Saturday, November 15, 2008

Save Me

Two night ago I was getting ready to go see a play. Troy wasn't home from work yet and I was feeding Garrett his dinner. The stir fry that he'd devoured the previous night was now covered with, I don't know, the plague or something and Garrett wouldn't touch it. He'd skipped his nap and, let me tell you, when my son doesn't get a little rest in the middle of the day, he turns into a combination of one part terrible two-year-old and one part Frankenstein's monster with a dash of angry mountain lion. He was flat out refusing to put a bite in his mouth and, when I shoved a spoonful in during one of his open mouth screams, he looked at me as though I had just personally ended the world and then he spat it in my face.

I could feel my blood pressure rising.

I took a deep breath and tried again. He stuck his tongue out and allowed the rice to dribble everywhere before spitting the rest of the bits all over my floor. I grabbed his head between my two hands and stared deep into his eyes. "We do not spit our food out!" He answered my lecture with another round of spitting. I put him in time out.

You can lead a kid to food but you can't make him eat so Troy and I have decided that, when he won't consume what is put in front of him, he will have the option of eating a peanut butter sandwich. If he won't eat that, he goes hungry. While he thought about his actions in his bed I made him a sandwich.

I put him back into his high chair and told him to eat his sandwich. "No!" I personally picked up his sandwich and put it near his lips. "No!" I called Troy.

Me: Where are you?
Him: Two minutes from home.
Me: Good. You might find your son on the porch when you get here. I don't want to see him right now.
Him: I'll talk to him when I get home.

It should be noted that, when relaying this story to my mother she asked me if I would have seriously left him on my porch. I hope she was kidding.

I hung up the phone, turned to my son and said, "Garrett, Daddy is almost home and he is not very happy with how you've been treating me. You better be ready." I've never really done that whole threaten the kid with his father thing because, well, he's two. I hardly knew it would work at this tender age. But his eyes got big. I turned away and, glancing out of the corner of my own eye, I witnessed the following.

Garrett folded his little hands. He closed his eyes tight. He bowed his head and began whispering something to God. Something I couldn't quite hear. Something that probably went a little like this.

Dear Jesus,
Please let me live another day.

I don't know for sure but that's what I used to pray when my mom uttered those dreadful words, "You just wait until your father gets home!"


  1. "Isn't two FUN?" A previous two year olds mother asks with just a bit of sarcasm.

  2. I remember a certain little girl who was so horrible at Parkway Plaza that her mother called her father to come get her. Suddenly she wanted to behave...but it was too late! I'll NEVER forget her sobbing walking down the mall because she know how much trouble she was truly in now that Dad was involved! How old were you...about three?!? Yup, I'm telling your secrets!

  3. Can I freeze time? Can my little boy stay 12 weeks forever? Please? :) I already see the twos welling up in him bursting to misbehave. He's going to be a fiesty one I just know it... he has to - he's part me :)

  4. The food wars with my two-year-old (which started when he was 18 months old) have been the greatest causes of frustration for me. I've been past them for a few months now -- not because he eats like a champ, but because I've accepted that he won't -- and it's made a huge difference. I hope Garrett either steps up for you or you reach a Zen state soon with the whole thing, too.

  5. Is it wrong that I'm laughing out loud right now???? I'm sorry, but just give yourself a decade and you'll be able to laugh at those fun times. Ah, and I would have TOTALLY put the boy on the front porch! :o)

  6. If I may offer some comments from a mother whose four children are now adults and still alive and kicking...If your child does not want to eat what is put in front of them (and that would be what everyone else is eating, I might add), that is okay. They have the choice to eat it or not. If they chose not to, they are excused from the table or sit there nicely until the meal is over. They get nothing to eat until the next mealtime, OR if they decide they are hungry, you can offer them the food they refused earlier. I promise, a child will not starve. When they are ready, they will eat what you offer. It will end mealtime battles if they understand these simple rules. J