by Julia Obst
I’m not one of those moms that make a big deal out of my kid eating, I just want my daughter to eat. ANYTHING. AT ALL. She goes on these non-eating binges where she just eats nothing for weeks at a time. I’ve taken her to the doctor, who continues to tell me that she’s in the 40th percentile for weight and that she’s fine and she’ll eat if she’s hungry. She’s just “small boned”. But her rib bones stick out sometimes and it makes me want to cry. She just doesn’t get hungry. Ever.
She’s almost 5 years old, which makes it almost two thousand-something days of her not being hungry. She’s never once turned to me and said “I’m hungry” or “Could we have hamburgers?” She seems to live entirely on a diet of candy and milk at night. Anyone who doesn’t have kids just thinks, “Hey, don’t worry, she’ll eat when she’s hungry,” but the truth is if she doesn’t eat during the day she becomes totally moody and crazy and then we’re stuck with that screaming kid in the line at the Grove because she just WON’T EAT ANYTHING. So I have begun to make up these crazy lies to get her to eat:
1. Your best friend Ever (who’s in a foreign country right now) is racing you as we speak on who’s going to finish dinner faster… Oh, you better hurry, it’s close! (This works for, like, 3 bites.)
2. Your little sister needs to learn how to eat properly and she can’t do that unless you show her. (This works for zero bites.)
3. If you don’t eat, your bones will get weak and break. (This leads to a longer conversation about what bones are made of and I don’t really know the answer and either way, as long as we’re talking about it she’s not eating, so this doesn’t work.)
4. If you eat shrimp you will become a better swimmer. (Surprisingly effective!)
5. If you eat dinner, we can enter the famous dinner-eating competition that Cinderella is hosting. (I’m starting to think she’s onto me, here…)
It’s tough having kids. And even harder to get them to do things you want them to. I wish Disneyland had a drive thru!