Somewhere along the lines, someone far smarter than I once told me that children will make liars out of you. No sooner have you said breezily “Oh, Alex now says ‘Light’” when he will suddenly decide that being mute is far better than actually expending energy TALKING.
One of the biggest battles I’ve had in my parenting experiences thus far (to be replaced, I’m certain, with arguments over who did not fill up the gas tank AGAIN–likely answer: me. I hate getting gas) has been that of Food. Fought, primarily, with my eldest.
Ben was born with a number of intense sensory issues, most of which I will not bother regaling you with, lest your head explode, but food was numero uno on his own personal Shit List. As such, as a toddler he ate such a lack of variety that I frequently wondered if I’d birthed an android or robot.
During that point in our lives, we lived with my parents, who assumed much of the childcare responsibilities while I completed my nursing degree. My mother’s solution to Ben’s refusal to eat was to pump him full of Juice.
So, we had a vicious cycle: he wouldn’t eat because he disliked food, but he was so full of carby goodness that he wasn’t hungry so he wouldn’t eat.
It displeased me.
And displeased my mother even more intensely when I informed her that Ben did not require 14 gallons of Juice each day to live.
To her, this was akin to child abuse! How could I deny my son Juice? Juice is healthy AND delicious (I personally, hate juice) and it was calories! And he liked it! I was a Bad Mother for trying to deny him the sweet nectar of the Gods!
I nixed Juice for the next couple of years completely, and have only recently begun to allow the succulent flavor to cross his delicate palate again because he will eat! real! food! now!
Likewise, pop (or soda, whatever you prefer to call it) is staunchly guarded in our home, only to make an appearance on special occasions or when we go out to eat. Unless my kids are sick, in which I assume that any fluids (save from blood or pee) are better than none, and I allow them to drink the carbonated goodness whenever they want.
During this last bout of misery (of which Alex is still suffering), I introduced my youngest to a little drink we call Sprite here in Chicago, and I’ve never seen someone more willing to drink massive amounts of liquid in my life. And who can blame him? I’ve frequently hoped and prayed that someone come along and serve ME a bottle filled with The Uncola, but alas, my dreams have not come to fruitation just yet.
Except that this Plague has gone on for longer than even I expected (having been sick myself for nearly a week) and Alex has become hopelessly infatuated with his new favorite drink. So great is his love for it, that if I dare try to substitute it for mere water, he throws a massive fit (to his credit, he is still both sick AND insufferable), I mean it LOOKS like Sprite, but it doesn’t TASTE like Sprite! THE INJUSTICE!
So here I sit, knowing in my heart of hearts that it is only I who created this particular monster, eating my own words.
And they don’t even taste good.