While eating a steak and potato dinner, I decided to force Salvatore to eat his vegetables. He LOVED them as a baby but has slowly eliminated them from his diet, and I blame myself. From within my many mommy circles, I hear that this is quite normal, but I don't like it. And yes, I do "hide" them in other foods, but I can only do that for so long. So the battle began.
I put steak, potatoes, peas and corn on his plate. He smiled and started on the steak and potatoes. When he finished, he asked for more and I pointed to his veggie pile with my fork because my mouth was full. I was hoping to not have to say much, just look and point and act as normal as possible. He stalled for about 10 minutes and then asked for more again. I needed to speak. "You will eat these delicious items on your plate and when you finish, you can eat a cupcake." He protested and started to cry, but I wasn't about to back down. Everytime he even looked towards me, I would point to the small pile and repeat my instructions. He finally put a kernel of corn in his mouth.
Here was my first mistake...I praised him too soon. Have you ever done this? The SECOND the words, "Good job honey" left my mouth, the corn left his for the floor. No problem, there were at least 30 kernels left, plus all of the peas. I gave him THE LOOK and he tried again. Spit it right back out. I was laughing on the inside but determined now to make him finish it all because I knew he could. Next he tried a pea. Right back out. He started putting them in the side of his mouth and tilting his head back as if to swallow them down. Whatever, I thought, just get to his belly! Some did.
Then I noticed that as he put them in with his right hand, he was SECRETLY letting them fall down the right side of his body!!! OOOOOOHHHHHH this kid is good! But I am better. Made him eat with his left hand so I could watch him more closely. Started counting the corn and peas on the floor....5, 6 corns and 4, 5, 6 peas. OK. About 15 left on his plate. Down to the last few bites. I decided to praise him again since his effort improved a little when he fed himself with his left hand. 10 pieces left...6...now 3.
"I showed him," I thought to myself. I looked at my own reflection in the window and smiled. This is easy...just be the boss. Be the one in control. Show him.
Ah, but it was HE who showed ME...by puking! All of the little veggies he had just eaten. All down the front of his shirt and shorts. All over his chair. All over his plate. And do you know what my first reaction was??? I frantically counted the little kernels and peas to see just how many he actually did digest!!!! I didn't say a word, but striped him down right there and made him take a bath. He did not cry, not even whimper...he was happy in the bath and started talking about the cupcake he wanted to eat. He did not get the cupcake, but I let him have some Jello for consuming SOME amount of vegetables. SIGH!!!