It’s 8am. You’re in the kitchen with your 3yo and you ask her “what do you want for breakfast today?” Her reply “cereal”. You glare at her trying to decipher if you believe her or not. She stares back at you and never blinks. “Ok…cereal it is.” And she leaves the kitchen. But you’re still suspicious.
You take out the bowl and stare at it. Contemplating if you should just divert from that plan and try mini waffles instead. But you foolishly pour the cereal and milk anyways.
You see she’s in a good mood today. Hmm…possibly an advantage. You slowly approach her from behind as she’s watching Paw Patrol. Maybe you can sneak the cereal in front of her and hope she eats it because she’s distracted. You place the bowl on her tray and quickly retreat to the kitchen, like a bat into the night.
And then you hear it. “I DON’T WANT CEREAL!” You lean onto the counter and hang your head in failure. You knew it. The battle has begun.
You explain to her that she asked you for cereal. But she replies “NO! I DON’T WANT IT!” This trade of words goes on for a few minutes as you try and justify the choice of breakfast foods you’ve given her. Was cereal code for mini waffles? Or was it code for oatmeal? You’ll never know.
So you ask again. This time, she taps her finger to her chin and looks towards the ceiling in deep thought. Maybe this next choice will be the winner. “Hmm…I want apples and a strawberry yogurt.” Yes Ma’am! I’ll get right on that!, you sarcastically think in your head.
So you nervously walk back in the room with her requested breakfast in hand. You might as well be approaching her high chair like she’s a queen on her throne. Easily capable of sentencing you to life in the dungeon. You should lower onto one knee, raise the offerings to her as you bow your head.
As you put it down on her tray, she starts eating it. SUCCESS! You proudly walk back into the kitchen. After 10 minutes, you go in and check on her. Only one bite of an apple has been taken but at least the yogurt has been eaten. You tell her to hurry up and eat. She then utters the words that make you want to open that bottle of wine in the fridge at 8:30 in the morning. “I don’t want this. I want cereal.”
For a brief second, you find your happy place in your mind. Toes in the sand, sipping a margarita, no wait, a margarita isn’t enough right now…a bottle of Jose Cuervo in your hand, and the peaceful sound of silence. Until, you’re snapped back into reality when you’re daughter screams about not wanting her food again.
Part of you wants to just throw cookies at her because you know at least she’ll eat those. Then there’s the sympathetic side of you that thinks, maybe one more try?
This is my battle, day in and day out, for almost every meal of the day. I one day will come out victorious, but currently I’m losing the war. My enemy is fierce, persistent and wearing a princess dress. Now back to the war room so I can strategize my next encounter with her.