The Mini has been showing huge improvements since we’ve started working with Early Intervention and our other protocol. Every day is a new adventure and I truly consider us one of the lucky ones. We’re a lot less worried about the road ahead as far as development goes and our teachers are beyond awesome. They love him. How could they not love the cutest, most charming little boy on the planet? I dare anyone to even try to hate that much cute.
But the “awakening”, as we so fondly refer to it in this house, has its drawbacks. Along with newly emerging toddler idiosynchrasis, one of the first things we noticed within days of starting him on the voodoo lotion protocol (technical term), was that he became a lot more picky in his food choices. At one time, I could literally shove the most foul food in his mouth, and while it may not have been his cup of tea, he would have eaten it. Now? Nearly everything gets spit back out. He woke up one morning realizing his independence and figured out that he didn’t have to chew everything I stuck into his mouth. And as time has gone on, it’s gotten worse. Preferring to throw tantrums, rather than eat. Now, I know that part of this is just the age and the stage at which he’s in. That’s fine. I never once thought that he would forever be a good eater. Hell, I STILL go through my picky stages and I’m old now. I think that part of it is that I got a really good run, and I consider myself lucky. He would eat anything that I gave him (and I pushed the limits in variety while I still could) I put in front of him until he was 16 months old.
There’s one rule that I will not deviate from and that is making 47 different dishes to get him to eat. I simply will NOT. No matter how much I want him to eat. I for one, am not a short order cook and the minute I cave in, he will realize that he can get his way. He’s a smart kid and suddenly very demanding. He also knows how to work Mama, and this one rule I refuse to bend on.
The one thing I was (and to a large extent still am) against is hiding vegetables in food. My parents never did this with me, and we were never picky when it came to vegetables. But a few weeks ago, I came across the Jessica Seinfeld book, for five bucks at a local chain called Five Below (aka the everything Made In China store). And I don’t even like her because everyone knows she’s a total hack and a thief (ok, maybe not everyone, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it). But for five dollars I ate my words and got the fuck over myself and bought a copy of the damn book for some other ideas beyond what I was already doing. I got what I paid for, but it did shed a little insight.
I definitely mimmic Donna in her chant: “I will win the battle of wills with a toddler.” To some that may sound stupid. Arguing that a toddler can’t and shouldn’t be reasoned with, and that’s true, but to me this isn’t trying to reason with him, so much as making him understand that you just don’t always get your own way . To some that may sound naive. But we try to keep our meals simple and what we feel is acceptable for a toddler to eat (last night we had homemade “turkey nuggets” and watermelon for chrissake). I let him make his own choices by holding up two different things on his plate and letting him dictate what he wants to choose. And sometimes, I do say yes. It’s much easier to get him to eat when I let him have something he specifically asks for. This also works in our favor two fold as he never knew how to ask for his wants and needs.
I’m am however, hoping that this little burst of independence is short lived, because I’m getting really sick of meatloaf.
But I’m not holding my breath.