Wednesday, August 14, 2013

An epiphany and a parenting win

Well, I wouldn't call it in a win, but more of a re-affirmation of something we said we would do as parents months ago and just kind of fell off the wagon. And this was the no-fighting-over-food wagon. We had talked and figured since Oli tells us he's hungry, when he's not eating, we weren't going to force it or make it a fight.

Well, let me tell ya, we forgot our own decision a few weeks ago. some of it has to do with the grandparents being here. Which is great, they get to spoil him, Jeff and I get to go out and drink. Win-win, eh? But, that adds a little to his defiance and I guess I started digging my heels in.  So, we've been having horrible dinner times on weekdays and general mealtimes on the weekend. He refuses to eat, I threaten with taking away a toy, he throws tantrums, he throws food, he hits, he loses more stuff, he cries, I cry, the grandma cries ... you get the picture.

I am exhausted from the fighting. So yesterday, on the way home, I told Jeff I was done! If Oli didn't eat, he didn't eat. He could tell us if he was hungry. So, last night, I put all the food on the table, had Oli pick out himself what he wanted to eat, put on some Disney and started feeding him. An hour later, he'd eaten less than half of what was on his plate and he said he was all done. And, I said ... wait for it .... wait for it ... I said "Ok honey, let's go play with bubbles."

Whew, it doesn't sound hard, but it was. I worry that he's not eating enough. I can count his ribs and his shoulder blades stick out. He's got skinny legs and arms and I worry about him growing. But, I worry more about having an unhappy relationship with him because of food or creating negative associations to meal time with the family.

So, I am giving up.

I am giving up arguing with him.

I am giving up threatening him.

I am giving up fighting over food.

I am looking forward to much happier meal times.

Till we find something new to butt heads about. Isn't that what this whole parenting shindig is about?

In the meantime, look at this gargantuan baby I have, who will be 3 in less than 3 months!!!

He's getting so tall!