March 08, 2005
Is it wrong to force-feed your children?
Okay, I am kidding. Kind of. Although, I do have a shameful secret.

I make 2 dinners each night, sometimes 3. One for Adam and me, one for the girls - sometimes something different for each girl, depending on their moods. I am not really sure how this happened - except that V is picky. And I want her to eat. So, the solution in my mind was to make something else for her to eat. And to be honest, I guess it didn't seem so strange since she ate baby food at first and I got used to making her dinner separate from ours - then when Little A started eating regular food, sometimes she'd eat what we ate and sometimes she'd want what V had - and then other times she'd want something else entirely.

And well, I am sick and tired of cooking several meals a night. And I resolved about 3 weeks ago to stop the madness. Well, I did okay for a few days and then it was Lent and A and I have a restricted diet during this holy time of preparation. So, back to making several meals at night. Until now. These girls are just going to have to eat what we eat.

When you were a kid, did you ever tell your mother that you refused to eat what she put in front of you for any meal? I know I didn't. There was no other option than to eat what was on our plates. Don't get me wrong, my mom was/is a pretty fantastic cook. And we even sometimes had to eat brussel sprouts, something I would never think to force upon my own children. I'll be honest and tell you that I am pretty darn good cook. I really am. Just ask Becca and Cara and Sandi - though they didn't really get to experience much of my true culinary prowess.

So, today we went to the grocery to get a few ingredients for dinner tonight and also tomorrow. I am trying to get rid of things from my pantry, and have oodles of tomato products - paste, sauce, crushed... you name it, we had it. So, I decided to use up a few cans and make some chili. I told the girls we were having chili for dinner and they were going to love it - I even whooped it up a bit and told them they could dip corn chips in and eat it that way - what a treat!

Treat, my ass. It was a disaster. The chili was great - A even said that he thought it just might have been the best that I've made (and this winter, we've had a lot of chili - I told you we had a lot of tomato products to use up!). V was gagging and heaving over the consistency of the kidney beans and the ground beef in her mouth. This is a kid who can throw up by just looking at a plate smeared with salad dressing. She hates the way food looks. She hates the way most of it smells. And well, she just gags over everything. I am starting to think she must have super-smell-abilities and a gag reflex to match.

Little A just wanted to eat the chips without the chili. V wanted to just have the chili sauce on the chip and not the meat and beans. It got ugly. They were crying, begging to just eat it tomorrow. And we stood our ground. They weren't leaving the table until they'd eaten their dinner. (The last time they put it off til the next day, they were forced to eat pasta with peas and corn for breakfast - and V ended up throwing up onto her plate that morning.)

I ended up mashing up V's chili - so she wouldn't feel the beans in it. And she made a valiant effort, holding her nose for each bite to stifle her gag reflex. She ate most of it and was so relieved when I told her she didn't have to eat it all.

Little A, on the other hand, crossed her arms over her chest and said she was just going to bed. She didn't care if it meant she would lose tv priveleges tomorrow. She actually snuck away while A and I were kissing each other (we'd long finished our own dinner and had even cleaned up the kitchen), I was trying to calm his frustration. :) So, Little A snuck away while we were kissing and I found her crawling into her bed, the little bugger. We took her back to the table for 2 more bites and she proceeded to vomit down the front of herself. It was dripped down the whole back of the chair, on the floor, on her plate... chewed up chili. Absolutely gross. It made me angry. She was refusing to swallow each bite and after chewing a bite of chili for about 5 minutes, it made her gag and get sick. What a ridiculous child. She was cleaned up and sent to bed.

Now, what do we do? We can't keep having dinner take more than an hour of eating just to coax these girls into consuming regular food.

Any suggestions?
Posts written by humble servant
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