Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Eating Issues

You know how before you had kids you look at a particularly annoying mothering technique and think,"I will NEVER be like that when I'm a mother" and then you're that and about ten times worse? I specifically remember being with friends and one mother badgering her kid to eat more squash, that, no, she couldn't have dessert until she eats more squash and wouldn't she please please please eat a little more squash? I was ready to eat the entire plate of squash myself when the mom wasn't looking just so I didn't have to hear the word "squash" ever again. And I think squash is revolting.

Dear God I've become what I hate. Last night I heard myself pleading like that and wanted to take myself out to the barn and shoot myself like an old horse who needs to be put out of its misery. Except we don't have a barn. Or a gun. But you get the point. Granted, nobody was around to be annoyed by my begging except my children and the point was to annoy them, but still. My girls are the pickiest eaters in the world and would eat nothing but crackers, cookies, ice cream and milk (YES! IN A BOTTLE STILL!) if I let them. And some days I do. Because having my fingers amputated one by one with a plier sounds like more fun than arguing about food.

They are the worst at dinner time. "Chips?" one will ask me like it's completely plausible I will let them have potato chips for dinner. (They wouldn't know what a potato chip was if it wasn't for my husband. But I digress.) "Ice cream?" the other will say. Then it turns into "No din din!" "Chips!" "Ice cream!" "No peas!" And by that time I'm ready to shove a container of Haagen Daaz and two spoons at them and tell them to knock themselves out.

I've also starting using treats as a bribing technique, surely a habit that translates directly into a tween eating disorder in several years. "If you stop whining / play nice / take a bath we can have some ice cream," I suggest. They of course still get the ice cream if they've done none of the above.

I sit in amazement when I see toddlers who happily eat what their parents eat for dinner like a grownup except short and clad in head-to-toe Gymboree. What am I doing wrong? Why will my kids eat only about 4 things and all basically from the same food group? And after I slaved and sacrificed and made ORGANIC homemade baby food for crying out loud, this is how they repay me. (Although perhaps there is a correlation. I'm no cook, and my last name isn't Gerber, so maybe I turned them off to food completely by making it myself?)

Also, how can I start to tackle potty training when I don't have the mothering skills to GET THEM OFF THE DAMN BOTTLE? Somehow I picture the day they leave for college and me suggesting they don't drink beer out of their bottle because that might hamper their social life and asking if they made sure to pack enough Depends for the semester. Relatively stupid and incompetent people (don't make me name names) manage to transition their children to drinking milk out of cups, so I'm not sure why this seems insurmountable to me. I don't like to upset them -- and taking it away upsets them.

Can we all just take a moment and thank the universe I won't be procreating ever again?

PS -- I thought I loved celebrity gossip. But it's exhausting keeping up with what former childhood star bit his girlfriend's forehead in a drunken stupor and who's hassling the Hoff and what Courtney Love is wearing on her head. I mean, really.


  1. Love your blog! I'm just throwing this out there....here's what worked for me with my 2.5 year old for giving up the paci (and I did this with another baby in the house still using a paci). A neighbor had a baby and I told him the new baby needed a paci and I though we should give her his pacis because he didn't need them anymore, that he was a little boy now. He asked for it 2x and I reminded him that Baby Olivia had them. I've also heard about the "_____ fairy". Package all the bottles up and in the morning, a small gift is left where the bottles were. Good luck!

  2. Don't feel bad. My son is turning 2 on Friday, and he STILL is drinking his milk from the bottle. He is a very picky eater, too. Its funny , he screams cookies and chips at me during dinner too. He pokes at his human food with his chubby little finger with such utter disgust! I think they'll grow out of it. Check out the yogurt "blends" by Horizon,they have veggies in them. I put a little honey it, and then he will eat it. Stinker! Can only find them at Dominicks, though.

  3. I just about WEPT with relief to hear that your girls still take a bottle. So does Simone, and my pediatrician makes me stand on a table in the waiting room with a sign around my neck that reads "MY 22 MONTH OLD IS STILL ON THE BOTTLE" while the other mothers pelt me with soft fruit, to shame me. I may be exaggerating a few of the details, but you get the idea.
    Anyhow, THANK YOU. Also, we are not "lazy," we are Nurturing. This is my official position at least until I meet my deadline.

  4. First of all, it's okay and your duty to upset them. Plus, it really can be fun.

    Secondly, institute the one bite rule. If they don't like it, they don't have to eat anymore. Research shows that it takes 21-23 tastes before a liking is developed. My kids eat everything from escargot to turnips.

    Three, don't you hate people like me who think they have all the answers? Don't worry - if I'm any kind of model, my kids will grow up to be bloated chardonnay overindulgers. Oh look - I made up a new word!

    Four, how many high school graduations have you attended where pacies and diapers were in use by the graduates? NONE.

  5. My daughter is 4 and still uses her paci. I say, whatevs.

  6. My daughter will be 2 on Friday as well and she is ADDICTED to her bottle. I have tried every. sippy. cup. and nada. Glad to hear I am not alone.
    Tonight all she wanted to eat for dinner was the cream from the middle of the oreo.

  7. I am the mother I said I never would be. Everything at meal time is quid pro quo. I cringe when they ask "what treat will I get if I eat____" They have to be paid off to eat anything. The good news is they eat a variety of foods the bad news is I am hand feeding it to them at the age of 3 1/2.

  8. I am a mother who has always despised pacifiers. I did not let my twins have one. No way. I wasn't going to be running after two babies reinserting those things every two minutes. The third one comes along, hello pacifier. Whatever keeps you quiet. So, I hear you. We all do it. My three year old would be an emaciated waif if it were not for goldfish crackers. But, I'm crafty. I make sure they are the whole grain variety... Yeah, I rock as a mom like that.

  9. When my first son was born, he was an absolute pacifier addict. He also slept in our bed for the first 13 months of his life. After listnening to years (years!) of "when are you going to get him in his own bed?" and "when are you going to get him of the nuk?" and finally "when are you going to buckle down and potty train him?" I gave up. But you know? He's six and in first grade and totally potty trained and done with the pacifier (he also got a bottle before bed and again when he woke up in the morning until he was 2 1/2) and drinks out of cups--with no tops!--and uses the potty and sleeps in his own bed and has friends and can read really well... and is generally a pretty well-adjusted, terrific kid whose mom was really afraid of hurting her baby and was maybe a little quick to give in. I've got two more, and I'm sure I've wronged them too. But I'm ahead of the game because they're both already off the pacifiers.

  10. Wow. My 20-month old never took or wanted a pacifier; was mostly breast fed & rarely took a bottle; uses sippy cups & likes to try a big boy cup; & loves his veggies. He's not going to grow up to be some psycho serial (cereal is ok) killer, is he?