William used to be a picky eater. He got better. Now he's winged right back around to the old behavior. After a five and a half hour drive, I was tired. His mother and Don brought a pizza over for supper.
Well, except for William. He doesn't like sausage on his pizza. "Pick it off," his mother told him.
He ate one slice of pizza. I knew where we were headed. Two hours after supper, he was, predictably, hungry.
I said, "We've already had supper, William. I'm not cooking a second supper for you. You can find yourself something to eat."
He wanted microwave Mac and Cheese.
"We don't have any," I said.
"Can't you go out and get some?"
"No William. If you are hungry, you can make yourself a sandwich. We've got peanut butter and jelly..."
"I'm not in the mood for something sweet."
"We've got roast beef. We've got three different kinds of cheese..."
"How old is that roast beef?" he asked suspiciously.
"William. grandpa got it out of the freezer. It's got an old date, but it perfectly fine."
He began to get dramatic and weepy.
I began to get mad.
"There's eggs. There's toast. There's tuna fish..."
"You only have Miracle Whip. I don't like Miracle Whip." A tear rolled down his face.
For God's sake! He's 11 years old. He was being stubborn. I began to get stubborn too. "William, supper is done. If you are hungry now, you need to figure out what you want to eat, because I am not jumping up to make a second supper. You can make whatever sandwich you want, You can have a bowl of cereal, but the flat fact of the matter is that if you don't eat what is put in front of you at supper, you don't get a second supper prepared for you."
"I want microwave Mac and Cheese. I'm going to ask Grandpa to get it for me."
I was tired, and I was running short on tolerance for nonsense. "No one is running out to get you microwaveable Mac and Cheese. Totally not kidding. For a kid who is starving to death you are pretty damned picky. I guess you're going to go to bed hungry tonight, and you've got no one to blame but your own stubborn self."
He flung himself to the stairs and cried for quite some time.
In the end, he went to the kitchen and fixed himself something to eat. He's now sitting in the livingroom watching television with his grandfather. The storm has passed.
I keep telling myself that he was probably tired too, but two meltdowns in two days is getting pretty tiresome.
WTH is this???????
Late edit: reading about adolescent boys, I've answered my own questions.
I was about to tell you but you have found out! Society focuses so much on girls' hormonal changes they forget that boys go through it, too. And boys have some quite challenging physical changes as well. Tim is lucky to have a strict but loving grandma. He won't go wrong.ReplyDelete
I am going to have to take a deep breath. Quite seriously he was making me mad.Delete
I worked school food service 23 years. Sometimes kids would come back and tell me they were still hungry. I knew my kids pretty well so I knew ones that might be really hungry. I told them all I will make you a pb&j or cheese sandwich. The ones that were hungry would say ok, thank you Miss. The others would say I want pizza or other popular food, even ask for ice cream. I did buy ice cream for the little kids that never got a treat, I did have my ladies dip heavy for ones that I knew were hungry. Hungry kids very seldom complain, it was just a thank you Miss.ReplyDelete
In a home setting, to be perfectly clear, I don't have a problem with him fixing himself a sandwich if he's hungry, but he was being awfully picky for someone who professed to be starving. He was being unreasonable. I was also tired. We had a discussion about the rules of the house today.Delete
I agree with you all the way. When my kids were young I cooked one meal. My son would go to the garden and pick things wipe them on his jeans and eat it, if he found a stalk of poke greens he wanted me to cook it for just him. They were country kids and learned early to eat what was offered. They were healthy happy kids and still eat what ever is offered them as their kids do. I was making a point that some little kids do not have a meal offered at home and appreciate what ever they are offered. William will mature and grow in to the next step in his life,(age) You are doing a fine job with him. Sometimes it is hard to be firm with grands.Delete
The balance is important, and just for a couple days there, we lost the balance. I think we're putting it back together. He just needs a gentle reminder that 'guilting grandma' doesn't work. He needs to see that having a hissy fit doesn't get him his way. He needs to understand that we all need to cooperate.Delete
Unless we were ill, we weren't allowed any choice of what to eat as kids, nor could we leave the table until we had finished what was on our plates, hence my pyjama pockets at times stuffed with cabbage to be disposed of later. What parental force made this happen? I don't know. Youngest brother and my sister had it easier as parental standards eased.ReplyDelete
I wonder if you standing up to William about food is unusual. Mind, I don't blame working parents going for the easiest option. Easy in the short term at least.
What I do remember mid teens was a great need for security and I behaved badly at times I suppose when I thought I didn't have it or something threatened it, and the separation of parents certainly did that.
What were Tim's thoughts?
There are a number of things that are different about William's life at home and William's life at his grandparents. It's a tough situation. However, we've been pretty matter-of-fact about dealing with the differences with him, and why we do the things the way that we do them. What's different now is the protests he puts up. He is stubborn.Delete
Like you, as kids, we never had a choice about what we were eating. Tim's family was poor. The other thing is that I don't remember snacking. There weren't a lot of snack foods around, and I think that it is very easy for William to decide he doesn't like supper, knowing that he can fix a snack later.
We don't see forcing a kid to eat. We won't do that. The options are if you don't like what's in front of you, fix a sandwich. He gets one bedtime snack. He gets one snack in between lunch and supper.
Puberty. It messes with their minds, a good reminder for me, although I will have forgotten by the time Jack is William's age:)ReplyDelete
I will send you a reminder. :DDelete
Been there done that so many times. I just tell them to go make something, turn back to what I was doing and ignore the rest of the questions and skip providing suggestions. After a minute they give up and wander to the kitchen.ReplyDelete
The ground rules have been clarified here. I did engage more than I would have normally because I was tired too. But I think that cutting back on the availability of snacks is going to be a big game changer.ReplyDelete
My daughter always insisted on a "no thank you" bite of any new food. Sometimes that bite was no thank you and sometimes they found they liked the food. It had to be a real bite not a little taste.ReplyDelete
I can't remember having that problem with our son because he ate everything and anything. HOWEVER, our granddaughter and grandsons are picky. They get a couple of suggestions and that's about it for me. Luckily, my granddaughter is 15 now and can fix her own food.ReplyDelete