You’ve had a great day. The toddler is a joy to be around, playing with a friend, helping you around the house. Dad is out mowing the lawn. Then it’s time for dinner.
I make pork chops, rice and asparagus. The husband and toddler’s favorite type of meal, all separate with nothing touching anything on the plate. (BORING) We sit down and begin to eat. The toddler downs a glass of chocolate milk like it’s going out of style and asks for more.
I say, "No, you aren’t going to fill up milk without eating dinner. Have a some chicken first."
That’s not a typo, we call our pork "chicken". We also call our fish "chicken" and of course our chicken is "chicken". Why? Well, to the toddler it’s all just "chicken". I got tired of arguing.
Anyway, this started a bit of a crying fest.
"*snif* *sniff* but I want chocolate milk"
"Then have a bite of chicken."
You can see where this is going. So I decided he knew what the deal was and it didn’t warrant any more discussion. The husband and I had a conversation trying to ignore the crying.
That lasted all of about 5 minutes until I couldn’t take it anymore. I decided it was time for the "Green Chair."
We have a large green chair in our living room that I use as a cool down chair. It’s not our time out spot that’s somewhere different. The green chair is a place for the toddler to cool down when he’s upset, crying and/or having a tantrum.
Well he DID NOT want to sit on the green chair. So for the next 5 minutes I kept getting up and placing him back on the green chair all the while he is crying and screaming…
"I DON’T WANT TO SIT ON THE GREEN CHAIR!"
At this point he is carrying on like someone is stabbing him in the eyes with sharp pencils. I finally decided I needed to sit right by the green chair and reinforce that he is not allowed to get down until he calms down. I got down to his level, made eye contact, the whole 9 yards.
What ensued was a 20 minute display of pure toddler craziness. Arms flailing, legs kicking, tears streaming. Really not that different then this example except all happening on the green chair.
Intertwined in the crying was…
"I DON’T WANT TO SIT ON THE GREEN CHAIR"
"I WANT TO EAT DINNER"
"MOMMY LET ME DOWN"
"DON’T HOLD ME"
"LEAVE ME ALONE"
I’m NOT kidding. My three year old was in the middle of a complete meltdown.
Now I pride myself on not giving in. EVER. Since I said he was not allowed to leave the green chair until he calmed down, he was NOT to leave that chair until the crying subsided and he was able to rationally speak with me.
He finally did after a few counting sessions and distraction methods. Seriously the boy needed some help it was like he was possessed with the devil himself. At one point I laughed out loud because the whole thing was completely ridiculous.
After the calm down, the first words out of his mouth are… "Chocolate milk, please".
To which I replied… "After you have a bite of chicken."
I’m not kidding, he gets up from the green chair, walks to the table, sits down and eats the pork. LIke the last 1/2 hour never happened!! We continued with dinner (now cold) and had a conversation about school. The rest of the evening he was a pure joy.
Ahhhh parenting, nothing beats it!
Normally an event like this requires some serious carbs. I’m ’sort of’ kidding ;~) but tonight I felt good. Hmmmm "good" may not be the right word. Strong? Proud? In control? I’m not sure how to describe it. If this happened yesterday or Sunday I would have reached for some kind of food medication but today I was fine.
Oh yeah, I didn’t tell you about my last two days of bingeing madness. It started Sunday with opening a bag of baked Doritos and ended last night when I polished off the bag. That’s right, I ate an entire 12 serving bag of Doritos in 2 days. I was on Autopilot. I can’t describe it, I was conscious of what I was doing but yet unable able to stop. Well, I guess I could have stopped but I didn’t. Do you know what I mean? Anyway I don’t want to get too deep tonight, I just don’t have it in me but I needed to confess because it would be all too easy to pretend it didn’t happen.
Moving on. Here’s today’s food journal. I’m off to take a bath!