We have been doing all-out BATTLE at dinnertime. Connor is 5, so it has been a while since we've fought with a toddler over mealtime. Every afternoon Grant tells me how he doesn't want to eat dinner, he wants to eat snacks. The kid loves crunch. Crackers, chips, popcorn, cereal...you got the picture. Typically, dinner is not all crunchy and involves things like meat, so it just isn't up his alley.
We went to my parents' house for dinner Sunday and he absolutely refused to eat any of his raw veggies (which he generally likes). I kept reminding him to eat one green pepper slice or cucumber chunk. He kept refusing, and instead eating his hot dog. I hate feeding my kids hot dogs and choose to see them as nutritionally deficient, so there has to be something redeeming eaten during the meal. Everyone else finished their meal despite our back-and-forth banter about eating peppers or cucumbers. I gave him a choice, isn't that what toddlers crave? Choices to help them feel more in control over their lives?
Anyway, time went on, and on, and I just left him at the table. I periodically went back into the kitchen to check on him and remind him that fun and sweet treats were an immediate reward for eating one measly vegetable. He had been pretty adamantly saying "no" and was fairly confident in his decision. The next time I came in, I noticed that he was changing his tactics.
"I'm vewy sad" he said with his most pitiful face.
I am proud to say that it didn't work on me, not this time anyway.
A few minutes later my dad walked into the kitchen and said, "Hey, why don't you eat your pepper so that you can get down from the table?"
Grant immediately ate the veggie and ran into the living room, smiling with his triumphant exclamation:
"I ate my peppers!"
He's a character.