Today I noticed a strange phenomenon: My son has GROWN several inches. While this might seem like a normal thing to happen to a little boy who's about to turn four, I am astonished.
You see, Landon hates to eat. He really does. He is picky, for one thing. (Andy's son, for sure!) If you sneak in any vegetables, be ready to meet the gag reflex. A pea=throw up (even if he just THINKS he ate a pea!). An onion?: Better watch out! He inspects any plate put before him with a look of displeasure on his face. He takes the first bite with a snarl on his face while Andy and I wait anxiously for the verdict....He chews....He thinks....He inspects the plate..."What is that yellow stuff?" he asks us suspiciously. "It's just cheese", we answer (even if it's not really cheese). (pause, chew, chew)...."Otay."
Can I just say, I NEVER thought I'd cave in and play his reindeer games? Never in a million years! I was going to be the mom who said, "Here's your food. If you don't want it then don't eat!" I'm quickly learning that when you plan to be a certain type of mom before having kids, you usually end up being the exact opposite of what you thought you'd be. When mealtime rolls around, I think about how stubborn my son is (If I tell him "Fine, don't eat!", he will trot happily away and think nothing of it). I think about how cranky my son gets when his tummy is empty. I think about all of my deficiencies and can't help but thinking he MUST have some! I look at his skinny little legs running around all day outside with nary a nibble and I will do ANYTHING to get that kid to eat.
Part of the problem is that he is just too busy to eat. If he's doing anything at all, it's more important to him than food. I approach this with a sneak attack. I crank out grilled cheese sandwiches and scrambled eggs (which I have to call "buttery grilled cheese" and "buttery eggs" because the child is a butter FIEND! I am not kidding.) I am constantly chasing him with yogurt "popsicles" and fresh strawberries or spooning bites of oatmeal or cereal into his mouth as he plays. It never amounts to much in his belly, but it's something. At the end of the day (sometimes after attempting to shovel dinner into him during bath time, when he's most distracted), I mentally calculate what he's had to eat and breathe a sigh of relief when I remember he hasn't had his vitamin yet. He looooo-oooovvves his vitamins and so do I. Vitamins in place of food isn't the greatest plan, but right now they're our insurance plan. This stage is a tricky one for Andy and me and, I can tell, it's going to be a fight to the finish!