Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Pyramid of Frustration

Jack is a Webelo (WE BE LOyal Scouts) now and one of the requirements is to plan your menus for a week and then record what you actually eat. (We don't need 7 days of menus to record what Jack eats. I'm not sure there are 7 different things he will eat.)

Please don't tell me how you "sneak" vegetables into your kids' meals, etc. Good for you. There's nothing to SNEAK anything into. I've created chicken nuggets from scratch but he won't eat them. There's no spaghetti sauce to put in any veggies. There's no anything to put in anything!

Jack's eating habits are a serious bone-of-contention in this household. Cheez-its, chicken dinosaurs, hot dogs, spaghetti and the occasionally forced green vegetable do not make a healthy diet. We battle over it constantly. He can out wait me at the table. There's been yelling, feet stomping, fit throwing, gagging, crying -- you name it, I've done it!

His gag reflex is amazing and highly tuned. I've tried not to give into it, but when I threatened to make him eat whatever he threw up I knew I needed some perspective.

I've even offered him cash. No go.

So back to the Scouting requirement. We spent two hours yesterday talking about the food groups (which are different than I was a kid) and what is good for your body and what fuel you need to do the things you want to do (i.e., Cheez-its will not propel you to sports stardom. No, mom won't let you have bacon for every meal. That sort of thing.).

It took those two hours to get two days worth of menus. Holy crap! We needed 7 days! I wasn't going to make it. So I wisely put it aside. His father is his den leader and has more patience than I do so I figured they could do some when he got home. And this whole exercise wouldn't end with me yelling at my child in frustration.

Why, oh why, does it never work?!

Why? Did I not ask his dad clearly enough? Did his dad not see the momma fit coming if I had to spend more time at the table arbitrating between Jack and food?

I argue with Jack over breakfast. I fight with him over lunch. I battle over dinner. Adding hours of negotiation over menus is not my idea of a good time.

But that is where I ended up last night. Dean ran to the store for the few things Jack had put on his menu. Mom ended up at the table with a grumpy 9-year-old.

Which just leads to Mom's volcanic reaction when Dad arrived home and announced he had bought organic raisins. Jack balked at eating them because they were too dry (Yeah, they are dried grapes kid. Deal with it.). Did I mention my child will eat certain things but only certain kinds of certain things and only if he is in a certain mood?

That's when Mom lost it. Screaming, stomping, steam coming out of the ears lost it... I hid in my room and took a long shower to calm down. Dad wisely finished the menus. There is even a turkey sandwich on Friday's menu (I'll believe it when I see it.).

Today I'm medicating myself with chocolate and peanut butter (hey, that's a protein!).

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