Holy Cow, Picky Eater!

I have a problem. It’s not some life-altering problem, eating away at me day in and day out, robbing me of my dignity and happiness, but a problem never-the-less. Well actually, it does all of those things. But, it’s not as serious as say, losing my job or you know, accidentally giving up the rights to my kid kind of problem.

My little.tiny.problem is this – I HAVE A PICKY EATER! I’m not going to name names or anything, but said picky eater is about 28 lbs, spirited, has big beautiful eyes, is super silly and really really takes after her daddy. I am not a picky eater; for the most part, ok? I just don’t like peas by themselves, or cinnamon rolls. I’m weird. Anyway, my lovely girl does not get her pickiness from me. It is in her, came into this world with her, and it seemingly won’t go away!!! I feel that I am doomed for eternity (she is dramatic like me though…), forcing me to buy the same applesauce, grapes, Annie’s organic bunny crackers, apples, puffs, eggs (we do cage-free so I’m ok with this), breakfast sausage (again, all natural and organic at least), and ingredients for homemade chicken nuggets every time I go to the grocery store.

Seriously, the child should turn into a chicken nugget soon. It’s not that she doesn’t eat healthy, she eats some fruits, and she even eats the squash and carrots I cut up reallyreally tiny and hide in our spaghetti sauce (or the broccoli I pureed in a fancy machine mushed up with a fork one time and mixed with her yogurt…THAT took some convincing, she’s too smart for me), it’s just that I can’t stand the pickiness. I think the problem is more me, because I like control (I said it ok) and I just cannot control the girl when it comes to food. She has a serious aversion to change, like full on convulsion, tossing the body all over the floor, actual tears and wild screams kind of aversion, and that is just something that I cannot and will not change. It’s not even that I want to change her in any way. I just want breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack time to be a tad easier on all of us, that’s all. I know they say that as long as they are eating, they are good…whoever ‘they’ are.  And I know she eats good things for the most part – the kid won’t even really eat cakes, cookies or candies, which is a bonus for me. One day she will love chocolate, like me, and I will be eating my words. I would just like her to try new things and maybe even eat the same things we are eating at any given meal. Breakfast isn’t an issue really, or the nights we have homemade chicken nuggets or spaghetti (sometimes) of course.

This is not some sort of pickiness stemming from being spoiled either. There was a time, right before she turned 1, that she would eat any solid food she was given. The girl ate almost all of the Thanksgiving dishes that year. But, she really likes routine, and I guess she got used to certain foods that she favored. I’ve tried the whole, ‘you can eat what we eat or not eat at all thing’ – the girl starved. And I have tried just putting it down in front of her so she could do it on her own terms, but her own terms were ‘I refuse to eat this stuff that you call food’.

The night before last I grabbed some ‘blueberry grapes’ — she likes grapes so I lied a tiny bit — and ONE mini peanut butter pretzel bite from Sunflower Market. I even broke the thing in half! I knowwwww she likes pretzels now because she ate them at Nana’s house the other day, so I just knew she’d be ok with it. Silly me. Screams, kicks, tears. No way was the girl going to even look at it. Of course, I’m not one to back down, and by this point, I’ve had enough with the pickiness and it is all on principle (amazingly, I’m pretty sure it was all on principle for her too by now…hmmm). SO, I turn Dora off, and start bribing – yes, it has come to this. She still is not going to try it. I try explaining/begging that she ate pretzels at Nana’s house and liked them, but these just look different that’s all. Noooo way. More screams. And more frustrated mommy. So, I do what any logical, calm parent would do, and I hold her, arms in, and shove the thing into her mouth. Traumatized. We are both traumatized by the forced pretzel eating. And what do you know? “Yum” and smiles, followed by ‘mo pease’. DEAR GOODNESS FREAKING GRACIOUS. All of that?!?!?!? Everytime single time, anything new or different looking appears in my home, this is what we go through. She took blueberry grapes and pbpretzels to Nana’s house yesterday – and ate them all. Of course she did. After I had to endure a violent wrestling match.

I’m hoping this is just a phase. I’ve been hoping this for a while. And considering that I usually have to sneakily change recipes without her father knowing because he likes his routine and doesn’t like change either (and of course, he always ends up liking what I made), I feel that I will be hoping for all the days of my life for this to change. Surely there is some sort of relief. Deep down, I know it is just within me – being patient, understanding, and calm. It’s just some days, I forget those things and just want to shove the food in.

Enter LOVING THE LITTLE YEARS. I have been reading this freaking great book that reminds me to not take any of this ‘little years’ stuff so seriously, and I strongly recommend it to any mom. Because really, we all get stuck in these phases, trying to make things work, keep things running smoothly, and trying to be perfect (I said trying…none of us are perfect and we shouldn’t be). It’s a good, short book with a ton of great advice/love and mommy wisdom.

Loving the Little Years Book
LOVING The Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches

So, tonight, I will probably go home, pop some already made frozen homemade nuggets into the oven — oh yes, I make batches ahead of time these days — sit down on the couch with this book, and remind myself that it’s just a phase. The kid could be eating only bologne, or nothing at all, so it really could be worse. Wooo-sahhhh.

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