Go-Go earned the nickname “Mr Picky” during a now-epic battle over peas.
He wasn’t quite two. And the battle left no doubt in my mind that he was the strongER willed of my two strong-willed boys.
You read that right – I am the proud momma of TWO strong willed boys. They are 16 months apart. And I love them. I’m a proud surviver of the “two under two” club.
Even now, it’s hard to explain.
It was 5pm. It was dinner time. I had two toddlers. I was burned out from cooking an endless stream of chicken nuggets, macaroni and cheese, cheesy eggs, and spaghetti. I couldn’t look at the jar of peanut butter without getting twitchy.
So I served a well rounded dinner.
Meatballs, blueberries, peas, grapes, and brussel sprouts.
I’ll wait while you make a mental picture.
Yep. All round stuff.
It was a total accident. In honesty, it was one of those “clean out the fridge” meals and I grabbed a bag of meatballs from the freezer as a last desperate act.
I struggled to keep the food from rolling off the plates as I carried to the table. That should have been my first clue.
The reactions of my two boys were — strong.
Watty: Fruit! Fruit! Yummy!
He ate the blueberries and the grapes. He stole most of the blueberries and grapes off his brother’s plate when I got up to get the milk. I had to prompt him to eat the meatballs. He ate one, and then said he was done.
He licked the brussels sprout but declined to eat it.
He ate one pea. He said it was OK, but that he was full.
Mr Picky watched his brother test each food. He ate all of his meatballs and stole the rest off his brother’s plate while I was cleaning up the spilled milk.
Go-Go: Yuck! I don’t like round food.
Me: Well, you need to pick one other thing and taste it. There’s one grape, one blueberry, some peas, and some brussels sprouts.
He offered his brother the last grape and blueberry.
He said the brussels sprouts were going to make him “barf”
(where my 2 year old learn that kind of language is beyond me.)
That left the peas.
Go-Go had a prior pea history.
But like a fool, I decided it was time to put my foot down.
Me: Go-Go, you are not leaving the kitchen until you eat one bite of the peas.
Let’s get ready to rumble!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
5:35: I made the airplane move. I tried to fly a pea into the “hanger.” The hanger decided to hide under the table.
5:40: I offered to drown the pea in a tablespoon of ranch dressing (the ambrosia of the toddler set). The ranch dressing was licked from the spoon everywhere EXCEPT where the pea was. The pea remained uneaten.
5:45: I deftly rearranged things so that Watty could watch cartoons but Go-Go could not. Go-Go proclaims proudly that he no longer likes Dora.
5:50: I call my husband for backup.
5:55: I gently suggest that Go-Go sniff the pea. He does. He runs to the bathroom to make fake barfing noises.
6:00: The hanger hides under the table again.
6:05: I ask him to hold the pea in his hand. He falls out of his booster seat in protest.
6:10: I call my mom and ask her to assist. On speakerphone, she asks Go-Go to eat a pea for her. He pushes the phone away in protest.
6:15: NOOOOOOOOOOOO! I hate round food. I hate green food.
6:16: My husband arrives home. He asks about the yelling.
6:20: Go-Go returns to the table. He is crying. Watty is hiding.
6:25: The hanger is once again hiding under the table.
6:30: Tears (mine). I am begging. I offer a bribe of chocolate pudding.
6:35: I open the chocolate pudding and waive it under his nose. NOOOOOOOOO.
6:40: I eat a bite of the pudding. The pea remains uneaten.
6:45: Mommy, I hate you.
6:50: Tears (his). He wants the pudding.
7:00: Go-Go passes out, exhausted. He literally falls asleep sitting up.
We put him to bed. I am exhausted. I ate the rest of the open pudding thing.
Go-Go woke up the next morning all smiles.
Mommy, did I eat the pea?
me: No. You fell asleep, remember.
(you have got to be kidding me. please! no!)
It’s 7:30 in the morning. I haven’t even had my coffee yet. I’m still exhausted from an epic 2 hour battle over the stupid freaking pea the night before. And now, my parenting mo-jo is in serious jeopardy. My authority has been challenged by a 2 year old tyrant.
I took Mr Picky and Watty downstairs. I handed Watty (age 3) a box of cereal and parked him in front of the television.
I parked Go-Go in the booster chair.
I served him a bowl of peas.
I still can’t believe I did this. But I wasn’t thinking clearly and I couldn’t think of any other options.
7:45: NOOOOOOO! No Round! No Green! No Peas!
7:50: No airplane! No. no. no. no.
7:55: The peas impersonated an airplane. It was genuinely an accident.
8:00: I give myself a timeout. Go-Go is hungry, but defiant. I send him to watch Dora while I think.
8:30: I have an idea. The Dora-thon continues.
9:00: Go-Go resumes his position in the booster seat. He is hungry. The peas are still there. He is NOT a happy toddler.
9:05 to 10:00: Repeat of last night. Really, not impressed with myself.
10:05: I bring out the chocolate pudding. It’s in a bowl.
10:10: Go-Go eats the pudding while staring at the peas.
Me: Go-Go, did you like the pudding?
Me: I put peas in it.
Him: I don’t care.
Him: Can I go now?
And with that, he scampered off.
It was a hollow victory.
After over FIVE HOURS of stubborn defiance from my Toddler, I resorted to trickery to end the stale mate.
Pick your battles took on a whole new meaning for me that day.
(there are other chapters to the pea story… he STILL hasn’t willingly eaten a pea.)
So what do you think? Will he EVER eat peas? What would you have done?