Tonight at dinner we were having the usual battles regarding the cuisine du jour. Wyatt, my soon to be six year old son, was behaving like the exorcist, spinning in his chair, standing up and down, and exhibiting his best "eyes rolling back in his head" look. He was showing his strong contempt with the food he was offered.
What do we eat in the house of Our Simple Life? Well, our dinner this evening consisted of spinach ravioli, steamed green beans and squash with salt and butter, and sliced cucumbers in sweet Italian dressing. Quite a tasty meal if you ask me.
And on a sided note, I often get questioned by my husband, "How come you aren't serving more meat???"
My logical response is always the same, "We don't have to eat meat every day, Dear." Actually, we've had meatless meals a couple times a week since before Wyatt was born. So this alone is not so unusual.
BUT getting Wyatt to sit still for any length of time, longer than it takes for him to pick his nose, is still somewhat impossible. I think he can actually pick his nose and run a sprint at the same time, so maybe my comparison is ill founded. However, this dinner time chaos has been chronic. If nose picking was part of dinner, I might actually have some kind of advantage. But thank goodness it is not.
In addition to Wyatt's normal spastic tenancies on this splendid evening, he was refusing to eat his ravioli. "I'm only eating the veggies, Mom. That ravioli looks like raw sewage." My son has a rather colorful way with words, especially when they come to disgusting things.
With dinner under siege, I got creative and said, "Hey Wyatt, Do you know what that ravioli really looks like?"
Wyatt shakes his head, "No Ma. What is it? Tell me. Tell me."
I began slowly, looking him in the eye with my head tilted to the side for emphasis. I squinted my eyes and said, "Well, I think they look like a giant eye. Like the eye of a giant squid." This was not far from the truth as the dark round circles where the spinach and cheese filling lies between the pasta dough does resemble the eye of the aforementioned aquatic beast.
My son's face lighted up and his eyebrows rose in surprise. "Yeah. I think your right Mama," he blurted out.
I continued carefully with emphasis just in the right areas, "And I think you are the sperm whale who is going to eat his squid eyes tonight, right?"
"Mom, Mom, I need to get out the book with the giant squid inside it to make sure..." Wyatt rushes away from the table to the bookshelves, "...to make sure it looks just like the squid eyes!"
"Get back here!! No! Sit down NOW!" I roared at him as he jumped flea-like toward the books.
Wyatt came back to the table. This whole time he was carrying around his ravioli. Where else should it be? Plates? Who needs plates with plates for hands... It was still gently cradled in his junior man hands.
We have a bench seat on one side of our trestle table because when Wyatt was two he almost tipped himself over in the chairs daily by putting his feet on the table lip and shoving back. He would try to rock the chair on it's back legs from the confines of his booster seat. I had to buy the bench seat to avoid the emergency room visit to stitch up the back of his head.
Wyatt wiggled around the end of the bench seat and took a big half moon bite of his ravioli. He chewed with an expression of acceptance.
"What does it taste like, Wyatt? Is it chewy or gummy? Does it taste like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or does it taste like play dough? Be a food reviewer and tell me the flavors. If you were going to write about it in a magazine what would you say?" I figured questioning him will make his brain work and settle his body a little.
The ferret running on the wheel in his head sputtered out, "Play dough. But I like it."
"When have you been eating Play dough lately, Wyatt?"
"I haven't. I just remember."
"Mom, I just farted." Wyatt shared with glee. Then he continued, "It smells good!" while he broke out into laughter.
My stone cold, no expression face does nothing to deter him. Where does he get all this from? His little sister is NOTHING like this and I swear I am raising them the same.
Ten minutes and two ravioli later, I excuse my son from the table. I am basically mentally exhausted. Sometimes it can take him 20 minutes to eat five bites of food. I just want to put my head down on the table and sob from time to time.
I think the only logical solution is to buy this:
Yes, the object of last resort. A velcro suit. I can zip him in, attach him to his wall, shove a table in front of him and walk away. Then he can learn to talk himself through dinner every night.
I think it would look lovely in my kitchen too. My kitchen resembles a three ring circus when my son is at dinner so I say . . . "Why not!"
By the way . . . Am I actually complaining that my son said he would ONLY eat his veggies? I just realized this factoid. I guess the world is really upside down right now, isn't it.