So here’s the deal. I’m all about trying something and determining that you don’t like it. I’m not saying that you need to sit there and eat everything on your plate… You don’t like that steak, ok, chew up what’s in your mouth, swallow it, and you don’t have to eat anymore.
Then it started.
It was subtle at first. Much like myself in trying to be sly, she tried to get it under the radar.
After five minutes of chewing without taking anymore bites, I became suspicious.
Chew up what’s in your mouth and swallow it.
Another 30 seconds go by. Still chewing.
Amelia. Swallow what’s in your mouth.
“I don’t like it.”
Swallow what’s in your mouth and you don’t have to eat anymore.
“But I don’t like it.”
So it had begun.
I wanted the lesson of fully trying something to sink in. Gut through it and swallow, you’ll be fine… At least you tried it. Spitting food out at the table is gross and not ok…. But she is stubborn.
But, so am I.
Before dinner, she had asked for a banana, 15 minutes into what was a losing battle on my behalf, I remembered this piece of bargaining gold.
Never in my life would I have thought eating a banana in front of someone would be a negotiation tactic.
I had threatened bedtime, tv, and various other standard techniques…. The food was still being treated like a cows cud…
Casually chewed…. Never swallowed.
I grabbed the banana.
Amelia, do you want a banana after dinner?
Swallow what’s in your mouth, or you aren’t getting it.
**casually chewing continues**
(Thought process: shit.)
Amelia, if you don’t swallow what’s in your mouth right now I’m going to eat your banana.
(Thought process: Am I seriously about to have to do this? I can’t back out now… Ok…. You brought this on yourself kid.)
**I unpeeled the banana… Slowly with apparent intent in my eyes***
Swallow what is in your mouth. Now.
Now, before you go judging, saying, maybe she just couldn’t swallow it, maybe it wasn’t in her control… I tried getting her to drink water, she would push it to the side in her mouth and swallow. Then continue chewing. She knew what she was doing.
I began threatening the bananas well-being like a thug breaks a loved ones fingers in front of the guy he is interrogating.
Do you want this banana?
Then swallow what’s in your mouth.
**30 seconds of silence, I took my first bite**
Then swallow the food. The longer you go without listening, the less banana you’ll have to eat.
**more chewing without swallowing…. Process repeated**
We got down to 1/4 of a banana, and I had a idea.
You can have a bite if you swallow your food…
**the tiniest morsel of banana went into her mouth, food was swallowed***
There were tears, bites of banana, and slight life scarring…. But a life lessoned was learned.
Daddy’s not screwing around…. So you better listen.
Seriously though, I have never fought so hard not to smile as when I was negotiating with a three-year-old over swallowing a bite of food.
The steak-banana stand-off will live on forever.
Thought you all might enjoy this story of how I scarred my child emotionally. You’re welcome.
As always, more to come, stay close///