Stick a fork in it!

The image is from the book French Kids Eat Everything. Must be nice. For her.

I have a fantasy. It ain’t sexy but it’s mine. It involves kids feeding themselves, clean plates, and happiness. In this dreamland Mommy sits with her feet up, nibbling bonbons, and sipping pinot noir. Her children sit nearby conversing amongst themselves as they make their way through a healthy meal. Alas it is just a fantasy…

I’m coming clean here people. Admitting to the darkness. Here goes… I hate meal time with kids. There I have said it. In front of you all – with God as my witness – I HATE meal time. How many times can one woman threaten? “Finish up.” “Keep chewing.” “If you want dessert you better finish your dinner!” “Back to the table Emma.” “If you get up again there will be no dessert.” “I mean it girls!” In fairness our girls have sophisticated pallets. They eat salmon and artichoke, wild rice and sweet peppers. BUT they take so darn long to do it – and often I have to FEED them in order to get the meal finished. FEED them. At almost every meal. Quelle horreur! It is time consuming and anger inducing. I kid you not when I tell you I have considered sticking a fork in my eye to prove my point.

The thing is – I find myself in quite the conundrum. I don’t want to feed them. But with two kids who just barely make it onto the weight curve at the doctor’s office I am incredibly anxious about them not eating. My gut tells me I should put healthy food in front of them, encourage them to eat it, and if they don’t then they go to bed hungry. Few snacks. No bargaining. And no giving in. But what if they don’t eat and they waste away to nothing? Agh! What to do? Are other moms in other households facing this same dilemma? Please do tell me someone has found the fix?!? I am seeking advice.

So now you all know the root cause of my annoyance. Kids who take FOR-EH-VER to eat. In conclusion, while I see no short term solution to this problem that plagues me three times a day, the very least I can do is take a stand on the secondary problem created by this conundrum. In the last five years I’ve gobbled up more nuggets and fries than I’d like to admit. I have chewed through soggy crusts and half-eaten carrots on many occasions. I can’t bear to throw even a morsel away (hello again dear thrifty inner-self) so I eat it. All of it. And then I regret it. It’s gross. As of today I am going on strike. I will no longer be the “human hoover”. I will no longer feel obligated to pick at plates of tepid food just because it has been refused by my children. Who’s with me? Stay strong people. Stay strong.

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