Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Rules Have Changed

Forget what I said about feeding a mobile baby. That? Cake.
I can't believe I ever thought that was hard.
Feeding a drama queen. Now THAT is hard. And that is Hurricane.
Breakfast isn't too bad. As long as I put whatever it is in his red bowl and use his Packer's spoon. If it's cereal, there had better be bananas. Eggs? Only if there's cheese. Pancake? Just watch your fingers. If you're not careful you may come back with stubs.

He finds vegetables insulting. As soon as he spots them on his plate, he pokes them, wrinkles his nose and turns away. He will not eat anything until the offending bits of vegetables are thrown away.
I've tried hiding them in other things he eats and have occasionally gotten away with it. But when he spots the bit of green bean I have stealthily hidden in his grilled cheese he will simply stop and stare me down. It is very unnerving to be stared down by someone under 3 feet tall and incapable of using the toilet. Then, to make the situation just that much more uncomfortable, he makes this growly noise at me. I remove the green bean and he warily takes a bite. But now he's on Alert! He knows! Somewhere in that sandwich I have hidden more vegetables and this Cannot Be Tolerated! No!
Then there is the deal with his overall pickiness. There are very few foods that he can eat and even less that he will eat. And just to make it more interesting, what works one night, will not work again. So, if I get him to eat some salmon sticks one night, he will not eat them again. No matter how much he loved them before. Not even if I cover them in pudding. Not that I've ever tried that in a desperate attempt to put food in his belly. No. Not ever. Uh-huh.
So if I manage to get 3 bites of anything in him and have it remain in him and not spit back out at me or Cat, I feel that I've accomplished something. My kitchen is a mess. I have bits of pasta in my hair. Cat is licking up some applesauce that fell on him as he lay 'sleeping' by the highchair. Notice I said 'fell' and not 'was flung down by one rather disgruntled toddler in a fit of rage that it was not the much cherished pudding'? Hurricane is looking at me as though I have 3 heads and preparing to throw whatever bits of food he has stashed at his side. But I have managed to get a few bites in him. Victory!!
I sit down to eat my dinner and Hurricane just looks at me for a moment. I take a bite. He drops his Legos and comes running up to me with his mouth open 'AHHHHHHH", pointing accusingly at me as if I've been hiding the good stuff from him. I offer him a bite and he looks insulted. He rolls his eyes and carefully, carefully!, lays himself down on the floor to begin his Scarlett O'Hara (I knew I shouldn't have watched Gone With the Wind so many times while I was pregnant!) impersonation. It entails much rolling and swaying, a draping of his arm over his forehead and the toddler equivalent of 'alas' repeated over and over again.
My mistake was probably laughing for this brought on the monster face followed by him standing up, throwing his head back and stomping his little feet all the while wailing. Then Mr X started laughing (Gah! We're awful people laughing at a starving and deprived little boy!) and he went back to carefully laying himself down and throwing a fit.
I didn't have the heart to tell him that it's difficult to take a fit seriously if he's not even willing to throw himself down and really scream. I mean really! What is wrong with toddlers today when they can't even throw a fit right?
To mollify him, I let him sit on my lap and feed himself.
Thus begins a new phase of feeding that must be followed strictly as stated above. Or be treated to Scarlett O'Hara's permanent presence at dinner.