Life with a Frances

on 29 August 2011

Did your mother ever read the Frances books to you?  I mean specifically Bread and Jam for Frances.  Am I the only one familiar with this particular book o' irony?  I know there are other titles, but I'm having a Frances problem and it just so happens to be the EXACT same problem that Frances' mother faces in Bread and Jam.

I am living with a Bread and Jam Frances kid and it is making me INSANE.

And I come here with my insanity because it's literally taking ALL of my patience to keep this child among the living. 

I confess, I loathe the dinner hour.  I'm not good at planning a menu, and I can't even blame the fickleness of pregnancy for that one, because it's a constant, unwavering part of my natural M-ness.  I just suck at it.  Inevitably, four o'clock rolls around and it occurs to me that people will be hungry in a couple of hours and perhaps I should come up with a plan to deal with that hunger.  And then it's the mad dash to the fridge and pantry to attempt to assemble something from the odd bits of staples that we keep on hand.  It's not so bad the first few days after I grocery shop, for there's a lot of fresh stuff in the fridge, but as the week wears on and the fridge thins out, things become decidedly more experimental and haphazard.  Never good words to describe dinner.

But lately, I've been wondering if my apathy towards the dinner hour isn't at least partly the Boy's fault.  He went from being a relatively laid back eater to The Pickiest Child on Earth. 

Even when I plan, people!  Even when I start early!  When there's a nutritionally balanced meal, beautifully presented to him at the table, he doesn't even SMELL it, he takes one look and then declares himself, "Don't like it, Mama.  Do. Not. Like. It." 

And of course, I insist that he TRY it.  Just TRY it, child.  And most evenings I can get him to put a microscopic spec of food partical into his mouth and then he just reiterates the "Do. Not. Like. It." declaration.

And in the interest of full disclosure, I've tried everything!  I've tried the whole, "You have to sit there until you eat it." routine.  I've tried sending him to bed hungry--no good.  I'm not Dickensian enough, of course, when he woke up crying and hungry, I got him up and made him toast and milk.  I've tried the Children are Starving in Somalia, but he's not entirely sure where Somalia is, it might just be another planet for all he knows, so he doesn't particularly care, or rather, he might care, just enough to send them HIS dinner that he has flatly refused to EAT!

So I come to the internet to lay my parental frustration on the alter of the almighty Internet.  Please, help me.  How to I get my child to eat more than yogurt, cereal and cashew nuts?


Sibley Saga .... said...

I wish I had some advice. I'm just working on getting London to use utensils. She's starting to show signs of pickiness. I like the book "Child of Mine" by Ellen Satter. It's a 'go-to' book for RD's getting started in the world of Pediatric Nutrition. I like it because it was filled with real experiences as well as the research. You may or may not like it. I've seen friends have great success in using the alphabet and eating together. For example eating (A)pples, (B)ananas, (C)arrots, etc. Or eating foods from different countries and talking about them, etc.

For now London is on day 11 of massive diarrhea and it's all we can do to keep her electrolytes in. We're sneaking in purees of fruits in just about anything she's willing to touch.

Long comment-but it's all I've got.

Cel and JP said...

The only thing that seems to help Elena is when she helps me prepare it. And even that one isn't fool proof. My mom reminded me what it felt like as a child to really and truly not like something - my nemesis was zucchini. I love it now, but when I was young, it induced a real and true gag reflex. She eventually stopped trying to get me to eat it, bless her, and well, reminding me of that experience made me lay off my little Elena and give her some wiggle room with the dinner thing. I'm experimenting with her picking a healthy alternative if she doesn't like what I put on the table, within reason. I do expect her to try everything at least once. Feel your pain girl! Maybe start squirting him with a water bottle..... just kidding :) :)