Thursday, January 12, 2006

another pre-parenting thought

I was just reading finslippy's blog and it was all about what a picky eater her son Henry was.

Big Disclaimer: I am not yet a parent!! (I can see all the parents out there, shaking their heads, laughing knowingly, evilly-- she has no idea what's coming! She has all these big ideas and they're going to go down the tube! MWAHAHAHA... Hmm... or maybe people are much more supportive than that... I can always hope. Anyway!!)

Living here in Berkeley, I don't know what I'll do if I have a picky eater kid. I mean, when they're old enough to tell me that they're being picky. This would definitely have to be It, The End. Because (and we are grateful) there are a lot of choices available in markets. And as a last resort, there are lots of delicious restaurants trying to outdo each other in quality and originality and presentation and wine pairing. Not that the kid will be wine pairing. (This is a joke. We could not afford to take the kid out to restaurants every night- unless the kid turns out to be so damn cute that we get offered free meals as we pass. Hey, this a blog, with silly daydreams, not a fact-filled textbook.) But come on- if the kid can't find *something* to eat around here, the kid is not eating.

Wait a minute. That's not a bad idea. I just can't see myself doing that power struggle thing every. single. night. I'm pretty patient, but my slightly embaressing revelation is that I can totally see myself trying this out: "Eat what's in front of you, kid!" Obviously, this is reserved for when the kid is old enough to converse. (I *can* see the following (scary) toddler scenario, which is what so many other parents on finslippy bemoaned--parent: "Eat it! Please eat it! I'm begging you, eat it! I'm threatening you, eat it!" kid: (lips tightly shut, looking smug) "Mm! Mm!" (Not as in "yummy" but as in "NO NO, with every ounce of my small being, woman, I say NO!"))

Ack, what to *do*?

There were 275 comments after her post about Henry's pickiness, all mentioning their kids' rules about what they will and will not eat, and making their kids separate dinners depending on what each wants. I am also worried about their descriptions of commercials on tv which make their kids beg for the product(toys, processed "food" products, etc.).

I swear, unless they pop out of my womb with an advanced degree in nutrition clutched in their tiny fists, they are not making the rules about what is eaten in our household, and I am not making separate meals for them. (3,487th disclaimer: I mean when they're past babyfood.) I know this is where the parents reading this roll their eyes, but I'm hoping someone will write to say "We made rules and they worked! Sometimes we made rules and had to rewrite the rules! It's all good; we now have an articulate, compassionate and well-fed child."

We're anticipating/hoping that not having tv really cuts down on the whining and begging for *things.* Obviously there may be whining based on what they know their friends own, but D and I are pretty impervious to that. We don't want to negotiate on certain things with our future kids. We want to just decide what's necessary, what's fun and ok to have, and what's superfluous. And then stick with that.

Man, reading this over... D and I are very friendly people, but ours is definitely going to be a rules-based household! If you met us, you might not think that since we're pretty easygoing (so we're told!). Ah, it's all different in parenting-land.