The Rotten Mommy Story

In CategoryNavel Gazing
ByDeb

So Little is being very uncooperative at dinner lately. She just sits there and holds the food in her mouth and if I tell her to chew, she pretends to chew, but is really just rolling the food around in her mouth. And sometimes it almost slips down her throat whole and she starts making these pre-puking gagging faces. Naturally, I find this v. annoying and the other night I told her if she doesn’t get with the program she is getting peanut butter for the rest of her life because I am tired of all these stupid food games. I might have raised my voice a tiny bit at this point. The peanut-butter-for dinner threat has made a huge difference in Big’s dinnertime behavior, so I break it out for the little girl.
 
Big immediately bursts into tears and sobs, “if Little eats one thousand peanut butter sandwiches she will get sick!” and he is practically hysterical; theatrically grabbing his own stomach, with tears and snot streaming down his face, and sputtering bits of virulent yellow macaroni and cheese all over the place. The macaroni and cheese that I held back as a bribe to get them to eat their meatballs. 

And what can I say to this? Obviously I cannot admit that I would not give them pb&j FOREVER and it is just an empty threat, because then I lose all power. Power on which I have only the most tenuous of grasps anyway. So I am walking this parenting tightrope, threatening one child with consequences whilst simultaneously reassuring the other that I would never do those things….and who is smirking at me across the table, but my very own husband who apparently finds all this hilarious.
 
And then I can’t take it anymore and I give him a Meaningful Look and leave. And who is smirking now? Because now HE is in charge and he has taken up the threatening and cajoling, and if the shrieks of injustice are to be believed, he has actually thrown Little’s dinner in the trash and made a big point of putting the Golden Mac-o-Cheese of Desire in the fridge without giving any to her.