Picky, Picky

I used to pride myself on the fact that I had a good eater on my hands.  Marco would eat anything and everything and as much of it as he could bear.  And of course, I deserved the credit... it was ME who introduced him to a wide variety of foods at a young age, not limited by Gerber bottles.  (All good came from me).

But then he became a toddler.  And you know one thing about toddlers that no one tells you?  They are sooooooo opinionated!  I thought I was going to fall over the first time he told me "no, Mama".  Ummm, excuuuuuuse me?  Who are you saying "no" to?

But alas, they are opinionated.  And the thing Marco seems to be most opinionated about is what he does or does not eat these days.  It's a tricky subject to.  I assume he likes PB&J's because he's been eating it since he turned 1, but then all of a sudden he clamps his mouth shut and shakes his head.  Ok, so we need a PB&J break.  Some days he eats chicken, some days he doesn't.  If he can't recognize that it is in fact chicken, say it's covered in a sauce or prepared in a different way, he wont even try it!  Broccoli, asparagus or peas?  Let's just forget anything that's green, shall we?

But veggies are understandable.  I mean, not many children devour their veggies gladly.  Most pinch their nose and rush through it.  (Heck, that's still how I eat my veggies!)  But Marco is even like that about fun stuff.  Like jelly beans.  Or gummy bears.  Or lollipops.  He doesn't know what it is, and he's NOT trying it.  Actually, we finally got him to try a gummy bear when he saw other children enjoying it.  It's like he thinks his parents are evilly trying to trick him into eating something nasty so we can laugh at him... he doesn't trust us!

The other day he was given a lollipop upon leaving the doctors office.  He didn't know what it was.  So when we got home, I opened it and sucked on it and said "mmmmmm".  I offered it to him and he made a "yuck" face, clamped his mouth and shook his head.  So I offered it to Jonas, who latched on and thoroughly enjoyed it.  (Yes, he's only 7 months... don't judge me!).  I thought for sure he'd want it after his brother had it, but still no.  Before I knew it, I had pinned Marco to the floor, I was straddling him and holding his head and mouth open, screaming "JUST TRY IT... JUST TRY IT!!!!!".  Then something inside me clicked... What the heck am I doing?  Why am I FORCING my kid to eat a lollipop, of all things.  I just get so frustrated!

But honestly, I can't complain that much.  Truth be told, he's still a pretty good eater, albiet unpredictable.  I think the unpredictability is the most frustrating part.  I'm not a mind reader or a fortune teller, so I have no way of knowing whether or not Marco is going to be willing to eat XYZ today.  I will tell you one thing though, I refuse to turn in to a short order chef.  I will not be cooking different things for the adults and the kids.  Even now, if he decides not to eat the chicken, then he'll only eat rice, or he wont eat anything.  But I'm not going to get up and make him some mac n' cheese in lieu of the chicken.  After all, no one has died from starvation due to not eating one meal.  And eventually, when he gets hungry, he'll eat.

I keep reminding myself that in a few short months, I'll have TWO opinionated toddlers.  And chances are, they'll have opposing opinions as well!  Oh boy... can't wait!


Unpolished Parenting said...

Oh mama, I'm so there with you! My picky toddler wont even TRY anything without throwing a massive fit. I wish I had some magic solution. And honestly, most days I just give her one of the four things I know she'll eat. Because you can't force them to do anything - including eating something yummy and deliscious like a lollipop! :)