Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Food Fight with a Little Mommy Guilt Thrown in for Good Measure

Ray and I have been pretty fortunate when it comes to our kids eating habits. They both eat well and pretty much will eat anything you put in front of them. The only thing Audrey hasn't really taken a liking to is fruit, but she devours vegetables, so I'm not going to push it right now. I don't want to be making two or three separate meals each night just for the kids. They can eat what Ray and I eat.

Until last night. And maybe it was that Ashley was tired from swim lessons or going back to school after a couple of days off. Who knows. I made honey mustard baked chicken and parmesan risotto. Nothing fancy, normal stuff. She immediately stated she didn't like the risotto. Fine. Our take on foods is that she has to try it once, and then if she doesn't like, she doesn't like it. There are plenty of other foods she will eat.

She would not even take a bite. She kept making excuses and playing around and saying the bite I was making her eat was too big. She had eaten all of her other food (chicken, corn, cantaloupe) and just needed to take one bite.

Finally, I gave her a fork with the bite on it and took her plate away. She whined about it, and I said fine, your plate in going in the trash. It was her precious princess plate we had bought at the Disney store a couple of weeks ago. She still whined so I went to toss it in the trash. The trash can in our kitchen is a pull out one underneath our counter top. So in my frustrated state, I wasn't paying attention as I was pleading with Ashley to just take a bite and when I went to toss it in the trash can, it hit the counter and literally broke in half.

Ashley fell apart. Big crocodile tears fell as she cried. I picked her up and hugged her and felt like the worst mom on the planet. I shouldn't have gotten frustrated, I shouldn't have made a big deal out of it. I should have just patiently and calmly waited for her to take her bite. Instead, I lost my cool, got frustrated and broke her plate.

And yes, after all that, she did take her bite and finished her milk and calmed down. Then our neighbors came over and the first thing she said to them?

"Mommy broke my princess plate."

Great.

22 comments:

ktjrdn said...

I have been there many, many times. They really know how to push your buttons. It's so hard to step back from the situation while you're in the middle of it and see that. She'll get over it. Sadly though, she'll probably be telling people about that plate for another ewek. ;) I hope today goes better for you

Happy Working Mom said...

Awww...I have been there too many times. It's easy to look back and tell yourself you shouldn't have gotten frustrated, but at the same time, take the stinking bite!!! I feel like I go through this a lot lately with my daughter. We have the same rule in our house (have to take at least one bite) and our kids eat pretty much everything as well. But my daughter has started in on the "I don't like that" before she's even tried it! I just want to scream!

Will you be buying a new princess plate soon? I would probably be at the store during lunch (like I said, I've been there before :))

Beccy said...

I have an 'I don't like' child and find it frustrating.

You know she'll remember the broken plate forever!

Devra said...

It's possible to turn this around, despite the guilt-o-meter increasing every time you think about what happened or someone else tells you your daughter "will always remember this." Concentrate on what you want to do next-which is seize the opportunity to talk about feelings and how they get expressed. We all experience such a wide range of emotions and learning to handle them is something kids need to learn. Who better to teach them than a mom who "lost it"!
The feeling you may wish to tackle here is "frustration" as both of you were frustrated at the time of the incident. Name the emotion for her "Ya know what happened to that plate? It got broken out of our shared frustration." It's not just that you accidentally broke the plate, there were a series of events that led up to it. So try and talk to your daughter about the path that both of you were on and that there will be other times in the future where both of you may become frustrated again. Try talking about a plan on how to handle it in the future. How you can take a different path. One that leaves you both feeling better.
Since Audrey is young, you can break this conversation into several parts, I would not recommend having a serious sit down as that will just intensify the loss of the plate for both of you. Just have it as an ongoing dialogue when you see an opportunity to discuss "frustration." THIS will be something she remembers forever and YOU will be giving her a life skill that she will value forever. And I would bet she will get more use out of that than the mass marketed Princess plate ; )

Julie said...

