Friday, June 10, 2011

Lila's eating disorder


I am tired of doing dinner time with my kid. If I have her tell me her belly is full after 3 bites of lettuce one more time I am going to lose it.

I am seriously tired of it.

I am tired of telling her to stop playing and start eating.  I am tired of listening to her cry because I wouldn't make her chicken nuggets or mac and cheese because those are the only two things she is willing to eat.  I am tired of trying to get her to sit still for 5 minutes and eat and I am tired of the whining and crying about it.  I am tired of her telling me she's full and her belly hurts only to have her ask for ice cream or cake or a snack 15 minutes later.  I am tired of explaining OVER AND OVER that if she's got room for ice cream, she has room for carrots (or chicken or mashed potatoes or whatever).

Lila ALWAYS has room for dessert. 

I am tired of not being able to have a conversation with Ben at the table without Lila banging things or throwing something or getting out of her seat 200 times.

Trust me when I say that the whole "fine, go to bed without dinner" thing does not work.  She says that's fine, gets down and plays, and then cries for the next 4 hours because she is hungry. Then she is awake every 2 hours through the night.  The last time she went to school and told her teacher that I wouldn't feed her when she was starving.  I am even less willing to deal with that bullshit.

I refuse to be one of those parents who lets their kids have lax table manners and I truly believe that dinner time is important family time.  My parents say that I behaved at the table when I was her age.  I ate whatever my mother put in front of me (with a few exceptions) and I never expected dessert every night. 

I want to just stop feeding her altogether for a week.  Then see how she does when I say, "let's sit down and eat, shall we?" I bet that she'd be ready to sit and eat then.  

I don't bribe her with desserts.  She always brings it up.  I have stopped telling her "if you eat your dinner" and started saying "we don't have dessert so this is what you have to eat."  She cries EVERY SINGLE TIME.  I give her tiny portions and she still won't eat them.  In fact, I would argue that the less I put on her plate, the less she actually eats.

WHAT THE HELL DID I DO WRONG HERE???  Am I breeding a kid who is a shoe-in for an eating disorder later?  Should I just take her to the shrink now and get that inevitable process started?  And when did mothers start worrying so much about what and how much their kids ate?  I am pretty sure my mother didn't give a shit if I ate or not.


  1. My son pulled the same shit. Drove us crazy. He still tries it sometimes, when he will just LOOK at the food I am cooking and say "I don't think so"

    Sometimes he went to bed hungry, but like you said that doesn't always work. I have given him bread (or toast) and water if he won't eat what I make.

    He's older now and usually eats what I cook. It has helped sometimes(granted, not always) when I got him to "help" me in the cooking process - and I would let him 'taste' some of the food while it was 'cooking' and not yet on the plate.

    We've ignored him when he threw tantrums, sat him in the corner or his room, while we ate. His plate would still be there, getting cold. He would eventually want to eat, and yeah we would heat it up.

    It wasn't always fun or pretty and there were times the hubby just freaking yelled at him (or spanked him when he got a little bit older) for being such a brat.

    He also went through times when he would only eat certain foods, especially when he was 2-4 yrs old. It was annoying, but we eventually filled in other stuff. Chicken nuggets and corn...and then added in mashed potatoes. And then it would be chicken breast or green beans.

    It's no fun, I feel your pain. Ignoring him seemed to work the best for us (but every kid is different, so...) and it was *hard* not caring.

    Wish you luck!!! Keep doing what you're doing and don't change, the message will eventually get thru!

  2. When you figure this one out let me know, there is not one day that goes by that dinner time doesn't almost shove me into a muderous rage.

  3. I think 2 out of 3 of my kids have and eating disorder! My oldest daughter is in middle school and for some reason she isn't hungry at school so she won't eat. Then gets home and is a raging B! My son does almost exactly what lila does. With the differenct being he eats all day long. He is constantly asking for a snack! He was doing the whole i am not hungry 15 min later Mom can i have a snack or dessert. Well we started letting him leave the table and if he was hungry later we set our carrots or broccoli or some not so fun but healthy food and walk away (this way they cannot say you didnt feed them)and if they really are hungry they will eat if not well then your ass isn't hungry!
    By the way i love your blog!

  4. I hear ya on the chicken nuggets & Mac n' Cheese! My oldest son eats more chicken nuggets & Mac n' Cheese than anything else... he'd eat it for breakfast if I let him! I am very pro "meals @ the table" myself and sympathize w/ your frustration. Most days I want to boycott mealtime altogether to avoid another fight! And as far as the snacking goes... I am tempted to put locks on the fridge and cabinet doors!

  5. As soon as my 3 yr old son opens his eyes in the morning, the first words out of his mouth are "I want a snack." The hubby will tell him to go get something out of the snack cabinet which means, candy, chips, marshmellos, ect...I will tell him "Hang on and I'll get you breakfast." To these words he cries, literally. Same cycle all day long. Dinner time is the worst! Hubby will just let him do whatever he wants, will give him dessert even if he doesn't eat. Which leads to lots of fights between us. If hubby isn't home, I tell my son, too bad, eat it or go hungry. Usually works. But most nights hubby is home so dinner time is a huge power struggle! It's safe to say, I feel your pain!

  6. Everything I've ever heard on this subject says that the best way to handle it is to keep serving them the same food for every meal until they finally eat it. So if she won't eat chicken & peas for dinner, they'll be reheated for breakfast the next day. And then lunch, and then dinner the following night.

    Obviously I don't know Lila, so I don't know if it would work with her or not. But I think if it was happening with my son, that's probably the approach I would try.

  7. I know I have said this before, but I'll say it again. DAMN I wish I could say this shit out loud. It's like you are the voice inside my head.

  8. Faery: I am hopeful that it will get better with age and that I am not breeding an emotional problem for later.

    Echo: I was going to say I am lucky that her dad is on the same page but I think HE'S LUCKY because I would slap him for something like that.

    JLK: That reminds me of Mommie Dearest. When Lila gets a little older I will show her that movie as a cautionary tale.

    Jess: that's why I write - to hear that. Thank you.

  9. Thanks for stopping by my blog because it led me to yours. I love it! Newest fan. Sorry you're going through this. Sounds like torture, and I am not looking forward to that stage with mine. My mother says I was a nightmare when it came to eating so I'm sure I'll get my pay backs.

  10. A friend (no really, a friend) of mine's daughter got up and down from the table so much that her mom finally started a rule that if you leave the table your supper gets removed from the table and there will be no desert. She followed through and in only a few days her daughter stopped leaving the table before she was finished.

  11. My parents always put our dinner in the fridge and when we wanted a snack later we had to eat that!
    But, my daughter is only 14 months so I'm not at your stage yet. I'll learn from you!! LOL


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