How did we get here again? I just finished an hours’ worth of food preparation for a food I THOUGHT my picky eater would really like. I dreamed of him coming to the table and his eyes opening wide in surprise and delight. I actually envisioned a huge smile crossing his face, and lots of compliments like, “Wow, Mommy! This looks GREAT! Thank you SO MUCH!”
Haha. I know. It’s funny, right? Later (much later) I, too, had a good laugh at my foolishness.
But after an hour of painstakingly preparing these adorable little apple snacks, I spent the next hour listening to my son complaining about how yucky they are, and to whining about how there’s no WAY he could ever eat them. After 15 minutes of being his perky cheerleader, forcing a smile and encouraging him along, I grew weary and began pleading. Begging. Bribing. 10 minutes into that, we progressed to the next level. Demanding. “I don’t care if you like it or not. That’s what I made, so if you want dinner, that’s what you need to eat.” This was followed by tears. Full out sobbing and crying, (while also trying to incoherently speak about the tragedy of it all.) Then we progessed to the final level. Threatening. Miraculously, I am still calm at this point, so I firmly announce, “We were going to do a firepit and smores tonight, but you will not be getting any if you don’t eat these.” This was his last straw. Realizing the severity of the situation, he (while continuing to sob) attempts to put a speck of a speck of apple in his mouth. This of course results in literal gagging, accompanied by large burps, and finally, throw-up. Seriously.
I realize now that I can pinpoint specific stages of my situation.
Denial. (“He will just LOVE these!”)
Confusion. (“What? Why isn’t he eating? I don’t get it… it’s not asparagus or lima beans or peas. It’s just apples, peanut butter, and marshmallows, all of which he likes. What went wrong here?”)
Anger. (“There is NO reason you cannot eat this! You like all that stuff! Why all this drama? This is ridiculous!”
Grief. (“OH, you think YOU feel like crying???”)
Acceptance. (I dissassemble the whole thing, wipe the peanut butter off each apple with a napkin, remove every speck of skin from each thin apple sliver, and finally he can choke it down.)
This is, by no means, the first time a scene like this has played out at our house. Take a look at these. I thought for SURE this would be a winner. Not only was it all food he likes, but also in the shapes of his favorite characters, Phineas and Ferb.
Nope. Bread is too flat (hence the name “flatbread”) and too squished. Not sure why I keep putting us both through all of this. There are so many other things I could have been doing in the several hours I spent looking online for cute ideas, shopping for ingredients, preparing the snack, then begging him to eat it. I don’t want my time with my kids to be spent that way. So my kid doens’t want his food to touch. Fine. A spoonful of peanut butter and an applesauce cup it is. Then let’s get on with life. We’ve got playing to do.