Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Nathan and the Cookie

This is my son.

After six weeks of grueling bed rest to keep him in the womb and then a 12 hour induction to get him out of the womb, Nathan burst forth into the world and stole mine and his Daddy’s heart.

Ever since, he has confounded us to no end. Why? Because there is no parenting book known to man that explains our son.

Our biggest issue with him…food.

Here is the look that Nathan gives us every night at the dinner table.

Nathan avoids any food that contains color. The exception to this rule is cheese. His favorite dish – kashi crackers and sliced cheese.

Our pediatrician has given us many ideas to try and we have put forth our best effort only to have each idea crash and burn.

For example, there was the “grow your own food” idea. That way, he is invested in the food and will enjoy his bounty at harvest time. He was invested alright, but his idea of bounty was watching us eating it.

Then there was the “let him cook with you” idea. Nathan was very excited about this idea and had a blast cooking. But, in the end, he plated the food and offered it to his sister. As he is a very good big brother.

After running the gamut of ideas, we had only one option left. Bribery.

Enter “blue iced star cookie”. (I would have had a picture but my husband ate the cookie.)

We have a friend who makes the best iced cookies in the whole world. But, since it takes three days to make these cookies, we only get them at Christmas and Valentine’s Day. Last Friday, we had one cookie left. A blue-iced star cookie. Nathan had been eyeing it the entire day.

Daddy and I decided to use the cookie.

We sat down to dinner. Now mind you, we had already had our daily discussion of what’s-for-dinner-I-don’t-like-that-fix-me-something-different, but this time we had ammo.

“Nathan,” I said, “here’s the deal. All you have to do is taste a piece of roast. Chew it up real fast and swallow it. Then, take half a sliced carrot and do the same. If you do that, you can have the blue-iced star cookie.”

We even put the cookie on the table so he would know the reward was real.

Dinner went as usual. Mommy, Daddy and sister ate. Nathan stared at his plate. Mommy, Daddy and sister finished their food, sister asked to be excused, Nathan stared at his plate.

Then, the bartering started.

“Why Moooommmmy, why can’t I just have the blue-iced star cookie noooowwww.”

This is now evoking not so calm responses. “Nathan, for all that is decent and holy, please eat the food. One bite son. That’s all we ask. Don’t even chew, just swallow and we’ll call it good.”

We sat for another ten minutes.

Losing all hope, I was about to clear the table when Nathan’s face lit up. He jumped out of his seat and ran around the end of the table to stand between us.

“Mommy, Daddy, here’s the deal” he started, “I am going to take the blue-iced star cookie and tear it in half. I will give one half to Daddy and one half to Mommy. Then you can eat the cookie.”

“But Nathan….” I tried to intervene.

“No Mommy, it’s okay. You guys eat the cookie. I will not eat the cookie and I will not eat the food. Okay?”

With Mommy and Daddy’s jaws on the ground, Nathan then asked to be excused from the table. No food. No cookie. May I get down now?

“Yes…..yes you may.”

Perhaps one day he’ll eat something nutritious. Until then, Kashi crackers and cheese are my specialty.


The Blonde Duck said...

I have to bribe my dogs not to eat gross things. It's like opposite day over here!

Dead to Self said...

As I read this it brings back all my wonderful memories of "how to not eat the strange things put on your plate"

There was the stir it up and put fork in mouth every once in awhile. Then once the parents leave...give it to the dog.

The how much of this can fit in a napkin before they notice and I throw it away.

But I never rejected a cookie. Never. Or chocolate...just give some of that and tell me what to's done.

Ah to be a little kid innocent lol!

Truth4thejourney said...

Hi Spring,

I am sorry he isn't eating. How frustrating, how concerning. I will pray for him and you..

Your Friend,

Pen to Paper; Spirit to Soul said...

Oh, the things we as parents would do for 'happy plates'! They are now both somewhat healthy...both have their favorite dishes to eat and can get their own snacks - WOO HOO!!!
I hope Nathan will grow into eating lots of good things!!!
Prayers for patience being sent your way!!!

Julie Gillies said...

Your son is absolutely adorable. And will no doubt run a corperation one day. Hee hee!

I pray a godly, healthy, hearty appetite over Nathan in Jesus name.

Just stopped by to wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas.

Shanita Waters said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shanita Waters said...

Nathan is a cutie just like his sister. He looks really healthy. I'm surprised your having such a difficult time getting him to eat. I pray that God will give him a healthy appetite. I can't beleive he chose to give up the cookie to get out of eating two bites of food.

Have you tried taking away favorite television shows or juices until he eats? My 3 year old son didn't eat very well up until a month or so ago when I stopped giving him juice until he finished his food... just a thought.

Shanita Waters said...

