Thursday, August 20, 2009

whine and brag

What's for dinner?
I don't like that.
I won't eat it.
You can't make me.
What else can I have?
I don't wanna have that.
That's gross.
Can I have more?

This is my dinner hour these days. Bug has been a great eater all his life, but this summer he began to complain about everything I made. Pook has always been a more typical child in his eating habits, and although he's been influenced to improve by his younger brother, if he says he doesn't like something, he doesn't. He's willing to eat the taste we require him to have, and however grudgingly he does it, we know he will eventually eat a bite. I offer him an option if I'm really cooking something I don't think he'll want. It happens very, very seldom.

But when Bug complains about the dinner menu, I ignore him. If I start to discuss it with him ("You ate this last time" "You've always liked it before") I'm just dooming myself to a whining tantrum and will be told that I'm wrong and he hates me. Better to ignore it. Because, only once has he really complained about the food (which he'd always liked before) and then followed through and not eaten it. That tired night he fell on the floor in tears, was carried up the stairs and put to bed, hungry perhaps, but mostly just exhausted. Most of the time, he whines and fusses while I cook, then sits with one final complaint and devours everything he's served. And asks for seconds and thirds.

This morning Bug saw the contents of his lunchbox-- home made pimento cheese spread, crackers, celery and a plum-- and began to whine. "I hate your cheese. I only like the Kroger one." I ignored him, finished packing the bag and sent him off to school. Later on, I was volunteering in the library when I realized it was his lunch time. I stopped in to say hi. His teacher saw me and came to talk. "He and I were talking about how good pimento cheese is and he says that you can buy it but the really best stuff is what you make."

I beamed.


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