Short-order cook. Yep, that’s me. Oh, what’s that you say? The parenting books tell you that in order to get your kids to eat well, you have to feed them what you are eating? And that if your kid refuses to eat what you make, you shouldn’t make them anything else?
Yeah, I read them too. And I actually believe them. But do I practice what they preach? Sorry, no.
I get limited time with my kids during the week. I’m not willing to use that time to fight with them over food. I’m just not. And they actually eat pretty well overall, so I don’t stress over it. Every Sunday we have a sit down meal as a family, and the kids always try whatever we are having. But during the work week, spending time together overrides any impulses to get them to try a new food.
I’m ok with all of this, but occasionally, they test the waters. Tonight it was Morgan. About 20 minutes before her bedtime she started “asking”. Quotes are necessary here, because she wasn’t hungry (she’d already had several snacks AND dinner), she was just testing.
“Peanut butter waffle?”
“Cheewios and meelk?” (yes, everything was pronounced perfectly up until this phrase).
“Ceweal baw?” (this is cereal bar, for anyone that has forgotten the 2yo dialect)
I finally gave in at the cereal bar. Why?
– She clearly wanted to feel some control in asking for something and receiving it. She’s two. This is important for a 2yo.
– Cereal bars are quick to eat (causing no delay in starting her bedtime routine) and I get the good ones, so there is some nutritional value
– Because the way she says “ceweal” is just so darn cute
I know critics would say that my lack of motivation to “fight the good fight”, convert to “organic only”, and my constant “giving in” to my kids is just an excuse for laziness. And I’m sure there are plenty who would blame my kids’ eating habits on childhood obesity (although if you met them you’d think differently). I tend to think of it as survival and making the most of the limited time we have together during the week. For right or wrong, I’m the short order cook.
And although there are times where it drives me a bit batty, there are times like tonight where I realize that someday “ceweal” will be “cereal” and she’ll be pouring her own. Without my help. Without asking.
And at that moment of realization, I can’t help but think, they’ll only be babies for a short while. The brussle sprouts can wait…bring on the cheewios and meelk…