14 January 2009

Pork. The other white meat.

Last night we had WAR.
I made something for dinner that was apparently just inedible for one of our most darling 5 year olds.
We started dinner around oh, say, 6:15. I made some pork, some zatarain's chicken flavored rice, added some broccoli into it, baked potatoes with melted cheese on top and promise of George's peach pie with ice cream for dessert ( Pie = whole nuther story). So, you know, nothing disgusting. Nothing that would throw anyone over the top. I will be the first to say I am not an amazing cook. But still -if you know us, you know that together, G & I are probably the pickiest couple you will ever meet.
NO condiments. Very few vegetables of any kind. Etc, etc.

SO I don't ask my kids to eat many gross things. And last night was no exception. Mild.

But LILLI was not having it. She ate her potato and then nibbled at the unfamiliar meat and declared that her body was not going to be able to participate in this dinner any longer.

We have a standing rule in our family:

You can eat the dinner, or you can go to bed.
Everyone always has that choice. Eat what has been prepared (no other dinner options -ever!) or feel free to go sleep off your hunger pangs.

So last night, I gave Lilli this option. But I added in an extra piece, which as a parent, I feel I have the right to do every so often if the behavior asking for it is ridiculous, and in this case and in this run-on sentence, it was; you can go to bed and not eat dinner, but it will be here for you in the morning for breakfast. And lunch.

After an hour of tears and sobbing and saying repeatedly, "I just can't do it. I can't eat it" I left the room. By now George was home and trying to deal with the situation. I knew my threat was strong enough to win in the end, so I was unconcerned.
At 8:00 pm, my daughter came to me in the office looking for a way out. Instead, I brought up the National Geographic website. We went to some photo galleries of malnourished children in far away countries. I showed her pictures of their drinking water and their homes and dirt floors. She looked at images of families working in gold mines and fields with nothing but what they were wearing.

I looked her in the eyes and said, "Lilli, there are a lot worse things than eating 4 bites of food on your plate that you don't really like. Tell yourself you CAN do it, go back to the table and finish your dinner."

10 seconds later, the war was over.

Thank you National Geographic.
Me: 1 point
Lilli: - 326 points
N.G.: 82 points

*****

After looking around some more on National Geographic, I was absorbed in all the photography and found that I missed a photo contest of photos taken from mobile phones. Bummer. Here would have been my 3 entries. :)

Which one would you have voted for?

basin




glow worms



jumbo shrimp

6 comments:

Mothership January 14, 2009 at 5:24 PM  

HaHaHa! I can't believe that worked--and I am going to try it! I'll report back next time I am at a crossroads about dinner.

HeAtHeR* January 14, 2009 at 7:42 PM  

that is the best story ever...you are a great mom! Hope all is well!

Alison January 15, 2009 at 3:51 PM  

Nice work! We are so spoiled and we are spoiling our kids...not with our time and love and affection...but with things! And with too many choices! Nice way to allow her to fuss without taking offense or emotion and then to make a point lovingly without taking away her dignity and her choice and her learning. Great story!

The Wright Stuff January 15, 2009 at 9:19 PM  

LOL! You are such an awesome Mom!!! :)

Live everyday to its fullest January 15, 2009 at 9:51 PM  

HAHAHAHA Oh my heavens all i can do is laugh!!! I do the same thing with Chloe although I have never tried the National Geographics yet!That is the funniest thing I have ever heard of! I sure miss seeing you guys at church!

Nicki January 19, 2009 at 9:30 AM  

Wow! Good for you for standing your ground and thinking of such a creative approach! I'll have to remember that sometime!

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