It seems there is never a time whilst being a parent that even though you are filled to the brim with overwhelming love for this miracle that you created, at the same time, you are over run with frustration. When they are babies it can be because they won’t stop crying. When they are toddlers, no matter how much you try, they will not use the damn potty. When they get a little bit older they start to demand all of your attention and won’t let you load the dishwasher, or go for a wee in peace.
I’ve lost count how many times I have wished that kids came with a manual. If only. If only we could pick up the Bumper Book Of How To Bring Up Kids and look up every problem to find the solution there in black and white.
The thing is, no kid is the same. What works for one won’t necessarily work for another and there lies our problem.
The issue I’m having at the moment and what has spurred me on to sit here waffling on about my own frustrations is, quite simply, food.
My four year old Little Man has never been the best eater. He is very much the ‘I know what I like and I like what I know’ kind of child when it comes to filling his belly. I often question whether it’s my fault (of course I do, I’m a Mum). I often wonder whether I ballsed the whole weaning process up. Did I not give him enough solid foods? Did I not offer him enough variety? Did I not let him play with it enough?
But in all honesty, even if I did make some mistakes, and I say ‘if’ because I have no idea, it’s too late to dwell on it now. What’s done is done and I just have to deal with the situation as it is.
Going out with him can be tricky because there is never a great deal on menus that he will eat. As I said, he’s got his favourites and he’s sticking to them. He has no interest in trying anything new. The problem this is leading to is that I now think he’s getting bored of the things he does like! We seem to have reached a point where he will eat the food and then get bored halfway through and he’ll hand me the plate. He’ll then ask for something else, and what is left on the plate either goes in the bin, or in Mummy’s tummy – which, I hasten to add, is not good for the figure! Oh, but I hate to see food wasted!
Now I know this is where a lot of people will tell me he should be told to eat what’s on his plate before he can have something else. Well funnily enough, I have tried that! But more recently he has discovered that if he keeps chewing that last mouthful, he won’t have to eat anymore. Because of course he has his mouth full. He’s not stupid my kid. Then he refuses to swallow and so it ends up in the bin anyway. See what I mean? Frustrating!
Now I know this is not uncommon, because of course, like any Mum, I turned to the oracle that is Google. It is actually far more common than you would think. So I’m not worried. I’m just bloody frustrated! I mean of course, I don’t want him to go hungry, but I don’t want him to think he’s got me over a barrel either! You see this is where I need the Bumper Book Of Bringing Up Kids.
And so we toddle on regardless, each day trying to get him to eat new things. Each day getting more frustrated when he won’t. Each day, beating myself up a little bit more, for not getting it right in the first place.
But whilst I do all of this I also try and remind myself of a few other things. At least he is eating. Okay, it might only be certain things and they might not be the most fulfilling of things, but if he likes them and he is eating, then I guess it’s okay. He eats when he’s hungry and he stops when he is full. He isn’t starving. He isn’t skin and bone. He eats fruit and vegetables – which is something a lot of kids don’t! He’s happy! So I should be. All I can do is encourage him in the best way I can – and of course, not get cross. Because, deep down, it’s not his fault. It’s what kids do. This, I’m beginning to realise.
This too shall pass. I know some day soon he will likely be eating me out of house and home. Skip forward a few years and I’ll have a stroppy teenager demanding that Mum gets some more food in! I live in hope.
In the mean time, I remain thankful that Tuc biscuits exist but at the same time, pray that he doesn’t morph into one overnight.
How about you? Have you got finicky eaters on your hands? Let me know and make me feel a little better!I regularly link up to these lovely linkys.