At what point do you just give up? As a parent you fight the important battles, and then you fight them again, and then you check your hit points and realize that you either have to retreat or die. And sometimes you stand on that hill and you die on it. And sometimes you hand your kid a bag of meat and send them out into the world knowing that you did your best, and it’s up to them now.
Every child is different, and every issue is filtered differently through different kids. Some things I will never get my daughter to do, and yet my son has no problems with them. And then there are things, such as eating, that my daughter will (almost) never complain about. But try to get my son to eat something. No, go ahead, try it. Please. If you can get him to do it, that would be amazing. He’s 8. And he will. not. eat. Unless he feels like it on that particular day of course.
We’ve been dealing with this for years. When he was much younger it was (almost) easier, because we had (in our minds) more control over the boy. But now he is at school, and so we pack a lunchbox full of his favorite things, and he brings it back home and throws those things away at the end of the day. And so what do we do? Because this isn’t food he hates. This is his favorite. food.
It started with the crusts. After years of eating crusts, one day (and I blame the schools for this) he just came home and decided he hated crusts. So his PB&J would come home half eaten. And then PB&J went out of fashion and the sandwiches would come home smooshed and completely uneaten. Okay, fine, how about processed meat? Who doesn’t love processed meat?! Bologna! Salami! Delicious sandwich! Crusts cut off! And it worked for a time, but eventually he would eat only the chips. So I took out the chips. No more chips. And he ate maybe a grape, or part of a yogurt. And maybe (MAYYYYYYBE) if I was lucky, the sandwich would have a bite taken out of it.
We evolve. We learn new skills and abilities. We start putting in cheese and meat separately, alongside some crackers. A sandwich deconstructed. And it worked for a time. A short time. But then the crackers started coming home. And then the cheese. And so I finally raised the white flag. If he wants a bag of meat for lunch, then a bag of meat is what he’s going to get. Have a good day at school! I love you! Enjoy your bag of meat!
And he eats it.
And it works.