Alex is a terrible eater. There, I’ve said it. I am actually amazed at how he seems to have more energy than the Energizer Bunny, whilst living on a very sparse diet of fish fingers, the odd pea, strawberries, egg whites, chicken pieces, noodles, buttered toast, cheese sandwiches and milk. (He point-blank refuses to eat anything else.) And while it is said that no toddler will starve himself to death, I do worry about the amount of good food that this child actually consumes. I am also tired of fighting with him to eat.
So the other day when we got back from school, he says to me: “Mom, I’m hungry. I want a melted cheese sandwich with the stripes on the bread” (meaning a toasted cheese sandwich… our sandwich machine etches stripes into the toasted part). So naturally, I jump up, to go and make him a sandwich, thinking to myself, “Wow, Alex actually WANTS to eat something.”
So I slice the cheese, put it between two pieces of (wholewheat) bread, and wait for it to toast. All the while, Alex keeps coming to check if his sandwich is ready. He is clearly starving. I cut the sandwich into 4 triangles (if it is cut any other way, he won’t eat it) and put it on his favourite Ligtning McQueen plate. When I think about it, feeding a toddler is somewhat like feeding a certified bloody lunatic!
He takes one look at his sandwich and screams “THAT’S NOT A CHEESE SANDWICH!” and runs out the room wailing.
Me: “Alex, come back here, of course it’s a cheese sandwich, you have these all the time.”
Alex: “IT’S NOT!” returning to the kitchen. Big crocodile tears welling in his eyes.
Me: “Yes it is, I took two pieces of bread, put cheese in the middle and toasted it. Like I always do”
Alex: “But that’s WHITE cheese, I want YELLOW CHEESE” … runs out the room screaming again.
Probably a good idea to point out that I recently bought white cheddar cheese. It was on special at Woolies, and as far as I can tell it tastes EXACTLY THE SAME as the yellow cheddar.
Me: “Alex, this cheese is white because there is no yellow colouring in it, but it tastes EXACTLY the same as white cheese”
Alex: “NO IT DOESN’T. I DON’T LIKE WHITE CHEESE” … Still crying loudly.
(And the conversation goes back and forth like this for a few more iterations, my blood temperature sky rocketing whilst trying to remain calm.)
Me: “How do you know that you don’t like it if you haven’t even tasted it!”
Alex: ” I don’t LIKE WHITE CHEESE!”
Me: “Ok, don’t eat it then.” I have had enough of this ridiculous conversation. I walk out of the kitchen.
So, eventually he stops crying, calms down and resumes playing with his cars. About twenty minutes pass, “Mom, I’m hungry…” (And I’m thinking, holy shit, not this discussion again!)
Me: “Your cheese sandwich is in the kitchen.” I go and fetch it, while trying to remain calm. “Just have a small bite, if you really don’t like it, I will make you something else.”
He takes the tiniest of bites, and then says “mommy, I LIKE white cheese” and proceeds to eat the rest of the sandwich.
Oh, my shattered nerves!