Another battle of wills

For the second time this week, The Boy has refused the food set before him at the dinner table.

The first was Tuesday night, when I put all the makings of beef stew in the crock pot and let it cook during the day. He looked at it on the table, and, before even agreeing to take a single bite, announced that he doesn’t like beef stew and “the wet part at the bottom is what’s disgusting.”

He very nearly went to bed without any dinner. In fact, Cute Husband even helped him change into pajamas and climb into bed without eating. After a few minutes alone in his room, The Boy finally relented and agreed to taste the protein of the beef stew.

He ultimately ate a couple chunks of potato and two or three bites of beef, filling his belly primarily with bread and orange juice.

Tonight, when we came home, he announced that the food smelled good; that it smelled like hamburger. But when Cute Husband presented him with his plate (cubed steak with mixed veggies), The Boy protested once again. (I wisely stayed away, keeping to myself in the living room.)

“It’s disgusting!” The Boy insisted (again, without even tasting it).

“It’s not disgusting,” Cute Husband said. “It’s the same as hamburger. You even said it smelled like hamburger. And if I put this in a hamburger bun, it would be just like having a hamburger!”

“That’s why I don’t want to eat it,” The Boy whined. “I want it in the bread.”

“Well, you ate all the bread when you refused to eat the stew.”

There were a few minutes of silence while, I later found out, The Boy sat sullenly and glared at Cute Husband.

Cute Husband: Why won’t you eat? It’s good food.

The Boy: It’s disgusting.

Cute Husband: It’s not disgusting. Would I eat it if it was disgusting?

The Boy: It is disgusting! You gave me all the disgusting parts!

Cute Husband: So you think I kept the good parts and gave you the disgusting parts?

The Boy: Yeah. That’s what I’m saying.

Cute Husband: (slowly) Okay, then here. I’ll give you these two bites off my plate. If I gave you the disgusting parts and kept the good parts for myself, then you eat those two bites.

This was clearly a battle of wills. After about 20 minutes of what appeared to be a draw, Cute Husband called to me.

“Are you ready to take a shower?” he asked.

“Yes,” I replied. “Just wrap up his food. He can have it for breakfast tomorrow.”

“No!” The Boy screamed, now crying. “I don’t want this for breakfast! I want a different breakfast!”

“That is good food,” I said sternly. “If you won’t eat it now, you can eat it for breakfast tomorrow.”

“I don’t want this! I want a different breakfast!”

Yes, I actually pulled a Mommy Dearest card a la Joan Crawford. But honestly, it was the best idea I could think of. This was just ridiculous.

Ultimately, as Cute Husband began to clear the table, The Boy decided to eat the food on the plate before him. And he ended up eating most of the cubed steak as well as a good portion of his vegetables.

But by now Cute Husband’s and my nerves were raw. The Boy lost the privilege of watching a TV show before bed, and this angered him so much that he refused to read with Daddy and went straight to sleep (at 7pm) without even waiting for me to sing his lullaby.

Well, he sure showed us.


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