Eating (or not)

Long before Ryan was born, my wife and I had a conversation on what we would feed our future child.  With the best of intentions, she proclaimed that he or she would eat nothing but organic food cooked at home.  I was all for it, but then wondered how that would happen if I was already doing most of the cooking.

My counterargument was that all kids need pizza and McDonald’s from time to time, and from the look she gave me, I might as well have kicked my brother in-law’s dog.   Thankfully, said brother in-law came to my defense, and offered to babysit as much as he could, if only he could sneak his nephew or niece to Gino’s or Mickey D’s without Omma knowing.

At 29 months, the little booger has his preferences seemingly locked in stone, and no variations are allowed, lest we run the risk of a meltdown.  Oddly enough, especially considering he’s my progeny, he virtually shuns meat.  The only exceptions are chicken-apple breakfast sausage and McNuggets, but everything else (including most seafood that isn’t a premade fish stick) is strictly verboten.

You’d think we’d learn, right?  You’d think we wouldn’t try to dice meat as small as possible, then spoon-feed it to him under some rice so he wouldn’t notice, right?  You’d probably guess that we wouldn’t quickly, secretly slip him small bits of meat in soup, hoping against hope that he wouldn’t spit the whole spoonful out because he tasted meat.  Or that he wouldn’t pause to think about the red pork in takeout Chinese fried rice, the end result being a twisted grimace and the spitting of fried rice all over the high chair table.  Nope.  Tried that.

At least he loves vegetables and fruit, thank God.  Asparagus flies out of our fridge of its own volition, it seems, as does broccoli.  Cham’eh, Korean melons, watermelon, apples, bananas, even blackberries, he’s like a Dyson vacuum.  In comparison, we have a friend who basically has to force feed her son, can’t imagine what that’s like… never mind, didn’t we do that at dinner a few weeks ago because someone decided he no longer liked Italian pasta?  Yeah, thought so.

And then there’s “ow-oo,” his way of saying “oo-you,” which is Korean for milk.  He still uses a bottle, and there are some days that he’d rather have milk than anything else, but at least he’s getting some nourishment.  It’s not like we’re trying to starve the little guy, we’re just trying to accommodate what he wants.  I’ve basically gotten to the point where if he’s hungry, I’ll give him something; if not, why force him – unless we’re at a restaurant, which means all bets are off and you’d better eat or else, little man.

Now for the fun part.  I’ve pasted some pre-blog, pre-Twitter Facebook posts on what he ate, or didn’t eat.  Enjoy:

  • breakfast adventures: “chocolate bread” = Nutella on wheat toast… yummy… the cheese omelet I made was deemed “yucky”… Master Ryan hath spoken
  • proof that toddlers get mass marketing: on our walk last night, we saw McD’s across the street. Ryan pointed and said “M! Chicken!”
  • he’d rather eat single kernels of corn off his spoon, and have corn scattered all over his highchair table, than accept any help from me to get more corn on said spoon
  • at least he’s decisive. Walked into Burger King, he immediately tugged at my hand and said “Fries.” As in, buy it for me now.
  • so what if the only thing he’d eat was microwaved frozen corn – at least he ate something relatively substantial
  • he barely ate dinner, but now he’s gnawing on one of the butter cookies I made last weekend
  • had a peaceful dinner at my mom’s… once we allowed him to have what he wanted: cucumbers & Gatorade.
  • never knew that one word (mogo, Korean for eat) could lead to such a meltdown. From his perspective, it marked the end of the world as we know it, and he responded accordingly. He wants “cuckoo” (cookies) instead. Stupid Appa, should’ve known.
  • busy night: made dinner, tried to feed him, he fed me to let me know he was done, begged him to eat more, he wanted cookies, stopped him at least 3x from doing a swan dive from couch to living room floor, watched Backyardigans, and finally… performed emergency surgery on the new Thomas book that he loves to tear apart, he got bored and tore all the pages… Daddy needs wine NOW
  • little man was in a terrible-two kind of mood last night, so dinner was corn and graham crackers
  • apparently, dinner interferes with snack time. Who’d’a thunk it?
  • made fried rice for him, hope for the best but my backup is french fries
  • dessert for him tonight was a slice of American cheese and a tangerine.
  • tried but failed tonight to teach him that soup is not finger food
  • toddler + Reese’s pb cup = drunker than Daddy after half a bottle of Jameson
  • For months, I’ve been cutting the crusts off his grilled cheese, then wondering why he wouldn’t eat. Just found out that the little booger loves crusts. Who’d’a thunk it?
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