January 10, 2011

Eat It

DD and SI feeding themselves some squash
I was raised a vegetarian.  My parents, several of their siblings, and one of my siblings are still vegetarians.

Lots of people have told me how strange this is to them.  My husband, a dedicated omnivore, was exclusively the meat-and-potatoes type when we met.  Our children are being raised (until old enough to make their own decisions on the matter) as vegetarians as well.

Probably the biggest reason there was no fight at all about what to feed the children is that I am, if I dare say so myself, an excellent cook.  I LOVE to cook.  I'm a kitchen experimenter.  I love combining flavors, creating new delicious dishes, and covering a table with more food than can possibly be consumed by present company.  My favorite part though, is when everyone at the table rolls their eyes with delight, over-stuffs themselves, and compliments the chef.

Cooking, for me, is a fairly self-congratulatory activity.

Which brings me to my current difficulties.  You see, I have spent much of the last two months encouraging the girls to feed themselves all of their meals.  This means that they won't accept being FED by another person as a general rule, and that their diet has become a bit limited.

Why?  Because I'm a bit of a coward.  I don't want to deal with more blueberries on the ceiling or steam cleaning my floors on a daily basis.  So mostly they eat fairly easy to clean finger foods.

Which unfortunately doesn't include a lot of vegetables.

My children love scrambled eggs.  I had thought that perhaps I could sneak veggies into their diets by adding them to the eggs- make them omelets!  SI is perfectly happy to eat them, but DD... let's just say, she hasn't had a real breakfast in a few days.

Now here's the rub- I am taking it SO personally!  I'm eating the exact same thing, I know it's delicious, I know it's all things IN the eggs that DD is perfectly happy to be spoon fed in blended form, but she won't eat them!

It's as though she's calling into question all my self esteem, all my sense of identity, and any other sources of confidence I might have once had.

And trying to get a toddler to eat something that she's decided is a personal affront...

Asking politely doesn't work.  Bargaining doesn't work.  Begging doesn't work.  Force-feeding doesn't work.  Yelling certainly doesn't work.  Punishment is largely a joke- how do you punish a toddler who doesn't even understand what's happening to her?  It's been a trying couple of days.

In the meantime, SI just sits there eating peacefully until DD gets herself into trouble.  The moment she realizes that DD won't eat something, she won't eat it either.

The worst part?  The waste of food.  So much food gets spit out onto the floor, so much gets crammed under the seat cover, so much gets trampled on...

We're spending more money on food that I COOK and then THROW AWAY than we are on food that we eat.  And it's driving me a little crazy.

What else doesn't DD eat?  Macaroni and cheese.  She hates it.  But she just loves brussels sprouts, yams, and zucchini.  Take that, veggie naysayers!

1 comment:

  1. It's like we have the same kids. Lol.
    My boy has recently started CRYING when he realizes he's not getting toast with every damn meal. Toast and pasta are all he'll eat nowadays. Everything else will produce a MELTDOWN. It's so annoying. I miss my boy who would eat anything under the sun.



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