Wednesday, April 25, 2012
My children are not food motivated. The three year old is so unmoved by food she barely scrapes onto the all important percentile charts which seem to dictate health in this country. They like all sorts of food including vegetables. Just not regularly or in quantity. They both will get excited about cake or candy but then abandon it to the nearest surface, barely sucked or nibbled, just two minutes later. Getting them to sit and eat is a daily trial. I have grown accustomed to it. I have set rules, consequences and penalties. I have coaxed, pleaded and cried. I have presented food as a game, in a pattern, in disguise - with no real impact. They eat when they are hungry - which is not often. Despite all this - they are both thriving.
The nine year old has put a new spin on things. I like to call it the double dip. On school bus morning we run a tight ship. We have a (very) fixed routine. There is no time for wavering off the plan. It has been running reasonably smoothly for four years now. The last three mornings she has pitched her curve ball, after completing her breakfast - her choice of cereal, oatmeal or toast - she has stated "Mom, I'm still hungry." ???
This is a statement so foreign to me that I didn't register it the first time.
"I can't go to school yet - I'm still hungry."
"Ok, I'll grab you a bar and you can eat it on the way to the bus."
"No, I need more than that."
I find myself looking around at my kitchen in bewilderment. What is this "more" thing and how do I achieve it? We never have more - we usually have leftovers. I am completely stumped. I don't know how to do more. More of the same thing? More of something else? Not a grab and go item - then what?
After years of wishing and worrying she had an appetite, I feel inconvenienced. Why now? Why not at dinnertime when we have nothing more pressing than some play time or bath. Why all of a sudden is the same breakfast that has sustained her - inadequate. My mommy pride is hurt. This is the challenge of parenting. Wanting, wishing, comparing then changing, juggling and complaining! I want you to eat more - just not right at this minute. I want you to have a bigger appetite but if you could schedule it, give me a weeks notice and start on a Saturday - I'd really appreciate it.
So, I will add to my weekly shop and be prepared - just in time for the growth spurt to pass and the extra food to end up in the compost because that's just how this parenting thing works.