My eldest son at the age of three once sat at the dinner table for three hours because he wouldn’t try his vegetable. Was I attempting to serve him rhubarb? Kale? Eggplant?
Nope. Corn. It was corn. Normal, yellow corn.
Flabbergasted by the absurdity of this standoff, I dismissed him. I dismissed him just before I had a Donald-Duck moment, worthy of his future blog called, “My Mom Was a Crazy B! ^(# and I Have the Emotional Scarring to Prove it!”
My son is a picky eater–of Biblical proportions. He had no interest in new foods, no matter what they were. My husband and I forced his mouth open to shovel in his first bite of vanilla ice cream. I remember the look of incredulity on my sister-in-law’s face when she gave him a donut hole, and he refused to try it.
I knew, of course, he would never eat it. It was not on the list. The list were the seven foods he would eat:
- Chicken Nuggets (shaped like Dinosaurs)
- Apple Sauce
- Cheese Pizza
- Goldfish crackers
Um…I guess there were only six. Unless milk counts as “food.”
He was my firstborn, however, so I thought it was my job to feed him food he would eat. This nonsense meant mealtimes resembled a diner where I was the short order cook. I also brought food when we went out to eat or to other people’s houses. My family lives a few states away, so we would stop to stock up at the store on the way home from the airport. I was a certifiable helicopter mom (also of Biblical proportions).
Then, his sister started eating baby food, and his world would never be the same.
My mom watched the kids for me. When we returned, my mom told me my baby wouldn’t eat baby food.
“Don’t be ridiculous,” I said. “She loves her baby food.”
“She doesn’t eat it. You’ll see,” she said.
I didn’t believe her. So when we sat down to eat dinner of curried chicken for us, dinosaur chicken nuggets for my eldest, and rice cereal mixed with carrots for her, I wasn’t expecting what happened next.
When I presented the first spoonful, she closed her mouth and turned her head. I lowered the spoon and she turned back to me. I lifted the spoon again; she turned away again. Then, she looked at my plate with ferocity of purpose that made it clear cereal and carrots were not going to cut it.