Today I want to talk about something near and dear to my heart — my toddler. My toddler won’t eat.
A few months ago, I wrote a hahafunny post about what it’s like to eat at my toddler’s exclusive restaurant, which at the time served a little of everything and a lot of nothing.
“How cute! He wont’ eat a durn thing. Isn’t that just adorable, that little rascal!”
After about 500 meals that involved begging, pleading, wagering, manipulating, crying, yelling, more begging, more tricking, a little bartering and a whole lot of stress, the eating thing isn’t so cute anymore. My toddler won’t eat, and it’s stressing me out.
I’ve gone to Facebook, which — I mean, I do love you people, but the advice I get there is pretty awful — and I’ve gone to Twitter which is almost as bad. We’ve tried every trick in the book. It’s like when my toddler lost his mind and wouldn’t sleep for a month.We leaped that hurdle, and I’m sure we’ll leap over this one, too. It’s frustrating when I try everything and my toddler won’t eat….still.
Here is a list of things he will eat always:
- Cheeto puffs
Here’s a list of things he will eat if the mood strikes him:
- Green beans
- Peanut butter
- Cheese sandwich
- English muffins
- Cheddar broccoli soup
- Mashed potatoes
Here’s a list of things he will not touch, not even if he gets a cookie in return…not even if he gets to throw every piece of clothing out of the laundry basket or empty the tupperware drawer or go down the backyard slide 14,000 times if he just eats one…flipping….bite:
- Pretty much everything else that does not appear above
As I get older, I learn more about myself, and it’s become painfully clear that I’m a control freak when it comes to my child. If things dont’ go just like I expect, I freak. If he wakes up, I sit and stew and fuss and ask everyone who will listen…WHYYYYY. It’s the same thing when my toddler won’t eat. It was the same thing 27 months ago when he wouldn’t nurse. It’s hardest when I compare what he does with what he should do. “He SHOULD sleep through the night.” “He should eat with us.” But “should” will drive you crazy, so I have to get over it. It is what it is. My toddler won’t eat, so I should just keep doing what I’m doing until he does eat, right?
But then — THEN! mother’s intuition sneaks up like a ninja, slicing through my pediatricians “It’s a stage! He’ll be fine” advice.
“This is NOT normal.”
“This will NOT pass.”
“Something is UP, honey, and you should figure it out.”
So, fate intervened while I was browsing the Instagram feed of one of my best friends from college. Her son is a bit younger than my toddler and he was chowing down on some delish looking whole wheat pasta and sun dried tomatoes. Kelsey (who is my husband if you’re following along) asked her how she got him to eat so well. She offered to give us some feedback from a speech language pathologist POV. After several texts back and forth and an email list of foods similar to the ones above, she sent me some resource links, providers in my area and some ideas for making mealtimes less of a battle. After the first link, how to determine a picky eater from a problem eater, I felt like I could cry from relief…..it was exactly like when my toddler won’t eat. It’s normal. He’s normal.
I wish there was a conclusion to this post. I wish I could say that I read her strategies for improving feeding and it worked the first day. I mean, there’s still time. Maybe it will work tonight. But it probably won’t, and I’m OK with that. As long as there is a plan, I’m cool.
Thank you Candace for your support and time and love. To be continued…..