|Look, kid. It's bad enough, you not eating. I just don't need that stress as WELL as not |
knowing the answer to 43 Down in the crossword
Okay, I admit it. It's about fifteen years since I last uttered the words, 'Darling, please do finish up your tasty-wasty swede and squishy-squashy carrot, and then you can have yummy pudding-wudding, and then I can stop crying'. This is because there is really only one context in which it is suitable to utter all these words together and that's with recalcitrant non-eating young children and I now have none of these. My children are still recalcitrant, but they are all over 20, and they all now eat without being forced. I have considered saying those words once or twice to people at posh dinner parties, just for the hell of it, but I've wisely held back, and left out the 'Darling'. I pride myself on careful decorum at social occasions.
Whose stupid idea was it anyway that mealtimes should come three times a day? When you've got a child who won't eat, and consequently each meal time lasts three hours, the days just seem like one long please-taste-this-mince-or-I-swear-I'll-top-myself torture session. There's barely time in between to scrape the spaghetti off the wallpaper and mop the gravy off the picture rails or, worse, the pictures themselves ('Honey, is it just me, or did our print of the Mona Lisa always have a brown birthmark on her left cheek?). Then, before you know it, it starts all over again and you have another meal time fight on your hands. Yeah, so it's an opportunity to bond with your kid, but who wants to bond with a food-splattered two year old masquerading as a casserole?
So, here's some advice from an
How to have much more fun-filled mealtimes with your child
What you need:
The high chair
A blindfold (best have one spare - you know how it is)
Methods (more than one, please note. This is no mean not-a-mommy-blogger. This is a not-a-mommy-blogger who delivers.)
Now the fun can start! You'll be glad to hear there are several different ways of playing this game. Don't try them all on the same day, though. As with all good advice about how to bring up your children wisely, you should allow them to adjust gradually to new experiences.
1. Blindfold the child. Feed it some really sweet pudding, so that it thinks this is what it's getting. This gives you an advantage. Then, tiptoe to the front door, pop your head out, and nab the first passer-by. Pay them a lot of money, and ask them to come in and take over the feeding process, handing them a bowlful of pureed vegetables in cheese sauce to feed the child with. Then, nip down to the pub for a swift half, or along to the salon for a massage or leg wax, or, if you're really desperate, sit in the car, put the radio on, and nod off for a while. Leave it about an hour, then tiptoe back in. Offer the passerby the chance to use your shower before they leave, in case they're unhappy with the idea of going home covered in sauce and saliva, then see them out. Remove the blindfold from the child and continue feeding.
2. Blindfold yourself. Commence the feeding process. Your child will be so disconcerted by you in a blindfold that its mouth will hang open naturally. Sounds will no doubt come out of the mouth at the same time, but at least the mouth will be open, and actually, the sound will make it easier for you as you can use it as a guide as to where to aim the food, you being blind and all. Should the sound stop, lift up the blindfold, say hello or sing 'Five Little Speckled Frogs' until the child smiles, then put it back on. Recommence the feeding process.
3. Wrap the child's food in the blindfold and staple the edges together. Sit the child in the high chair at the beginning of the day, strap it in firmly, and offer it no other food other than what is inside the blindfold. It will relish the challenge of getting to the food, and although it may take it a day or two to access it, once it finds the food, it will be grateful for anything, even if it's mushroom omelette and broad beans. The next day, your child should be more amenable.
4. Cut the blindfold into tiny squares and offer them to the child for breakfast, mixed with milk and perhaps a few raisins and a little sugar - there's no point in being mean about it. Again, the following day, the toast and peanut butter, or boiled egg, previously rejected, will go down a treat. Should there be any demurring, you have a particularly recalcitrant child, and need to repeat the process again at lunch and dinner, ad infinitum, unless the problem is sorted. It may cost you an arm and a leg in blindfolds, but, hey, you need your life back!
|I didn't used to like this beetroot puree. But I changed my mind. I'd rather not go into why, if it's okay with you.|
Please let me know how things go as you follow my advice. Like any concerned agony aunt, I like to know how I've been able to help. Write to www.noyoucanthavemylawyersaddress.co.uk