Dec 30, 2010
In the latest saga of Toddler Finds Out She Has a Personality, Abby’s turned to placing her order at meal times.
Or, well, attempting to.
She used to sit in her chair and devour – inhale, even – anything we put her way. Green beans, squash, apples and chicken – all the basic toddler foods. She couldn’t get enough, and she’d push her plate away from her when it was empty and, mouth full of food, request “more, please.”
Oh, how I weep for my lost dinnertime routine of pick out whatever I feel like and cut it into tiny pieces and expect she’ll eat it sans complaints. Oh. Moment of silence.
We’re trying to remain steadfast: I place Lucy in her Fast table chair (which I love because it gives my 8-month-old front-row seats to the drama that unfolds in front of her while she just sits and dangles her legs and babbles), Abby climbs into her chair and we buckle her in, pass her a sippy cup and wait to play “oh yes, you will try a bite.”
“What we goin’ eat today?” she asks from her chair, arms crossed.
And the stage is set for one of two scenes: collapse and sob, or angrily sulk and not eat. When I sit down beside Lucy to begin spooning her all the pureed foods her sister used to eat, I try to wager with myself which it’ll be.
“What’re we going to eat? It’s a surprise.” And I’m the creative one. A “surprise”? Yes, this really is my best work, how did you know?
“I no like surprise. I want somefing else. I want macaroni.”
“It’s Max and Ruby burgers and superhero corn.” (Hey, jazzed-up names work for most kids’ cereals, I reasoned.)
“I no want burgers and corn. I want somefing else.”
“Well, hamburgers is what we’re eating. I’m sorry to hear that.” Lucy watches on, usually smiling or gumming the side of her Fast chair, the perfect picture of contented eating.
Dave chimes in, trying to be helpful but instead declaring battle. “What do you want then, Abby?”
“No,” I whisper. “This is what we’re eating. She doesn’t get a choice.”
“She has to eat something,” Dave says as I follow him into the other room.
“She’s an American child raised on fruit snacks and granola bars with chocolate chips in them. She won’t starve, I promise!” I whisper.
“OK! We’re eating hamburgers, Abby,” he calls to her.
“Superhero hamburgers!” I clarify.
“No! I wan’ Max and Ruby hamburgers!”