After the last few weeks, I completely understand why parents just give up and let their kids do whatever they want. For the split second that I let the fantasy of it cross my mind, it made perfect sense.
It's genius. No more fights!
Then my kid hit me in the head with a green bean and knocked some sense into me.
I'm fortunate to have kids that are not picky eaters. They've got their likes and dislikes, the sum of which takes up most of my brain and is why I often leave the house wearing mismatched flip flops and can't immediately recall how old I am.
I may not be able to string a coherent sentence together but damnit if I do know that my daughter doesn't like zucchini, sweet potatoes, or tomatoes, but she'll eat tomato sauce and ketchup. And my son doesn't like cheese. Unless it's on pizza.
But since they don't have any allergies or sensory issues, I know that I can push them a bit when it comes to trying new things and eating a certain amount of what I put in front of them.
This, along with the fact that I refuse to make more than one dinner for everyone, also means that I have to contend with a fair amount of mealtime battles, particularly from my three-year-old (surprise!), who, other than cheese, inconsistently likes and dislikes everything I put in front of him.
And after wearing out the highly played out "loss of dessert" threats, and all the things that parents do to try to get their kids to eat, you know, "You're not getting anything else to eat for the whole night and you'll eat it cold AND FOR BREAKFAST DAMNIT!" I just rolled up my sleeves and got creative.
So upon refusing the extremely tasty quinoa fried rice that he had soooooo eagerly eaten the night before, I brought out the big guns, or lightsabers actually, with Star Wars, his new obsession.
"Do you remember the part in the movie with Luke is eating with his Aunt and Uncle?" I asked him (which, coincidentally, I have always wondered what in God's name they are eating that requires such huge spoons).
I continued. "Well, it's this. Right here. It's Jedi food. You know, it's how he got his powers."
And before I knew it, the entire bowl was gone.
Last night I served green and white cauliflower, which is something we've eaten before with varying levels of cheers and jeers from the under-4 crowd, and he flipped out.
"I don't like the white ones!" he cried, pushing away his bowl.
"Okay," I said. "But keep in mind, these vegetables are how the Jedis get their speed. See how they're shaped like an arrow?"
I ate one. Then whipped around the kitchen.
He instantly tried them, explaining what power each one gave him.
I played along, pretending to freeze when he pointed at me.
Then I really stepped it up.
"The white ones are what helps the Jedis overpower the Storm Troopers!"
He fought me for them. And then asked for another bowl.
Now if only I can get it work at bedtime.
Unfortunately, he's just not yet concerned about "deactivating the forcefield" everytime he leaves his room.
Maybe he just needs to hear it from Obi Wan Kenobi himself.
Yes, apparently desperation looks like a tall Asian dressed up as Alec Guiness.
I'll let you know if it works.