Wednesday, December 12, 2007

An Undeniable Will for Chocolate

This week's column...

One parenting trend suggests you describe your child’s shortcomings in a positive light to avoid pidgin-holing them early in life. If that were the case I would say my daughter is selective, discerning, and astute. Unfortunately for her I don’t subscribe to that trend. Leah is a picky, persnickety, finicky eater.

If my daughter had her druthers, she would eat Honey Nut Cheerios, chocolate ice cream, and grilled cheese sandwiches everyday. Again, unfortunately for her, she doesn’t get her druthers much.

So dinner is a battle at the Belknap house. It doesn’t matter what it is, child-friendly though the meal may appear, the girl won’t eat it. Spaghetti? Nope. Tacos? Too spicy. Pork chops and mashed potatoes? What is this, Mom?

But I won’t budge. She has to have a bite of everything to get down from the table; her plate must be clean to get any dessert. And tonight’s piece de resistance is chocolate ice cream. The situation has now become a moral dilemma for my daughter. She must eat that ice cream.

If I were to tell you that a 5-year old could execute the most motivational monologue you’ve ever heard in your life, you wouldn’t believe me. But I was there; I witnessed it from my very own kitchen. My little Leah, with her gift of gab, managed to talk nonstop and still eat an entire plate of broccoli, little smokies, and macaroni and cheese.

It took an hour and went something like this:

“Dinner looks really good. Mhmmmm. It’s delicious. I’m licking it right now, Mom. Watch me lick the broccoli. I think we should eat this every night. Even for lunch. What do you think, Mom? This is even better than chocolate ice cream. It tastes like green chocolate. Yum! It’s amazing.”

At this point she wrinkles her nose and puts the broccoli in her mouth, working through a gag reflex until the broccoli has been safely swallowed.

“Wow. That was great. I only have three more bites and then I can eat ice cream. Do I have to eat the macaroni and cheese all gone? Every single bite? That’s a lot of food but I think there’s plenty of room in my tummy. Tummies are big. Big enough for broccoli, mini hot dogs, macaroni and cheese and ice cream. Lot and lots of ice cream…”

And she did it. In no less than 8,562 syllables my daughter ate her dinner. So while she may be persnickety I’ve got to give her one thing. She’s got gumption. Chutzpah. Moxie. And an undeniable will for chocolate ice cream.

She gets THAT from her mother.

15 comments:

Erin said...

Rory will just lie through her teeth --- and when you catch her she will say, "I don't want any bessert." (she doesn't get that 'd' yet) and she will stick to it. That is too funny--green chocolate...

Anonymous said...

I think you may have another writer on your hands. Anyone who can imagine that broccoli tastes like chocolate can write an epic best seller. Your column is too funny!

Mary

suburbancorrespondent said...

Awww....that sounded sort of sad, her talking her way through that food. I mean, who was she trying to convince, you or herself?

Or maybe she was doing it to torture you - I know that after about 5 minutes of my Rachel's talking like that, I'd cave. I'd stuff her mouth with chocolate ice cream just to turn off the sound.

Never mind me - I didn't get to sleep much last night.

Tola said...

just dont introduce her to the delights of Belgian chocolate or your personal stash will never be safe!

shauna said...

Erin, Leah almost always goes without dessert (because she RARELY eats dinner). So for the most part she'll say the same thing, "I'm not hungry, Mom. I don't want dessert." But chocolate is her weakness.

SC, it went on and on and on. She really was talking nonstop. But the truth is, my Leah's a talker anyway. She just was giddier than usual thinking of all that chocolate ice cream she'd be eating... (although I should have mentioned, it became unnaturally quiet when she was eating THAT).

linds said...

Being 6 years older than my younger sis, I watched my parents struggle to get her to eat. I pray almost daily that Porter won't put me through the hell they went through.

I feel for you... and who knows I may need some of your advice in the near future if Porter's eating habits take a turn for the worst.

Your daughter has lots of character!

Becky said...

So funny....what a little talker. I loved it!

Eileen said...

My 12 year old does the same thing. She has since she was 3, they keep telling me she will out grow it.

Sending you lots of luck.

Very funny post, I totaly relate!
XOXO

Carrie Wilson Link said...

Cereal, grilled cheese sandwiches and dessert are her propensities? I'm 44 and still haven't grown out of that - sounds like a winning combination to me!

Spammon said...

LOL!! Oh man, that's awesome. So was she throwing out all the mind games thinking that you were going to give in because she verbally 'loves' brocolli?

Gustogirl said...

I think every parent can relate to this story. So funny! Clark can always eat more when there is dessert involved!

Rhonda Barnes said...

Shauna you are the hit at Regence Blue Shield of Idaho 3rd floor....you can hear laughter as they pass around your articles and my supervisors laughs the loudous of all. They love you!!! you should write a book with all your kids ............your the best!!! Love always Mom

RachelT said...

That is hilarious. WHenever my sister's kids are in town.. i am stumped on how to get them fed. They never like anything.. so I guess it may just be childhood and not my cooking. Then again...

karla said...

I have a confession to make. I am the world's pickiest adult eater.

I swear, if all that was left in the world were cereal and bagels, I would be totally OK with that.

Fabulous post!

La La said...

I could eat grilled cheese EACH and EVERYDAY, too! Chocolate, I DO eat every day, and sometimes I eat it first! She's a cutie pie, that one!

Found you on Carrie's site.