Tuesday, December 5th, 2006
HOW TO: Get a 2-Year-Old to Eat Her Dinner
Alternate title: Kids Say the Darndest Things
My biggest struggle at any seated meal is getting my daughter to eat the food in front of her. After a few bites she declares that she wants something different to eat.
I combat the problem by breathing life into the food. Imagine beans, corn niblets or peas on our plates. I scoop one onto my fork and in a high pitched voice start saying:
"No! Don’t eat me! Don’t eat me! Put me down! I’m afraid of heights! I don’t want to be eaten! Pick the other guys, not me! I want to live! Please! AHHHHHHHH!" (gulp)
The dialogue changes with each piece of food. Sometimes beans plead for help from the other beans. Sometimes a piece of broccoli doesn’t want to go because it’s afraid of the dark. Sometimes a corn niblet tells me I have bad breath.
The one reoccurring theme with each piece of food is that it screams, "Don’t eat me!"
My daughter then scoops some food onto her fork and I speak on behalf of the helpless souls about to be chomped. Once in a while my daughter will say "Don’t eat me!," but for the most part I have to pull double-duty speaking for both of our plates.
Yesterday we were eating Mexican food when some pinto beans began screaming. My daughter scooped several beans onto her fork and said with a smile, "I’m eating a whole family!"
I don’t suppose you’ll believe me when I say I want to teach her to respect life in all its forms. Real life, I mean. Last week I taught her how to catch fairies and bite their heads off. (Hey now, I know what you’re thinking, but I *did* tell her to spit the heads out.)