After Little E's three year old check up back in July and our "poop" issues, I am no longer making separate meals for the kids. They will be served the same meal that everyone eats and be required to at least try it. We have had our moments where the "king of picky eaters" flat out refuses anything but bread and yogurt and I give up and send him from the table. You would think he would be hungry and cry for food later but nope.
The start of simple dinner turned into a power struggle all over a simple cheeseburger. It's one of those foods that you know your kids will eat along with french fries, chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese and mashed potatoes. So when I planned Saturday night's meal with burgers, fries and sweet corn I didn't think anything of it.
This time I decided to take a stand. I needed to get my control back from a three year old and show him that mommy is in charge. We sat down for dinner and everyone had a burger with cheese except for Little E,his was plain. As we dug into our burgers and fries he munched on the fries only. I told him to take a bite of his burger which he did but only bit the bun. I was not surprised so I cut his burger in half to expose the meat. He threw a fit about seeing the burger. I ignored his screams and told him firmly that he needed to take a bite.
Of course he changed the subject and said he would eat his applesauce. This continued on for a few more minutes until I asked him again to take a bite of his burger. He flat out refused to eat it and ate more of the bun. I finished my dinner along with the rest of the family but Little E still sat there staring at his plate. I told him to take one bite and he could get up from the table.
This was the deciding moment. I could have given up and would have been taking another step back in proving to my child that he has the power but I didn't. I demanded that he take a bite. He bit the meat and did not chew. He held the bite in his mouth and started crying. I told him to chew it up and he could wash it down with his chocolate milk. He was not going to budge. This went on for about 10 minutes. He chewed that meat and bread into mush but would not swallow it.
After 10 minutes I decided that he would have gone to bed with it in his mouth if he had to and no one was winning at this point. I told him to spit it out and I told him that he would be seeing that burger for breakfast, lunch and dinner the following day. He knew I meant it and went to his room to sulk. He even told me that he was mad at me. I was sad about what he said but knew he didn't mean it.
So today I was nice enough and served him oatmeal for breakfast. But at lunch when he requested a sandwich you know what he got? The reheated burger on a fresh bun. Nothing else. He skipped lunch and I told him that he would see that burger for dinner. We had some family over for dinner and Little E was being shy about coming out to visit. It worked t my advantage and he missed seeing what we were eating for dinner. So when he came to get a snack after our meal was cleaned up, I told him that the only thing he had coming was his burger.
Yes, I did. I served him the burger again. This time I cut it up into chunks and let him choose a dipping sauce. He picked sour cream. Sounds disgusting to me but if he likes it, the so be it. I served him one chunk and he tried to sit with it in his mouth again. I thought, he we go again. He spit it out on his plate and I told him that if you do this again, I will serve this burger again tomorrow. He dipped another piece and ate it. He chewed it up and smiled at me. I told him he needed to eat two more pieces and then he was done and that I would throw it away.
He ate those two pieces. He said the meat tasted good. I had a talk with him after he was done. I hope that I taught him a lesson. I hope that the next plate of food he isn't sure about that he'll remember that burger. I hope.