“The only kind of chicken I like is fish sticks!”
Yeah, you read that right. And yeah, I typed it right. It sounds like a lead-in to a South Park joke about Kanye West, but no such luck. That was said through tears at the dinner table about a week ago when my husband and I laid down the law about new food rules.
The first rule of fish sticks is that we don’t talk about fish sticks.
The day I’ve been dreading has finally arrived. Our just-turned-4-year-old passed the almost-8-year-old in weight. Lexi has always been small for her age (born early at 5.4 lbs), but this has gotten out of control.
The list of foods the girls would eat had gotten smaller and smaller. I was of the mind that since Lexi was so tiny and steadily getting skinnier, I just wanted her to eat. A la Louis C.K., she was on the grid. This led to me pandering to her at every meal simply to get some calories in her one way or the other. Seriously, like mac and cheese or Nutella all the time.
Whether a phase due to age or an attempt to emulate her big sister, Audri had dug in her heels as well. Dinner was a hot damn mess, an ordeal that I actively dreaded. There would be whining, there would be tears, there would be hunger strikes, there would be blood. Ok, not really blood but it was a close call some nights.
Watching Lexi hitch up her sagging leggings was the very last straw. It hurt my mommy heart to see my baby girl’s bones jutting out in every direction. Her pediatrician wasn’t officially worried yet, but I was. Enough. Enough enough enough.
William and I told the girls that things were changing. From now on, I would not be making separate food for everyone. We would not listen to whining at every godforsaken meal. You eat what you get. Tears or no, the food on your plate was what you got. No more snacks in between meals, no more begging for dessert after friggin breakfast, no more bellies full of juice and chocolate milk, leaving no room for actual food.
Lexi has officially gained a pound. Audri has only cried at the table over food twice. William eats whatever I put in front of him so no problems there.
And I’m holding my breath.