And How Would You Like Your Eggs, Ma’am?

My head nearly exploded this morning over breakfast.

Here’s what led up to my brush with insanity…

Me:  Katie, what would you like for breakfast this morning?

Katie: Um… (stares blankly)

Me: Would you like waffles and yogurt?

Katie: No thank you.

Me: Okay, how about french toast and a banana? Does that sound yummy?

Katie: No thank you.

Me: Hmmm…how about scrambled eggs, toast, and blueberries?

Katie: No thank you.

Me: Oh, I have a great idea! How about cereal with raspberries?

Katie: Um…no thank you.

Me: Katie, okay, then you tell me.  What would you like for breakfast?

Katie: Something else.

This is when I nearly lost my mind.

And I woke up.

Our kitchen has turned into a full-service restaurant, with menu items spanning two pages.  I never intended for it to become this way.  When she was smaller, I decided what she ate, put it in front of her, and she ate it. End of story.

There is something about being a mother that I never understood before I had children. We want nothing more than for our children to eat.  We want to know that we’ve filled their little bellies with nourishment. One of the ways that we show them our love is through the food that we offer them.  We take pride in providing them with the healthy foods that they need to grow and thrive.

It is for those reasons that I began offering her choices, I think.  Though I’ve never wavered on insisting that her food is healthy, I have allowed her to make choices that sound good to her in the moment.

Our ship got off course slowly and now I don’t recognize where we are anymore. So, I’m throwing in the anchor and figuring this thing out because it’s that or I lose my mind.

Tomorrow, I’ll begin picking the main portion of the meal.  Scrambled eggs and toast, for example.  And to allow her to practice good decision making, I’ll let her pick her fruit.

Because, honestly, it’s this, or I’m putting out a tip jar.

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Filed under Parenting

14 responses to “And How Would You Like Your Eggs, Ma’am?

  1. I’m kinda liking the tip jar idea…not that it would teach your child anything in the long run…but it could be easy money!

    Easy money if you like pennies, I guess!

  2. Since Brayden has been sick, I find myself offering 100 or more things, just so he will eat! Good for you for noticing though, I need to be better about this too.

    • I have no doubt that if Katie was sick, all bets would be off. I would give her absolutely anything to make sure that she ate.

      Sending you wishes for a healthy little guy!

  3. andrea

    i can’t tell you how much this hits home for me today. my 3 yr old daughter sat down at her little table in the kitchen, pulled out a “menu” and told me she was “ready to order.” LITERALLY ORDERED FOOD. we don’t have this problem for the main meals of the day, but i feel like snack time is like this every single day. same with drinks. it’s just ridiculous. clearly, i need to figure something out 🙂

  4. Another GREAT post! We didn’t get much choice as kids because my mom said, “this is what we are having. do you want peanut butter or jelly on your toast?” I think you are so smart for nipping the short order cook thing in the buns. My friend offers her son anything he wants for ALL meals and has to BEG him to eat. I am really going to try to do what you do, and offer Eddie good foods, but with not a TON of choice. Just enough so that he is part of it, but not in total control. Does that make sense? Of course it does, you wrote the post that inspired this rambly comment.

  5. Ruth Hill

    Thank you for posting this. It makes me feel better to know that I am not the only one who struggles with food and my daughter. My daughter has become the pickiest eater in the world, and I don’t even know why. It’s not like I really try to cater to her, but if she doesn’t know what it is, she won’t eat. Or she spends a half hour at the dinner table, and we have to threaten her.
    Yes, as a mom, I just want my daughter to eat!!!

  6. My biggest meal problem is The kids complaining about the food before it’s on the table. We are working on it.

  7. I never indulge the girls on food issues. If they don’t want dinner, I am usually OK with them making a sandwich. And if they have been rude about dinner? Then they can wait until breakfast to eat.

    I am giggly at your short-order waitress role.

  8. Since my mom had six kids we were never asked what we wanted to eat unless it was our birthday. We also had to eat at least three bites of whatever was being served.

    I wasn’t a picky eater at all so it wasn’t a big deal usually. My sister, on the other hand, got into many battles and often had her “three bites” for breakfast the next day.

  9. Paige

    I hear you loud and clear on this one. Being a short order cook was one thing I practically preached about as my daughterw were coming out of the womb. I just WON’T do it. Although we have our own meal frustrations around here..mainly breakfast (but I think the honest truth there is I am just too tired to think or negotiate:). My girls still go threw moments of power with their food. But my rule, you eat whatI make or you are hungry…and 99% of the time, they are NOT hungry:) Good luck!

  10. There are few things that I find more frustrating than standing in the kitchen while people hem and haw about what kind of food *I* am going to prepare.

    When my kids were little, I was all about giving them two choices: I’m making lunch; would you like a grilled cheese sandwich or a peanut butter roll-up?

    You’re so right; it’s good to give choices, but too many are overwhelming for very small children, and annoying for the parents who never meant to be short-order cooks!

  11. Ah, I can totally relate!
    Good for you, you put your foot down before it was too late!

    When my little one does not seem to eat enough I top him off with fruit or cheese, his favorites. At least he does not go hungry.

    Does he get his minimum intake of protein at every meal? I wouldn’t swear so!

    But I did the best I could. And that’s enough, because frankly that’s all I’ve got.

  12. This is our house too. I try to offer two choices. If my son doesn’t pick one, I pick. If he doesn’t eat it, he has to wait until snack or dinner to eat. I used for force, trick and do everything I could to get him to eat.

    Now I just let him eat when he’s ready. We still have meal times, but if he doesn’t want to eat what I make, I don’t force the issue. He’ll eat when he’s hungry and when he’s ready.

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