Does anyone else have to plead with their children to eat and drink? My children fight eating like we’re trying to poison them with battery acid laced with cyanide. Their protests seem to say, “I hear you saying that I need to eat and drink to stay alive, but I’m going to pass.” Without constant begging, pleading, and yelling on the part of my wife and I, these kids would waste away.
I think this is something unique to the human species, and I don’t understand it. Are there picky animals found in nature? You never see a mother lion trying to force her cub to eat, like, “Eeeeeeat the meeeeeeeeeat!” Evolution has all these other species fighting to live and my children seem to fight being alive. Humans clawed their way to the top of the food chain and my kids are blowing it.
Before my children even touch food, they go through the five stages of grief.
- Denial: “Surely you don’t mean you want me to eat.”
- Anger: “Why do I have to eat? Why me?”
- Bargaining: “If you don’t make me eat, I’ll poop in the potty! I’ll stay in bed! Anything!”
- Depression: “I can’t. I can’t even. This food is breaking my heart.”
- Acceptance: “Fine! I’ll eat it!”
Only no, they won’t. Once these five stages are complete, then another campaign begins. It goes through the following additional stages.
- “I’ll put food in my mouth but I won’t chew it.”
- “I’m going to hold this unchewed food in my mouth indefinitely.”
- “I can do this all day. Can you, dad?”
- “OK, I’ve chewed a few times, now back to holding.”
- “Now I spill the food on the floor and pretend it was an accident.”
- “Now I cram everything into my mouth to give the illusion that I’ve actually eaten.”
- Throw up
So that’s every meal for us. It’s exhausting. It’s a war of nutritional attrition and I think we’re losing.