can have a treat. Or two. There was no coloured popcorn left in Miss Five’s lunchbox when she got home from kinder. Upon opening the pantry, asking to have some coloured popcorn and being told that no, she’d had enough today, I copped
“But you NEVER give me coloured popcorn!”
Close pantry door. Turn back and walk to sink. Absorb self in washing of last night’s roasting pan.
Miss Five had a friend over the play this afternoon. The same friend whose house I deposited her at for at least half a day the week before last. They had a lovely time playing Frozen, dancing on the trampoline, and eating ‘sometimes foods.’ At bedtime tonight, in an attempt to stay awake just a bit longer by trying to engage me in conversation, Miss Five informed me
“But, I NEVER get to go to Molly’s house!”
Ignore statement but sigh inwardly. Inform Miss Five with very firm voice that she must go to sleep. Immediately.
Life is tough when you’re NEVER allowed to do anything. It’s also tough when you live with someone who experiences this trauma on an extremely regular basis.
A couple of weeks ago on a Monday night, I went to book club. We have an excellent little group. We drink wine. We rarely bitch about our husbands (or kids) because we are too involved in conversations about books, movies and tv series. I told Miss Five that’s where I was going, she said
“Aaaawww, (rising voice, sagging shoulders, down turned mouth) but you NEVER let me go to book club.”
Close front door gently. Walk to car. Enjoy silence.
No, my dear, I don’t. And I NEVER will. Ever.
Image is Ban Symbol by Vince