Been there! We have a fight about dinner most nights. Like you, I won't cook 3 different meals so they get whatever I cook. Emily is easy - she'll eat anything but Abby, she's a negotiater when it comes to eating. She'll sit there and ask how many bites do I have to eat. All of it - if you want dessert. We go thru the same routine every single night. It's terribly frustrating.

And don't forget to post your swap gift pictures! You know, in all your spare time this week! ; )

CPA Mom said...

who is this derva?

Been there, done that. I used to make separate meals but no more. They eat what we eat or they get a bowl of cereal (sometimes it is not possible for Tigger to eat what we eat anyway - allergies). We all get that frustrated though. They sure know how to get our goat at that age! Anytime we tell Tigger no to something he yells in our face "DON'T SAY BAD WORDS MOM" makes me want to scream and break a plate myself.

Kellie said...

Great--is this what I have to look forward to? I'm sure you feel bad, but you didn't do it intentionally...you're still a kick ass Mom :)

EC said...

awwww! Mommy - you had best put yourself in a time out for breaking her favorite plate ;)

Seriously, we've all been there - she'll never remember it, especially when you buy her a new one (hint hint)

Anvilcloud said...

This should be something that can be a good funny story in future years. I guess you treat it as an oops that can be rectifies somehow and not as a tragedy.

PortraitofPeter said...

Poor Mummy!! The guilt trip and your daughter raising the profile even further with your neighbours.

frannie said...

please don't be so hard on yourself! we all get frustrated. all of us. and the plate breaking was an accident. they sell lots of cool plates (even with the Disney Princesses)at Target. Why not take her to pick out another one if she eats well tonight?

Lost A Sock said...

Awww, I've been there too. You didn't mean to break it. It's not easy when they're being so stubborn. I'm sure you'll replace it one of these days, and she'll be fine about everything. (Well, except she'll tell everyone that that is her second plate, because that's what KJ would do...)

That Chick Over There said...

You aren't a bad mom!

My kids tell people, "My mom says WAY to many bad words! Like shit!"

So, yeah. You're great!

ChrisB said...

You are a good mother with normal reactions. But without rubbing it in I'll second what beccy says about remembering for ever; she and Sam still remind me of all the bad things I did in their childhood; and I sometimes remind my mother but it happens. You can always buy a new plate.

Rachel said...

It happens to all of us! Don't beat yourself up about it. You did the right thing by comforting her. Sometimes it's really hard not to get frustrated with your kids, especially when it comes to eating habits. You didn't break her plate on purpose and I am sure that Ashley will understand that.

Possibly a lesson learned by both of you. For Ashley, there are consequences to her actions and for you, that it's ok to get upset and frustrated, but sometimes you have to just take a deep breath.

Trust me I know that's hard, I've been breathing deeply for 6 years, lol.

BTW, Alyssa is not a fan of the fruit either!

Christine said...

Awwwww, Amy, you are an awesome Mom. Don't be too hard on yourself.

I've been there too. You'll be both laughing at this when she's older,and buying her a new plate would make both of you feel better.

Wendy said...

Looks like lot's of Mommies have been in your shoes:) I hope that today is going better for you and that she hasn't spread the word that her Mommy is a plate breaker;)

Michele_3 said...

Awh! like you have said to me numerous times!
"You are not a bad mom," don't beat yourself up!
Just explain to her it was an accident, I have been in a few situations similiar & felt the same way- It can make you feel terrible but it really was an accident after all!

(Are you @ Target right now buying another princess plate??)
LOL!!

Mrs. CPA said...

I imagine she will break plenty of your plates in her life time, so call it even. :-)

Kelly M said...

Your human..it's going to happen! DOn't be too hard on yourself..really!! We all get frustrated and everyone knows you didn't break the plate intentionally and I'm sure your daughter does too!! Hope your week gets better :)

my4kids said...

Ah momma guilt! thats a hard one...
I am the same way i don't push food and most of the time they eat whatever anyway they seem to actually be pretty good eaters because of it. The honey mustard baked chicken sounds yummy by the way. I've made it before my way and it is soo good

SJ said...

Oh man, I know your pain....I did this same exact thing about a week ago.

Crap.