Tuesday, July 17, 2007

What I wish...

I go through my days making wishes. We all do I think. "I wish it would rain" "I wish this line would move faster" "I wish the kids would stop fighting"

Sometimes my wishes are vain: a waist that stayed small despite the half a Happy-Birthday-Clara-cookie-cake I ate last night. Sometimes they're philanthropic: helping people in Africa or resolving the situation in the middle east. Sometimes my wishes are sentimental: for time to slow down. More often than I can count I am Solomon asking for wisdom on how to rule this little kingdom of children.

But for tonight, for right now, what I wish is just for my son to eat. It seems like such a small wish. Not like changing the weather, or fixing national crisis, or not even for faster metabolism or wisdom. Just for Ben to eat something that is not crackers and didn't come out of a babyfood jar. I am so tired of fighting my way through every meal. Through every calorie. I am tired of therapists and well meaning advice. Even the babyfood is a struggle now. I think he would just stop eating entirely if we let him.

And so tonight, I will get back on my knees and pray for this wish. I will pray, once again, that my three year old son would learn how to eat.

Who ever would have thought?

I promised myself no more melancholy posts and so this is the last of them for a while. Hopefully not the last of my posts just the last of this cloud that seems to have settled over my writing.

13 comments:

slouching mom said...

Oh, darlin'. You can write sad posts! We'll all still love you!

And my own Ben, he never ate either. At three he ate bread, bananas, cheese, and milk. At nine, he eats not much more than those things. He is 4'8" and 62 pounds. But still, somehow, he grows. He's the only child I've ever seen who regularly turns down dessert.

Your Ben is perhaps like mine. He will still grow, and even thrive. He's just not all that interested in food.

karen said...

Stop reading if you've heard this before...but I think, in this case, that you can get what you wish for.

Children will eat when they are hungry, and they WILL get hungry (eventually).

At regular meal times, provide a dish of the food you'd like him to eat and then don't worry about it! If he's hungry, he'll eat. Offer different things, chunks of cheddar cheese, pieces of bologna, bits of fruit, whatever. Don't beg him to eat any of it. Make sure he has milk (a good stomach filler on its' own) and then just let him go. Leave him at the table as long as it takes, too. Lars sometimes finishes his dinner after we're done clearing everything else away...but he (usually) eats. We vowed long ago that we would not make "children's meals" - the kids eat (or not) what we eat. Very rarely do we hit something that is absolutely refused (although initial resistance is pretty common).

If he doesn't eat at mealtime, provide a snack an hour or so later. Again, don't beg him to eat it. Maybe pretend to get a snack for yourself and offer him some to share? You can be as tricky as you like, but he's not old enough to be devious and plan to starve himself...so sooner or later, he'll eat.

You can also threaten to send him to my house. The boy down the street who has never eaten a single vegetable in his own home has no trouble eating them here. I actually took video of him eating carrots - his mom nearly passed out.

karen said...

Oh, and I forgot - dipping! Both my kids adore dipping...cut veggies with ranch dressing or blue cheese are a hit and ketchup (eew, but still) goes over well for many other things. Sometimes a little dish for dipping will make something that would be otherwise ignored go down fast.

Amanda said...

I too am a fan of dipping and the all mighty cream cheese. So sorry though, I know a set chin and locked jaw can only be undone by the little power behind them to begin with.

I adore you and wish you answered prayers.

bubandpie said...

If you want some good company, you should go through the archives at The State of Discontent (I have the link on my blogroll). Jaelithe's son has significant eating issues, and she describes very vividly what they have been through. Plus, she's an amazing writer.

Don and Lynn said...

Oh Joy, I am sorry you're still going through this with Ben. It must be so aggravating-how do you still have all that gorgeous hair? That's a testimony to your patience. I would have pulled mine out and be completely bald by now! I don't have any advice at all-I just got B & B to eat fruits and vegetables that weren't out of a jar. Just keep up your hard work. I'm sure he won't be going to kindergarten eating baby food!

Heather :) said...

I am praying with you my friend! I am in total agreement with you that he will eat, that it won't be a struggle, and that w/ what he is eating he will get all the nourishment he needs to be healthy and strong. I will also be praying for you. Stay strong my friend-you can do this!

Christine said...

hey there--you can be melancholy as much as you need to--we are HERE for you, woman. really, lean on us.

and if it helps: today my son ate cereal, a handful of goldfish, and a baby carrot.

sigh.

painted maypole said...

Wow. I was going to write some advice, but really, what advice have you not already heard. So I will offer up a prayer instead. Always better than advice, no? And, I will do this:
I think that I shall bestow upon you a Thinking Blogger Award. Yes, I shall. Consider it so.

Kyla said...

Oh, I know. I know.

The thing is, these kids DON'T get hungry...and they WON'T eat if you leave them to their own devices. That type of advice doesn't work in these situations. Most people don't understand that. We fight and fight for everything that passes their lips, or they would let themselves waste away. It is difficult and trying, and it is okay to be melancholy. If it isn't, I'm in trouble. ;)

thirtysomething said...

Oh Hon. He will eat. He will. Probably when he feels less stress from you about it. I understand though, as Moms we worry about our children when it comes to these kinds of things..Hang in there. This too shall pass.

Spice Girl said...

Perhaps what you're supposed to get out of this is the miracle: either the miracle that this boy will grow and flourish with the little nutrition he gets or else the miracle that happens when he does start to eat and you are witness to his progress, paid at such great price. Love to you, my cousin!

Lisa writes... said...

I find the honesty of your melancholy posts to be both refreshing and encouraging--I realize I am not alone! I for one appreciate your honesty and vulnerability, as well as your beautiful gift of painting the deep side of life in words...