Tuesday, February 06, 2007

just won't eat

There lives in this house a little boy who often just won't eat. He grows hungry like any other little boy would, and he's growing well, as any other boy would. But I often wonder how he fuels this growth as well as the activity that results from being a little boy.

When I say he won't eat, I don't mean that he never eats. He's also not the bland food kid that orders plain noodles at the Asian restaurant. He'll eat peanut butter graham crackers all day sometimes. He'll eat granola bars and yogurt. He'll eat fish roe and octopus. What he won't eat is pretty much anything that I cook and call supper.

Tonight is a great example of his eating style. I made a casserole of Italian sausage in a tomato sauce and polenta. It of course has lots of cheese in it as well, and one would think it's a great kind of thing to get kids to eat.

He sat staring into his bowl for a couple of minutes while Momma and I both tried to get him to eat. We were a little pressed for time as we needed to eat and get ready to attend a puppet show, an outing that we'd planned for some time and were excited about. Eventually he admitted that the onions were bothering him and that he didn't like them. Never mind that they are cooked and that he's eaten and enjoyed them plenty of times, he wasn't having it tonight. Momma picked the onions out and gave him back his bowl. By this time she'd finished eating, so he and I were left at the table, me eating and wishing he would do the same while he poked and poked and poked at his food.

Now Big Brother and Momma are on their way downtown to attend the puppet show while The Boy and I sit at home. I was looking forward to the puppet show, but someone's inability to eat a decent amount of food has disallowed that.

We aren't the parents that make you clean your plate and/or eat food that you truly don't like, but we aren't the kind of parents that intend to ever dance around the pantry trying to placate an overly picky child. I'd love for us to have been able to go out tonight, but knowing that The Boy didn't and wouldn't eat supper, we also knew how our night would likely have ended had we all attended. He'd have decided he was hungry, probably on the car ride downtown. He would grow increasingly hungry and disruptive through as much of the performance as we could manage to see. In the end, either Momma or I would have to leave the theater with him in order to not ruin the evening of the rest of the families, and most likely would have had to all, as a family, leave and return back home.

There is a happy note to all this. Shortly before Momma and Big Brother left, we received a call from a homeschooling friend who was able to use the tickets of ours that had so recently become extra. It helps to know that we didn't waste the money on the tickets.

1 comment:

Gem said...

I liked that it wasn't about punishing him for not eating -- it was about being courteous to everyone else who would be made miserable by his not eating. Same result, different motivation -- entirely different parenting technique. I'm filing this away for future use!!!

(This coming from a former Ezzo Drone)