Saturday, September 18, 2010

It Takes a Village...

...or at least one very cool get a very stubborn three year old to eat his dinner!

Dinnertime is one of our greatest challenges right now with Drew. It doesn't seem to matter what we are having to eat, he will almost always tell me "I don't like that. I'm not hungry." In an effort to instill good family values we tell him that it doesn't matter and that he has to sit with us at the table, whether he eats or not. It's important that our family share our meals together.

In the past, we've negotiated the actual eating part of the meal. He'll usually sit there, plate untouched, until we are about finished eating. We'll inform Drew that if he doesn't eat, he won't be getting a bedtime snack. Previously, we would keep his plate on the table until snack time, and if he asked for snack, we'd tell him he had to eat his meal first. 9.9 times out of 10, he'd eat it.

So, we changed our tactic. It wasn't a matter of not liking the food, it was a matter of pure ornery-ness. Now, if he doesn't eat at dinner time, he doesn't get a second chance. No dinner at dinner time, no snack. Period.

We still get the "I don't like that" and "I'm not hungry" and he still stalls when he's actually sitting at the table. Usually, however, he does end up eating before we are through. If he doesn't, we stick to our guns. No snack. And he knows it.

It doesn't seem to matter where we are or who has done the cooking (unless Ronald McDonald did it), we go through this same routine. At one of our recent visits to my parent's house, my brother Justin was there, and witnessed this drama. He simply told Drew "I think you can eat everything on your plate."

And Drew did.

Just. like. that.

I was equal parts appreciative and frustrated, let me tell ya!

So, this past Monday night. Dinner time, same story. We're having pork chops, parmesan noodles, and green beans. Surprisingly (because we made it into a game), Drew has eaten his pork chop but wants nothing else.

Drew: "How much more do I have to eat to be done?"
Mom: "All of it."
Drew: "Nut uh."
Mom: "Yep. I bet Uncle Justin would tell you to eat all of it."
Drew: "Nut uh!"
Mom: "Do you want to call him and ask?"
Drew: "Yeah!"
[calling Uncle Justin...]
Justin: "Hi."
Drew: "HI!"
Justin: "Hey Boogs, what's up?"
Mom: "Ask him your question, Bubba."
Drew: "How much do I have to eat?"
Justin: "What's on your plate?"
Drew: "Noodles and beans."
Justin: "I think you can eat all of it."

HALLELUJAH! I thanked the good Lord above that my brother knew exactly what I needed him to say, without even having to allude to it!

And yes, I did tell Drew "I told you so."

And yes, Drew did eat everything on his plate.

We sent this picture via text to Uncle Justin five minutes later.

Justin...THANK YOU!

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