Tonight I served my precious, kind, polite two-year old beef stroganoff over egg noodles with a side of watermelon.
As I got it ready, my precious,
kind, polite two-year old informed me that the noodles were yucky, and she only wanted watermelon. Then she whined. Then she cried. Excessively.
I put her in the high chair, and I patiently explained that Mommy worked hard to prepare yummy food for her to eat, and I do NOT serve yucky food to her. I told her that it was a very ugly thing of her to say, and that we don't ever tell someone food is yucky, because it might make them sad. (She ate it last night and liked it, btw.)
Me - "Repeat after me. I'm sorry I said the noodles were yucky mommy."
Em - "Sorry said noodles yucky."
Me - "Thank you for making yummy food for me."
Em - "Thank you making...watermelon for me."
Stinker! (I'm a little proud of her brilliance on manipulating that sentence to mostly obey while staying true to her convictions. Just sayin'...)
We prayed, and thanked God for YUMMY food and for helping us eat it happily. I let her eat watermelon first, and then made her try a noodle. She liked it. She ate three more. (There were a total of ten on her plate to begin with.)
Then she remembered that she hadn't planned to like it. So, after eating some watermelon, she ate another noodle and gagged. And spit it out. And some fell on the floor.
I very gently explained that she was not allowed to spit it out. If she did, she would be disciplined, and then she would still have to eat it. We tried again. She spit it out again. She was disciplined. We switched to watermelon for a bit.
After resetting our taste-buds, I explained that if she had to eat something and didn't like the taste, she could take a drink while eating to help wash it down. I figure this is a life skill she'll have to figure out at some point, so we may as well start now.
She valiantly ate the last three out of four bites, and then the poor thing just couldn't help gagging on the last one. I reminded her that she wasn't to spit it out, but that she could take a drink of juice if she needed to. She did. She made it through. When she had swallowed, she thumped her sippy cup down, pumped her fist in the air, and shouted, "I DID IT!" "Eat chocolate bunny?"
Yep. We still have the tail end (literally) of a chocolate Easter bunny. And yes, she absolutely got to eat the chocolate bunny as a reward. So did I. We earned it.
And now we know that if there is ever a food that is actually yucky, we can always wash it down with juice instead of spitting it on the floor. Life Skill #128. Check.