As you may have figured out by now, Wyatt is an only child. As such, I have made many parenting mistakes over the years by catering to the kid simply because I have the time, and no one told me not to. One of the biggest mistakes: not introducing the boy to "normal people" food. You should know that my son eats healthier than any other kids his age...partly because I don't allow him much from the junk food arena, but mostly because he honestly prefers fruits and vegetables. So, since the first time he gummed a chunk of real food, I've been fixing him little trays of a menagerie of chopped fruits and vegetables, with one measly portion of protein (just to say I tried). Typically, he's gotten protein from nuts, beans, and dairy...I'm pretty sure during one of my use-the-tv-as-a-babysitter days, he caught an infomercial about becoming vegan and totally bought into it because I can't get the kid to eat meat.
What he WILL eat:
black olives, green olives, cherry peppers, smoked oysters, nuts, curried lintels, celery, carrots, cucumbers, pita bread, any cheese, peanut butter on wheat crackers, avocado, mushrooms, zucchini, raw spinach, eggs, ham cubes, fish, shrimp, beef jerky, popcorn, any soup, and so on.
What he WILL NOT eat:
Corn dogs, sandwiches (of any variety, including the ubiquitous pb&j), chicken nuggets (unless I threaten him within an inch of his life), hot dogs (unless it's off the bun and cut into chunks), pizza, macaroni & cheese (unless two bites per serving counts), hamburgers, spaghetti-o's, or any other food that is typically found on a kid's menu or on an adult's plate at dinner time. For example, he'll eat raw potatoes, but not mashed potatoes.
None of this is really a problem...he's healthy, and at a normal weight. Where it gets annoying: we can't eat out. Ever. Restaurants don't have a plate of black olives, cashews, string cheese, cucumbers, and strawberries on the menu. And if you ask the waiter to specially make you one, you get a look reminiscent of the one Meg Ryan got in When Harry Met Sally.
So, the hubby and I decided 3 weeks ago to put the kid through the wringer and start making him eat what we eat, no exceptions. The first few nights, he got his regular stuff with a small helping of our food. It was enough to throw him into a tailspin. Lots of hysterics. But eventually, he tried everything we gave him, and on occasion, even grinned and announced, "HEY, that is yummy!"
With week two began the "how much of this do I have to eat" debate. Sigh.
We're beginning week three now, and last night the hubby offered to fix dinner: he called Mazzio's! I'm not joking when I say my kid is smart. As soon as the phone was set down, he started fretting and asked if he was going to be forced to eat pizza. The answer was yes. For the first time, he seemed excited to try something new. Once at the table, he cheerfully selected a piece and started nibbling, crust side first, until it was nearly devoured! Jason and I couldn't believe our eyes.
This pizza was hastily thrown together by some acne-prone teenager at the local eatery. It was burnt, extra greasy, and honestly one of the worst samplings of pizza I've had in ages. But my son ate it. Happily. We promised him that next time he eats pizza, it'll be a hundred times better. As for me, dinnertime already is!