Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Showdown at the O.K. Corral...

Okay, so it was actually at our kitchen table. But we did indeed have a showdown. Catie rarely eats her vegetables. Guess she'd old enough to know that liking vegetables isn't 'cool'. The rule in our house is that if you don't finish your breakfast/lunch/dinner, you get absolutely nothing to eat until the next meal. I am quite tired of watching my five year old eat the entree portion of her meal, then ask to be excused, with no whining or moaning about being 'SO hungry' between meals. So, I decided to take a stand. Luckily, DH was home just after dinner Monday evening, so I did not have to stand alone. I can admit that I would have crumbled at some point. I told Catie that she would sit at the table until she had eaten all of her vegetables (1/2 cup), even if she eventually fell asleep in her seat. DH came home and added to the discipline, by telling her that he'd spank her awake if he found her asleep with her dinner unfinished. Just to give you some idea of what makes me think that I would have crumbled: We eat dinner at 5PM. DH came home at 6:30PM. At 10:30PM, DH banged the paddle on the table to wake Catie up. At 11:30PM, he actually spanked her once.
Catie actually ate her vegetables (ice cold, after 7 hours) and went to bed at midnight. Like I said, I pick my fights carefully. I'm pretty sure that Catie will eat every bite of dinner from now on!

**Update** I was wrong in thinking that the war was over. Today, Catie refused to eat the lunch I had prepared. Normally a favorite among my daughters, I served Crunchy Peanut Butter sandwiches with apple slices on the side. DH encouraged her to eat some, and my five year old, told her daddy "No" for the very first time. DH's bewildered look told me that I had actually heard Catie say what I thought I'd heard. DH maintained his unbreakable composure and let her know in no uncertain terms that she would be served the same food for dinner tonight. When I served dinner tonight at 5PM, I placed Catie's uneaten lunch in front of her yet again. She did not touch it. DH told her that he is not about to endure another night of the 'Midnight Kitchen Cafe'. As I type, my bull-headed five year old is sitting at the kitchen table, not eating her lunch/dinner. DH is running on the treadmill. It is 9:56PM. This could be a l-o-n-g night!

**Update to the earlier Update** Catie finally ate her dinner about 10PM. DH cut a deal with her: he cut the crusts off the sandwich (after five hours on the table they were rock hard), and she ate everything on her plate. Then my five year old went to bed. Woo-hoo!! I'm not saying that, as parents, we're opposed to our daughter's determination, but I believe it's safe to say that our Catie will be President one day!


Blogger Erin said...

That's a tough one. My daughter is much the same during meal times, but she begs me for snacks throughout the day, so the 'no food between meals' rule works for us.

I hope she ate up! Whenever I have an issue like this I just try to remember that her bullheadedness towards me is going to be independence and the ability to hold her ground when she gets older! Good luck!!

8:23 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

My kids are pretty picky eaters. My 5 yr old would throw up if I forced her to eat something. Sounds like she's testing to see how serious you are. Good luck and I hope it all works out quickly.

5:32 AM  
Blogger Zephra said...

Zain tries that throw up crap too. I don't fall for it. If I know it is something he just hates then I will let him skip it but everyone has to eat what I put on their plate. I only put a little (maybe 2 bites). It has taken us years and I do mean years to get Sara to understand that she HAS to eat it. I had many late nights at the table too. I remember the cutting it up into smaller bites faze. Then Kamran wised up tot he fact that if he just eats big bites as fast as possible, it would be over quicker. I think he told this to Sara. Dinners are getting much better. Though I know we will have to go through all this again with Zak. Oh and your little one was doing it all for control not whether she liked the food or not. She is really good. I think you have another Sara on your hands. I need to pray for you...

7:02 AM  

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