Simon must think that he’s been abandoned by his real parents and left, like Coraline, with creepy impostors. I say this because not only is he required to put away his clothes, toys, and books before he is allowed to watch Charlie and Lola, or have a special treat, or play a game, he is also required to eat his dinner. All of it. Preferably with his own hand guiding the spoon/fork. And he cannot leave the table until he is done.
This dinner thing has been more than a little painful for all of us. Last night it took him nearly an hour to eat less than 10 bites of food that he readily admitted was full of things he liked. Tonight, heaven help us, it took over an hour and several fits of tears before I finally broke down and fed his dinner to him. I do not know why he couldn’t do it himself. He just wouldn’t. I caved not because I couldn’t stand to hear him cry, but because I didn’t want him to wake up at 3:00 in the morning to set the table for breakfast because he was so hungry. (Yes, he’s done that before.) And also, he has school tomorrow and I didn’t want him to be both tired and hungry because tired+hungry=crankycrankycranky.
I assume we’ve brought this on ourselves by not being as consistent with chores as we should be. And by not being as strict with our dining policies as we could be. But it is what it is, and we figure now is as good a time to start as any. Perhaps we just feel like we’re ready to fight this battle right now, and perhaps it is just dawning on us that he’s perfectly capable of pulling his weight around here and that includes learning to eat what he’s served. Anybody else dealing with this? How do you get your kid to feed himself? Please tell me there is a magic bullet . . . or maybe that it is like weaning from the pacifier: he cries a lot the first few naps without it, then doesn’t ever mention it again.