I have long prided myself in what and how our girls eat. They have very adventurous palates, eating everything we eat with the exception of raw sushi (which they desperately want to try!). They eat a very balanced diet, and they truly love so many wonderfully healthy foods.
I have taken a matter-of-fact approach to food (since the girls were 15 months old or so). "This is what we're having for supper." There's no begging or pleading or threats. "If you are finished, you may be excused." I usually serve a variety of foods on our plates, and ultimately I rationalize that it's against human nature to starve oneself.
The next day, I did the same. The third day, the girls started crying when I gave them their supper. “YOGURT!!!” they demanded. They absolutely refused to eat any of their supper. And I absolutely refused to give them yogurt.
I took them out of their high chairs and put them in the den. They SCREAMED. I asked every five minutes or so if they were ready for supper. It took a good 30 minutes before they finally accepted they would be getting supper – not yogurt. (And that, by the way, was the end of the yogurt experiment!)
I remember that exchange so clearly, even though it was close to two full years ago.
Over the past couple of days, Baby A has tried to show some attitude.
I will often treat the girls to a tiny little afternoon treat if they’ve had a good nap (or these days, if Baby A has played well during “quiet time”). Yesterday, nap / quiet time was abysmal. I gave the girls a very “standard” snack, a few cheese crackers and some almonds. They certainly were not deserving of M&Ms, which A asked for.
I told her no, and gave the snack bowls to them. Baby A then started whining that she didn’t have enough. I told her that she hadn’t eaten a good supper the past couple of nights, so I wasn’t going to give her a big snack.
She got so mad, she got up from the table and emptied her bowl into the trash.
And then she started to cry (and cry and cry) that she was hungry.
I remained matter-of-fact, and told her that she threw her snack away, so she wouldn’t be getting anything else.
It was so painful – on many levels! – but I had to stick to my guns.
To quote my friend Julia, “I will not respond to terrorism.” [Don’tcha love that???]
I just hope the turn-around is as quick this time as it was two years ago. Fingers crossed that today’s afternoon snack goes more smoothly. Even once every two years, these terrorist attempts weigh on a mama!