November 5, 2020
When my social media boss, my daughter, told me to begin writing a blog, I knew she referred to weekly essays on whatever parenting topic was on the top of my head. I think she even told me not to write on politics or faith. She cannot tell me what to do! Who does she think she is! I am her superior in all things; therefore, I will write about whatever I feel like writing, whether it pleases her or not. So there!
Amy has only recently advanced beyond wanting to be the boss of everything. During much of her childhood, the family ate out probably once a week. One of us would announce that we were going out to eat.
Amy would ask, “Where?”
It did not matter what restaurant we had chosen, she wanted to go elsewhere.
“I want to go to Golden Palace!” she would yell.
“Yum! We all love Golden Palace, but we’re going to Outback.”
“I hate Outback!”
“We were there two weeks ago. You loved it.”
“I hate it now! I hate steaks!”
“They have chicken, too.”
“I hate their chicken!”
“You’ve never had their chicken.”
“I know I hate it!”
“Stay home then, ‘cause we’re going to Outback.”
And the histrionics would commence, and we’d leave, get in the car, back out of the drive, and turn the corner to the main road and Amy would come bursting out of the front door, run down the steps and across the yard and jump into the car. “Okay then!” Mind you, she never failed to enjoy our restaurant adventures.
From the get-go, my wife and I refused to let our kids dictate their meals. When Willie first introduced “solid” food to Amy – jars of Gerber purees – Amy would sometimes take a spoonful of something and then promptly push it out of her mouth with her tongue. Willie, undaunted, would simply scoop it up and put it back in her mouth, even if she had to gently pry Amy’s lips open. Repeat until completely consumed.
I think most kids become picky eaters before they’re six months old. Parents of pickers tell me their kids were “intolerant” to certain foods from the very beginning. Yeah, so was Amy. So are most kids, probably. Parents either persist in accustoming the child’s palate to what is initially repulsive or they switch to another Gerber pate’ and then another and pretty soon one has a food tyrant on their hands. Even a four-month-old human being is smart enough to know when her parents are dancing to her tune.
Copyright 2020, John K. Rosemond