Nathan is a cutie just like his sister. He looks really healthy. I'm surprised your having such a difficult time getting him to eat. I pray that God will give him a healthy appetite. I can't beleive he chose to give up the cookie to get out of eating two bites of food.

Have you tried taking away favorite television shows or juices until he eats? My 3 year old son didn't eat very well up until a month or so ago when I stopped giving him juice until he finished his food... just a thought.

Krista said...

I found that my kids respond pretty well to the "you get what you get... and that's it!" method; in which the parent realizes that a skipped meal or two will not starve a child, and that when a kid is hungry enough he will eat what is on his plate. No bribing or cajoling needed on the parents' part, just set the plate down and let the chips fall where they may.

I blogged about this on my cooking site not too long ago...

But there are always the special ones that even defy that! I agree with Julie that you probably have a leader in the making. Have fun steering him in the right direction, and watching to see how he eventually takes ownership of sustaining himself.

Great story, I love the glare! And his logic at the end... priceless.

Melanie said...

I have no suggestions for you. My kids are 19, 14, 11...hopefully he will outgrow it. Sometimes it just happens like that. We have our issues with food, too - but only with the boys (14, 11).

A Free Spirit Butterfly said...

Wow, he's going to make a great politician one day (smile) If I give you my address can you send me some blue ice cookies? lol

He looks healthy and happy so this too, shall pass.

Love, peace and blessings!

sailorcross said...

Oh, does this bring back memories!! My first two children would eat anything--and the rule when I was growing up was you had to eat one spoonful of everything that was offered--you at least had to taste it. Worked very well with my first two children.

Then came along my youngest daughter. This child turned 3, and absolutely refused to eat anything except 1 poached egg on toast for breakfast. And that was it!! That was all she ate!! We tried everything, and finally I just gave up and in to the poached egg period.

She is now 23, loves to cook, watches gourmet cooking shows, and has more of variety of eating than my older two!!

Go figure!!

I'm sure it will all work out. He looks good and healthy. You have to admit, his mind is active and sounds like he is always thinking!!


Gwen Stewart said...

Hi Spring,

Your blog is great! I'm so glad to have found it. Your writing urged me to keep reading! :)

My sister has a struggle with my nephew too (not quite so strenuous as with your son, but my nephew is older now). She learned to puree a bunch of stuff and secretly mix it into other food, as in a small amount of pureed carrots in mac and cheese. My nephew never knew the difference.

Of course that's hard to do with cheese and crackers. :) As others have said, this too shall pass...and make great stories for his kids someday! ("When your dad was little..." LOL)

Keep in touch!

Jennifer Pacacha said...

What an awesome story!! You should definitely save this one to tell at his wedding rehearsal dinner. When I finally have kids, I know I will have a wonderful friend who has been through much as a mother to call for advice, and when nothing works - encouragement that this stage too shall pass. :) Keep writing my friend.

Edie said...

My grandaughters are especially picky eaters too and mealtime with them always wore me out til I started giving the choice to eat what's there or wait for the next meal. No snacks! They love a snack after they eat so it's working. I also stopped letting them decide what they wanted for the meal and instead told them what it would be. As Krista said, most kids won't starve themselves. Some are definetly tougher than others.

Best wishes to you in this. I have no doubt that God will show you what will work with your son.

Shanita Waters said...

Hi Spring... I used to be somewhat of a Bible teacher but I left the congregation where I used to serve. God showed me long ago that teaching was my gift for the kingdom but that church was (how can I put this mildly and holy) not big on women teachers, preachers, etc. Right now we are waiting for the Lord to confirm that we are to join the church we've been visiting for a few months. "I" don't see that door opening for me there but I know that eventually at His appointed time, I will be teaching again. I also used to lead a women's bible study at work on Wednesdays but our schedules changed so we aren't able to get together the way we used to.

When I left the old church and wasn't able to have the bible studies at work anymore, I sought the Lord for an avenue to share His word through the transition and He showed me to use my blog to His glory. Writing is one of the other gifts He has given me to spread His Word.

It's a dream of mine to teach young women and offer Christian counseling based strictly on the Word of God. I love the word of God and am in awe of God and the bible and how relevant it still is today.

I feel so humbled and blessed that you are blessed by this ministry that the Lord has entrusted me with. You have a gift too! His sheep know His voice.


Mary Moss said...

What a wonderful story! You certainly have your hands full:-)

I don't even know how to advise you on that one.

Blessings to you and your family!

Angela said...

I feel your frustration friend! I am so tired of watching Luke eat ABCs & Balls and Noodle Rings & Chicken. But, Luke usually gives in when we bribe him with the Holiday Cookies. :-) And thanks for the compliment on the cookies. :-) I need to sell them online and put a link on your site. And I will try and add a holiday next year. Love you friend! And I know Nate will not go on his first dinner date and order Kashi crackers and cheese. So, look to the future!