Mealtime Madness

The 2-year-old has been strapped tightly into his booster seat. The 4-year-old volunteers to say a short blessing. The food is dished up and placed onto the table.

Then all heck breaks lose and we are smack dab in the middle of another dinnertime debacle.

Right now mealtime is my least favorite time of day. I hate it. I loathe it. I detest it. It ranks right up there with bath time, bedtime and grocery shopping time. Yet it seems 10 times worse because I have to suffer through it multiple times each day.

At mealtime my inner she bear is unleashed. I grunt and growl and scream at my kids to eat — to no avail. But there is only a certain amount a young, nervous mother can handle.

For example, I honestly don’t know how hard it is to remain sitting during a meal. I mean sitting down on your two round cheeks. For some reason it is nearly impossible for my oldest. I don’t know how many times I tell him to sit down and turn around while eating.

Then there is the chipmunk-cheek approach my 2-year-old uses. He hoards food in his mouth like he’s storing it for winter. I’m not talking about pea-sized portions either. There have been times I’ve scraped finger scoops full of food out after meals.

Now I am sure that some of my children’s poor eating habits derive from my own mealtime ADD.  As a busy mother I often sit down to eat, then pop back up to grab someone a drink, a utensil, a napkin, whatever. They have learned from my bad example, yet they are the source of most of my mealtime ADD.

I got so stressed out last year when feeding my children that I took a they’ll-eat-when-they-are-hungry approach for a while. That backfired big time when I took my 2-year-old to the doctor and got chastised because he had lost weight. I literally think my two boys would happily starve to death if I let them.

Yet I refuse to cater to their picky bird-sized appetites and therefore remain in a mealtime conflict. I keep hoping their massive teenage appetites will kick in early and they will start eating me out of house and home. Until then, I guess I will just have to arm myself for battle by making lots of Jell-o jiggler and macaroni and cheese side dishes. Side dishes to accompany the “gross” main courses they won’t touch.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. kristine
    Feb 10, 2011 @ 21:54:39

    Natalie I really got a chuckle at this. I can so relate!


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