9.08.2007

"In general my children refuse to eat anything that hasn't danced in television." -Erma Bombeck

My 4 year old has decided she no longer likes to eat... or rather, she no longer likes to eat anything I cook.

She has basically been living on cereal, oatmeal, french fries, ice cream, and ranch dressing. That is about it. This has started to worry me so her evil plan is working and I am bending over backwards to make her something different from the rest of us just so I can be sure she has food in her stomach

When I was a kid, if you didn't like what my mom was cooking for dinner... tough crapola. And my mom was not a "kid-friendly" type of cook either. She made things like pea soup and bean soup and liver and chicken 5 nights a week. We were only allowed the chicken legs as well-the breast was reserved for my dad. Today I cannot bring myself to eat a chicken leg, or any kind of chicken on the bone. I get flashbacks and end up curled up in the fetal position sucking my thumb on the kitchen floor.

I remember one night my mom made bean soup. It was disgusting. I refused to eat it, so I got to spend the remainder of the evening sitting in my chair at the table in front of my now cold bowl of brown colored bean soup. All of the dishes had been cleared away and they even turned out the lights when they left the room to leave me sitting in the dark with a bowl of muck that was gar-on-tee'd to make me gag. It was horrible and it has taken years of therapy to give me peace with bean soup. My parents still owe me for that bill.

I try to make meals that my family will enjoy. I go out of my way to make it healthy and appealing to the masses. My kids don't like big stewed tomatoes in their sauces, so I will usually blend them up in the blender. They don't like big onion bits, so I chop and chop until the onion is so small they don't even notice it. They don't like vegetables so I find new and yummy ways to cook those carrots and peas. Basically, I am the kitchen bitch around here. I look at myself and wonder, "What happened to me?"

Well, this short-order cook is taking off the apron (which by the way, I would love to have one of The Kitchen Madonna's aprons!) and tonight I am making liver with a bean soup chaser. I am taking back the oven! I am going to be a crusader against kid-friendly cooking. I am going to enjoy a big ol' juicy tomato in my spaghetti (well, maybe not that because I think cooked tomatoes are gross... but for effect sake I will eat one!) And if they don't like it... well then they can sit at the table for hours until they pass out and what they don't finish in the evening they can finish for breakfast!

But before I wage this war with my children I think I am going to bake those cinnamon rolls I have sitting in the fridge. My 4 year old will eat a cinnamon roll...

10 comments:

Kasia said...

I lived from about age four to age seven or eight on health-food-store Cheerios for breakfast, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch, and carrots and spoonfuls of peanut butter for dinner. My mom had a mom like yours, so whenever I didn't want what was put before me she let me get a carrot and a spoonful of peanut butter. I survived.

Having said that, I have mortified nearly all older family members with my pickiness at some point in my life, and when I was in my 20s I had to learn to suck it up and eat things to be polite. I think it's easier if you learn it as a child. Maybe you could adopt the "no thank you portion" method, where even if you don't like something you have to take some and eat so many bites. Just a thought...

sodaboy said...

ill save you the psycho-babble and would just suggest that you not fight over food choices. at best they lead to ridiculous fights that lead into other ridiculous fights, at their worst they are indicative of something else i wont get into here.

mnmomoffive said...

I say mo'power to you sista. As a mom of five I understand and I say nip the pickiness in the bud. Our oldest was picky, and skinny, and I fed him anything because I was afraid he would wither away. After a few more young'uns came around I decided I just couldn't be a short order cook (with out some real money)and made him suck it up and eat (and I am talking just normal stuff that most everyone in the great US of A likes, no liver and onions and cube steak or anything like I had to eat.) Turns out that after he was forced to try it, his mother-coddling-fed-stubborness washed right out of him. He even decided that he liked some of the stuff that he "thought" he despised. As far as potential life wrecking psychological harm, after working in the mental health field I can tell you that if you have a good strong relationship otherwise you will all be ok. Eating problems of the terrible sort are not brought about by cajoling anyone into looking beyond their own self-centered food preferences and desires, but rather are the result of other issues with security, love, dependability etc.

Entropy said...

I refuse to cook separate meals for separate kids. I know my oldest doesn't like any kind of red sauce
(no, lasagna, spaghetti, red chili) pretty much the three favorite foods of the rest of us. So when I make it she must have some. period. Then she fills up on bread for the rest of that meal. She's not undernourished and she's even come around to some veggies this way. :)

:o) said...

I also didn't allow the 'restaurant' mentality at the dinner table. Our picky eater had to eat whatever else we were eating. If it was something she really didn't like, she had to take a spoonful and eat that. I always made sure there was something on the table she could eat. I think some times it is just a power struggle between child and parent. Good luck, that's a hard one.

Special K ~Toni said...

What?? No ketchup?? At least Luke eats about a 1/4 cup a day with his nuggets. I am counting it as a veggie serving too!

Momto5Minnies said...

You take back your kitchen!

I'll eat your cookin' and even come over with some wine. We can send all our children (including the husbands) to my house for pizza.

IT's probably only a 23 hour drive?

chestertonian said...

"You can eat or you can starve."

--The motto of the Dailey family dinner table.

Deb said...

My six year old daily sits down to the mea we call linner and tells me the food I slaved over looks disgusting. My response, that's nice.Good to hear that I'm not the only one who has recently quit the catering service to the beasties, I mean children.

JaneC Duquette said...

If she needs to see a commercial to eat the food, try this one from Italy for cheese. My kids favorite. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zMknkhZ-jA