Thursday, September 16, 2010

But I prayed to Jesus..

Oh mama has it started. The drama. The whining. The princess performance.

My angelic 4 year old has now turned into a 30 something pound 16 year old. Whippee.

So now cue the pickiness that seems to go along with royalty; add one mama who's job it is to 'fix' said finickiness at the dinner table; and you get something very akin to World War II.

So while I love to cook meals that are at least somewhat healthy, my daughter has now decided that she would much rather just go to McDonald's thank-you-very-much. And here comes the part where my long time rule of "you eat what I cook or you just choose not to eat" vs. "I am the tiny princess of this home and you will cater to me" come into conflict.

Now mind you, I am a professional. Trained to deal with food issues, sensory issues, behavioral feeding problems. But trained to stand-off with a 4 year old who has decided she doesn't like anything with hints of tomatoes, speckles of green herbs, or slivers of onions - this has been testing my skills.

After a few meals of her picking around her food and just complaining, she has now moved on up to the heavy-weight round with the induced gagging. Usually with a bite of food in her mouth (that Tony has made her try). And she sits beside me. Cue mother induced gagging.

And I am now at the point of my story - our prayers. Heaven help us.

The other night I had made a homemade lasagna. And not the mommy-love kind with spinach but the daddy-love kind with sausage sauce and meat. Not my favorite but sometimes a girl just feels like being generous. Anyway, first, princess laments the minuscule onion she finds, then the specks of green basil, and then pretty much just rejects the whole lot and can't even find redemption in a plain ole noodle.

The king of the house orders said princess to make a choice, "eat your dinner or go to bed". And then goes to the ballpark. Thanks. Hand down a sentence then leave it up to me to do your dirty work. So after 30 minutes of sitting at the cleared table with only her plate of untried lasagna in front of her, I am working at the computer with my back to her refusing to listen to the whining about how awful it is. "Not listening to you... nah, nah, nah, nah."

Until - she starts gagging. To which I tell her I KNOW it isn't that bad. Nothing is in it to make her sick and she needs to quit. She then tells me, in the midst of tears running down her face, with complete sincerity...

"but I pwayed to Jesus like Bwaeden did that I wouldn't get sick.... but it didnnnnnn't woooook"

Explanation - Braeden had prayed to Jesus that his upset tummy would feel better in the morning. However, Jesus doesn't seem to respond as well to little girls gagging on lasagna. Lesson learned. Maybe he likes Italian??

And the moral of this story is, if you sit in front of a plate of uneaten lasagna for one hour, you are then sent to your room to p.j.'s and a warm cozy bed. And a big breakfast.The princess. It is her world, we are just allowed to live in it.


Christie said...

Too funny (from afar...I know it's not "fun" for you)! So glad that you stuck to your many parents would have relented for fear that they're child would "starve to death"!

And, yes, looks like Jesus likes Italian!

JG said...

:) Oh my. This too shall pass. And speaking as a former picky eater, she'll grow out of it. (Although my meal of choice is still Mac & Cheese and Mashed Potatoes.)

Stephanie said...

My daughter used to gag so badly on green beans that she actually did throw up once. We've now instituted "no-thank-you" bites. You have to try at least one bite of something before refusing more. Sometimes, I think you do have to just lay down the law. And 4-year-old girls really are practice for the teenage years. 5 has been interesting for us, but not nearly as difficult as 4 was. Hang in there!

Katie Funk Goodwin said...

My younger sister got to the point that she could vomit on command if she didn't like something. She's since grown out of it and looks back at that time with chagrin since those are now some of her favorite foods. We always had no thank you bites too :)

Tracy said...

the bad thing is - those gagged bites ARE her 'no thank you' bites!! Usually she just pushes everything away and eats the plain noodles - which I would have been fine with. But recently, no dice! Our kids don't have to eat everything on their plate, just they have to try everything before getting something more of something else. I CAN NOT justify throwing away any food and then then eating more of something else. Especially after my trip to ET.

Tari said...

Oh, I so hate the gagging trick! My 7 year old had that one down pat when he was your daughter's age - he even threw up oatmeal in my lap during one particularly vicious power struggle. Since it was 3 years ago, I can laugh about it now (but not then, oh no, not then!). About 6 he surprised us by deciding to like a few veggies. That leaves fruit as the last thing on his do-not-touch list: such an improvement! To us it still looks so bad in contrast to his older brother, who eats everything with gusto and pours out commentary like an Iron Chef judge. But I guess one good eater is better than none.

Hang in there. She'll get more flexible with time, maybe as she finds other things in her life she can be in control of? It will just take lots of that parenting skill I possess so little of: patience. :)

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, I was going to ask if you knew of any good therapists who deal with behavioral eating issues, but now think I may have to pass!! Ha, ha!! Tell your little princess that my little princess must make a "happy plate" or she gets no snacks later. It appears to work for now. Maybe also tell her princesses get de-throned if they don't eat their supper :)

The Turner's said...

It has been ages since we've been in contact, but I was nostalgic today and looked you up. I found you on facebook, which is where I found your blog and had no idea of your talent for writing!

What beautiful children you have! I hope your family is well!

My mom says that my uncle vomited on command every time he was asked to do something he didn't want to do. I have never understood the concept! I hope the little princess is eating better these days!

Michelle Turner