dinner time battle of wills

Last night's supper was shake and baked chicken breasts, garden fresh potatoes with butter and sour cream, and roasted green beans with dressing and cheese. Not exactly weird food. In fact, it was very good.

Elliot and Mitchell said it was not good. They make this declaration about pretty much every supper food out there, before pushing it around their plates, taking two bites of the least disgusting part of the meal, and just holding out for breakfast.

Last night I told the kids that anybody who finished their entire supper could have a coke float for dessert. Jordan and Tennyson, who generally eat everything anyway, mopped their plates clean and happily watched me make their fancy drinks. Elliot and Mitchell whined, glared and begged for a coke float. I said no. I'm nice like that.

Then they tried to sneak away when we weren't paying attention. We called them back. Then Mitchell cried so we sent him to his room. Then we called him back. Eventually we told the little buggers that if they didn't eat their supper for supper they were getting it again for breakfast. They feigned indifference. I scraped their plates into their cereal bowls and put them in the fridge.

Fast forward to this morning. Both of them sat at the table and pouted because that's not what they wanted. Mitchell shoved his bowl away and then put a box of cereal between him and it to show me he wasn't even going to look at it, much less eat it. He then put his head down on his crossed arms and resumed pouting. Elliot made a run for it. I called after her and informed her that she wasn't eating anything else ever until she ate it, and that it was now going to be her lunch.

Before you think I'm the meanest person on the planet, let's just remember for a moment that this is chicken and potatoes. It's not like I hunted down a bull in the night and pulled his still warm and bloody liver from his dying carcass and made the kids eat it. Raw.

At 8:25 I piled the kids into the van and took the three oldest to school. Elliot and Mitchell had still not eaten anything. At 8:45 she and I got back home and she starts: "Mommy, I want a cracker." "Not until you eat your supper." At that point she laid on the ground and cried. Eventually she calmed down. "Mommy I want a nola bar." "Not until you eat your supper." More crying.

Apparently, I am a big fat meanie. Her words.

This went on all morning until she finally went downstairs and fell asleep on the floor. At 11:15 I went down and woke her up and we went to school to pick up Mitchell. He had a small snack at school at snack time (because no event in life EVER can happen without snacks). He happily climbed into the van and announced that he wanted to go home and have a peanut butter sandwich. I told him he could have one once he finished his supper. He began whining.

I'm now sitting at the computer at the table after reheating their supper (again). Elliot has now just decided to fearsomely pout and is refusing to talk to me. I'm okay with that. They asked for ketchup on their food. It's not helping. Mitchell is running around the living room shooting a cannon at stuff. Elliot is trying her hardest to look tired and sad and lifeless and malnourished.

Now she's glaring at me.

Want to know what happened last time I tried to get her to eat something and announced that she was never ever eating anything again ever until she finished it? Okay. It was an epic battle, which I lost.

Picture this, if you will: A banana. A perfect banana, sitting happily on the plate at breakfast time, waiting to be eaten before she can have toast.

She refuses to eat it.
I tell her she will eat it before she can eat anything else ever.
She buggers off.
Lunchtime comes. She still won't eat it. Lots of whining and laying down on her chair.
Begging.
She leaves the table.
I pick the kids up from school at 3:30 (I'\m not even kidding, she ate nothing all day).
I figure Tim Bits will help. I buy some.
We go home. All four kids sit at their spots at the table. I put four plates down; three with Tim Bits, one with a banana.
Elliot whines and cries and leaves the table.
I call her back. I offer to drizzle chocolate sauce on her banana (honestly, once you've done this you're doomed). She says yes.
I drizzle chocolate sauce.
She doesn't eat the banana.
She bolts from the table.
I begin to eye up her chocolate Tim Bit (there are an assortment).
I figure she won't ever eat the dang banana so I eat it.
Elliot comes back into the dining room, sits in her chair and looks so sad I can't bear it.
I relent. "Here Elliot," I say, handing her a plate with her Tim Bits. "Eat your dang Tim Bits. Next time I give you a banana you better eat it."
She looks at her Tim Bits. She looks up at me with the saddest, most pained expression you have ever seen in your life. "You ate the chocolate ones?" she asks in the smallest, most defeated little voice ever.
"Yes," I say. Her big blue eyes silently fill with tears. One of them spills down her cheek. Her chin quivers.

I'm not proud of this.

I picked up the phone, feeling like the worst mother ever, and call Steven to ask him to pretty please bring home a small box of only chocolate Tim Bits. She ate about six of them. She was the ultimate victor.

I know. I shouldn't even admit it. She is a powerful powerful player.

I'll let you know how this day plays out. They have both buggered off. No lunch has been eaten.

Comments

Fit the Piece said…
You are my kind of MOM! Stick to your guns! Don't relent!! EVER!! This will become the funniest thing at your family gatherings 20 years down the road!

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