Say It Aint Snacktime
Sometimes I scroll through my Facebook feed and I am left feeling pretty bad about myself. There are always pictures of kids out doing all the activities that I haven’t got around to doing with the boys yet, some mom who is all dolled up looking refreshed and full of energy, or an article reminding me of what I should be doing differently. Yesterday it was, “Five foods to never feed your child because they cause cancer”. And wuddya know, 4 out of 5 of Rex’s standbys were on the list. Great.
Rex and food is a huge source of insecurity for me. The kid’s got killer hair, some great go-to outfits, and a whacked-out personality for days---but when I am around other moms and it’s time to eat, I die a little inside. “Here ya go (insert kids name), Mommy brought you some hummus and a cut up cucumber, let’s take a snack break!”---Cue Rex, “MOM! I want a shhhnaaaaack too!!!” My response is usually one of the following, “No Rex, you aren’t hungry, you just ate one bite out of 12 munchkins on the way over here and threw the rest on the car floor” or “Ok, Mommy brought you fruit snacks (non-organic), veggie stix (not real veggies, the ones that are actually chips) and a chocolate chip cookie from Starbucks which you will pick the chocolate chips out of and throw the cookie away.”
Some days I try to convince myself that crunch berries are fruit. Or that popcorn is a vegetable. It makes me feel better. What about fruit rollups? (Yeah! They still sell those!) I stare in awe at parents who hand their two year olds cut up peppers or carrots as a snack. I often wonder where I went wrong. I had every intention when I was pregnant of making all my own baby food and feeding Rex “whatever we were eating.” I guess the problem started when I realized that there is nothing for a nine month old on the takeout menu at Poseidon’s Pizza (I get a chicken kabob salad, okay?!). I mean, what the shit?, alright, I’m not a cook! So, Gerber and I quickly became best friends. And then one thing led to another and I swear his taste buds are messed up because now he is three and this is what a normal day looks like:
There is no real breakfast or lunch. He snacks basically all day and then we attempt dinner, which usually results in more snacking and then we go to bed. Let’s take last Friday for example.
The list, in order, went a little something like this…
Fruit snacks, chocolate milk, Starbucks cake pop, more fruit snacks, popcorn, one slice of an apple (no skin), a Reeces cup from the girls next door, orange juice, a rice crispy treat, a bag of cheese curls, chocolate milk, yogurt smoothie, chicken nuggets, more chocolate milk, and pretzels.
(Don’t worry-- we give him miralax daily because, hello! Based on this diet it is accurate to assume that he shits about twenty little rabbit pellet turds once every four days.)
Yeah. I bet you feel pretty good about your kids’ current diet plan after reading that menu. Glad I could be of service. But seriously---WTF! The girls next door, who are basically the same age as Rex, eat salad with grilled chicken, chicken noodle soup, tuna fish, steamed carrots, and all other sorts of normal people food! And just to be clear, Matt and I do not eat like shit! We eat good, normal stuff! (I mean, I can definitely be found on Friday nights elbow deep in M&M’s, but most times we eat well-ish!) And Rocky came outta the same vagina and eats just about everything.
So why does my toddler dictator demand that he eat only stuff on the Facebook cancer list? I don’t know. And I don’t know how to change it. My pediatrician suggests offering him only what I want him to eat, and if he does not want to eat it, he gets nothing. She says that if he is hungry enough, he will eat. Problem is, I am not sure she fully understands the willpower of my lovable little psychopath, or the patience it takes at the end of a very long day to go toe-to-toe with him at dinner time. Call me lazy, but I’m not taking it on.
My plan is to continue to offer him normal foods in hopes that someday this will change. I will also consult my dear friend Google on the validity of the cancer list and make adjustments where I need to. (Hi, Anxiety!) And in the meantime I will grab some shit at the grocery store that he will never eat, so when a little friend is over and her mom forgets to pack a snack, I will have something to offer that doesn’t scream ‘unfit mother’. And hopefully soon Rex will be branching out a bit and this will no longer be an issue. I mean, I don’t know many adults that only eat fruit snacks and rice crispy treats, so eventually he will grow out of it, right? I can’t have him grow up to be one of those men who refuses to eat anywhere upscale because he only likes chicken fingers and fries. Those guys are the worst. Actually, maybe then no one will want to date him. And he will live with me forever! (Repetitive end of post theme---sorry)
Rice Crispies it is!