Here's how my lunchtime went yesterday...
"Sydney, you want grilled cheese today?"
"Sure, Mom!" enthusiastically.
"What about you, Colin?"
In a totally sour tone, "No, Mama."
"What's up, Colin?"
Then, for no apparent reason, Colin decides now would be a great time to throw a torrential fit on the grandest of scales.
So I thought, "Self, let's make these grilled cheese special...let's make house sandwiches." Surely that would make everything all better...it's worked in the past! I smiled and mentally patted myself on the back with pride, and thought, "I'm such a good mom, everything will be better in an instant."
And in the beginning, things were off to a great start! Sydney totally got into it, she was thrilled! "We haven't had those in sooooo long, Mom! Can I help you cut the bread?"
He used to eat everything. But then one night someone flipped a switch, and now he doesn't like it if it's slippery, if it's too hot (even when it's already cooled off,) he won't touch any food that is black (except Oreos.) Truthfully, he doesn't like a lot of anything right now.
The standard response at dinner time has become, "I don't wike it, Mama."
"But You haven't even tried it, Colin."
Oh, and you better not make his toast too brown because that will set him off too. If I serve him French cut green beans he freaks, but yet he gobbles up the "normal" ones..
In fact, the word "normal" is one of his favorites right now.
"I just want "normal" water, Mama." (meaning no ice.)
"I just want "normal" cereal." (meaning no milk.)
"I just want "normal"shoes." (meaning sneakers not sandals.)
and so on and so forth.
So his fit continues...kicking the floor, dramatic screams, pounding fists...a total classic. While Sydney sits at the table in 7th heaven with her grilled cheese house. She even made some adjustments and added a big "picture window" to her sandwich. She was being so sweet!
Colin would perk up his head every now and then as I snapped a few pictures, and chatted with Sydney. Slowly he started to come to the table.
But Sydney said, "Look, Mom, he's coming."
Isn't that a sweet picture...almost erases the memories of the fit he was throwing in the living room...
Sigh of relief swept over me. But it didn't last long...my kids flip flopped on me as I glanced at the clock...
Oh shoot, it's time to get Sydney out the door to preschool!
"Sydney, go get your shoes, sweetie."
"No, you get them, Mom."
"No, Sydney, you are old enough to do this yourself, they are up in your closet."
This went back and forth with the same responses between the two of us four or ten times....then....
"Fine, I'm not going to preschool!"
This was a totally absurd comment coming from her because she LOOOOOOVES preschool. She only said it because she wanted an upper hand in the power struggle about the shoes. And boy howdy, she stuck to her guns! I tell you what, she is one smart cookie, because her refusal to go, really got to me.
After much reasoning, then frustration, then bribes, then retracted bribes, then saying that I would send Colin in her stead, then starting up the car without her, then faking that I forgot something and running back into the house right in front of her to get it...she still would not get into the van. So I carried her out to the car kicking and screaming (without her shoes on of course.)
We pulled up to the school and she refused to get out. I tried coaxing her out, then being firm with her, encouraging her to stop crying because her friends would see, pleading, and begging to no avail. So I finally resorted to carrying her up to the school and handing her off to one of the preschool teachers. Sure, it looked mean doing this, but both the teacher and I agreed that if we let her stay home for throwing a fit, that it might create a pattern. Preschool is expensive and I want to make sure that I get my money's worth...I think I got it yesterday.
So back into the minivan I went wiping the sweat from my brow wondering what I was going to fix myself for lunch...because I'm sick of grilled cheese. The house sandwiches didn't work on me...now I sound as picky as my kids.
So here's the reality of house sandwiches...
they may make your kids smile and be cute and cooperative, or may make things worse because today they wanted their sandwich cut into rectangles. You will never know unless you try it...go on...see what happens! You might find that everything is just "normal" after their first bite. And "normal" is good most of the time.
I totally love my kids...despite fits and power struggles...and it's a darn good thing that we have good moments in between the tough ones. So I'm posting my happiest memory from this week, Colin's birthday party...I think I actually captured all my kids smiling! That's because I chose not to show the picture of them scrambling for pinata candy.