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Thursday, September 16, 2004

Picky Eaters

When I had my first child, I thought I had this parenting thing down. He slept through the night at a very early age, loved to take long naps, ate only healthy organic sugar free food and LOVED every bite of it. Even though I didn't verbalize it, I would look at other parents who had baby's the same age who didn't eat or sleep or do any of the "desirable" things, with a smug superiority. Yup, I had *all* the answers.

Then I had my second child. He never slept. He cried constantly, even in the car. He projectile vomited all the time. There was nothing I could do to calm him down. And then I realized, I knew nothing. I couldn't make him sleep. I couldn't make him stop crying. I couldn't make him eat. The only thing I could do was control the way I reacted to him, which in those early months (years?) was to refrain from tossing him out the nearest window. At 8 yrs old he is still a high maintenance child. I recently asked our pediatrician when the colic would go away, all the baby books say 6 mos, but we were working on over 8 years here.

And now I have many children and the feeling that I know nothing has grown exponentially.

Currently I am dealing with a very picky eater. I always said that I had good eaters. I cooked a meal and that was what there was to eat like it or not. Sure I had some complaints at times, but basically if they were hungry they would eat.

Now I have one who refuses. Not only that but he takes it personally that I make foods he doesn't like. I try to explain to him that we cannot eat hot dogs for dinner every night. He is very vocal in his complaining.

I am not sure how he lives, but I think he photosynthesizes. Luckily he seems to be getting enough sunshine since he is tall and rather stocky.

I try to sympathize with him since I am a picky eater also, but the randomness of his food choices baffles me. He hates tomatoes with a passion, will not eat red pasta sauce, or chili. But he does LOVE ketchup. My 9 yr old told him that ketchup was made out of tomatoes and he almost cried. He will eat pasta, but not if it is shaped like spaghetti. The shape the pasta takes determines it's taste... Everyone knows that. His eating habits have been very annoying to me lately, mostly because if I have spent time cooking a meal I don't want someone collapsing to the ground crying.

The other night I made lentil soup for dinner. My 5 yr old, who is always sweet and diplomatic, and more importantly *LOVES* all the foods I serve, looked at the soup in the serving bowl and said it looked like dirt with snail guts floating in it. But being the "perfect" child that he is, told me he would 'eat it anyway'. God, I love that kid.

He sat down at the table with a bowl of it and began eating. The Picky Eater came walking into the kitchen and my 5 yr old stood up on his chair, waved his arms around and began shouting, 'It isn't dirt! It's soup that just looks disgusting. It actually tastes good. And Mom says those aren't snail guts in it.'

Who could resist eating it after that ;-)

Despite that rave review and being repeatedly assured that it was yummy, he wouldn't even try it.

Then this past weekend I was at a party. My friend was raving about this pork stuff she had cooking in her crockpot that you make sandwiches with. She wanted me to have one. She lifted the lid of her crockpot and I have never in my life seen something that looked more revolting to me. I could not believe she was going to put that stuff that looked and smelled like vomit on a roll and want me to eat it.

I am 35 years old and I could not control myself. As she scooped it out, I gagged.

Really, I don't know where my son gets it from ;-)


Blogger Ash-bray Etty-hay said...

bwah! :)

Yeah, it's only my own recollections of being forced to eat horrible things (big peeve: homegrown swiss chard with grit in it) that keep me relatively open-minded about the kids' foibles.

I think mine are equally picky really, just vary as to how bold they are about expressing it. ;) (only one kid ... no, wait, two ... actually vomited into their plate at dinner when asked to taste just a tiny bit of something)

Someday I plan to go to their houses and do all the same stuff they do to me -- there are days when this is all that keeps me hanging on. :)

12:43 PM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

I am an extremely picky eater. Everyone constantly tells me how they hope I will feed Magdalena foods I don't like and how poor Magdalena won't get to eat really good food because of how picky I am. I hate that.

4:03 PM  
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2:41 AM  

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