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.