...my child sold your honor student the answers to the test...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Dinner War: Battles 1&2

One of the more difficult aspects of having multiple children is that invetibly you will fight the same battles with each kid. So you finally win one war with the eldest and things calm down, ony to have the next child pick up the slack. Take dinner at my house for instance:

It took J and I 4 years (!!!!) to wear down Xavier until he will finally both sit at the table and eat. That was a war hard won. We tried everything by the book, and when that didnt work, came up with our own outrageous ideas. In reality it took consistence and time. LOTS of time. Years worth actually. Even now at age 7 Xavier still tries to pull his stunt of not eating. The only thing that works for him now is leaving him by himself once we have finished our food with the understanding that when he is done he can join us, and the longer it takes the less free time before dinner he has. Only in the past few months has he finally admitted defeat and makes it a race to see who finishes dinner first. I still beat him, despite being able to carry on a conversation and feed the baby at the same time. But he generally comes in second place and still enjoys the challenge of trying to beat Mom.

J and I were finally breathing a sigh of relief when it started up again, only this time with Ashe. It took us a long time, and help from his developmental therapist to get him to even sit at the dinner table. But now he just sits there and refuses to eat. Doesnt matter what I make. I even have him choose dinners once in awhile and help me make them in the hopes that his excitement of being in charge will make him want to touch his food. Alas, nomatter how much he seems excited for it while it is cooking, the moment it touches a plate he pulls his Yucky face, shakes his head and says "I WON'T EAT IT MOMMY!"

We've now reached critical mass. He wont eat dinner, but he has no issue waking up twice a night for chocolate milk (Ovaltine for the vitamins). And frankly, J and I are barely getting sleep as it is with myself getting up many times a night for Soren and the kids bouncing out of bed bright and early for J to deal with at 5am.

I finally took a stand last night. The gloves are off. I'm in battle mode. And I'll be damned if I let a 3 yr old kick my ass. This child WILL eat....something other than chocolate milk!

Battle 1: January 5, 2010
(5:15 - 6:00pm ET)

"Dinner time boys!"
The stampeding of feet can be heard miles away as 2 boys and 1 man rush to the table. Dinner tonight is Hamburger Helper and salad. Everyone sits down and we begin to eat and discuss our day. Ashe sits there and watches, fork untouched. After awhile I turn to him and tell him to eat.
"You need to eat some food, Ashe. Try a bite please."
"Doing what?"
"Well the only way to get bigger and strong is to eat your dinner."
"NO, I WON'T."
"If you do not eat you will go into time out."
(glares from the peanut)
(Face contorts into a scowl and he tries to stare me down)
"3. Ok dude, time out for you."
"Yup, let's go. You can eat after timeout." I carry him to time out thrashing, place him down and walk back to the table. After 3 minutes I ask him if he is ready to eat.
"Do you need to stay in timeout?"
"...... um, ok, I'll check back in a bit then."
3 more minutes go by, and when I ask him again if hes ready to come out of time out he just smiles at me and shakes his head no.
The hell you won't, I'm thinking to myself. So I made him go back to the table. And I told him under no circumstances, could he leave the table until he ate.

45 minutes later, table cleared, Ashe is sobbing, food untouched, and he still refuses to even consider having one damn bite. I finally ask him if he would eat a "Chocolate" sandwich (Nutella). He considers for a moment, head tilted, and finally nods in agreement. I make him a sandwich and he eats it at the table, asking after every bite "ARE YOU HAPPY MOMMY?"
"Only if you finish the sandwich."

He finished the sandwich.

Battle 2: January 6
(5:30: - 6:37pm ET)

"Dinner time!" The stampeding of feet can be heard miles away as 2 boys and 1 man rush to the table. Dinner tonight is Riggatoni and sauce with salad.

You know what? I should just copy and paste above, minus one small detail. This time when I told Ashe to eat a noodle he just smiled at me and said "NO MOMMY I WON'T EAT. I GO TO TIMEOUT OK?"

I gave him one time out and he just sat there smiling, nodding his head, and I realized that this is what he wanted. So I got smart. Instead of time outs I just made him sit at the table. And he sat there until it was almost bedtime. Crying. Begging for a timeout instead. Begging!!!! I can not harp on this enough. I had a 3 yr old in my house, desperately wanting a timeout instead of eating!


Towards bedtime J and I realized that he would either have to eat, or neither of us would get ANY sleep tonight. I for one, cherish what little sleep I can snag and I know looking at J's slow stumble lately that is his walk, is desperate too. So I made him another Nutella sandwich and he happily ate it.

This war will be long, hardcore, and bloody. Tears will be shed. Feelings possibly hurt. I think I lost tonights battle, but I will not lose the war. I hold on to that thought like a child holds on to their blankey. But what scares me, is that once I have finally won with Ashe and he does eat, I'll have to do this all over again, with Soren.

1 comment:

The Mrs. said...

i feel your pain. dash1 was a tough cookie at the table. he sits with us but wont eat what we eat. i used to try to force him to eat our stuff but you know what... who cares if he wants grilled cheese over salmon. its cheaper anyways. And his ped. said it really isnt a big deal so ive let it go. A couple times a week ill make a really boring dinner like just baked chicken and he'll eat it.but every other night i feel like a short order cook.