Toddlers are a cliche. At dinner, three bites into pizza:”I’m full. NO more food.” But you’re going to be hungry later. “No more food. FULL.”
You can’t make someone eat. You can try, but it’s not going to work. And his stomach has been iffy lately, so maybe he really is full. Right? Sure.
In the crib, about to leave him, of course, he’s hungry. STARVING! and THIRSTY!
This happens to every parent. I know, because there are freaking memes about it. But seriously, WTF. What is going on in a toddler’s brain? It’s like they’re programmed to be contrary. That’s fine, I can dig that. But seriously eat food. NOW. and go to bed.
Payback is a bitch. When I was little, I was a picky eater, wouldn’t eat anything. Must have driven my parents nuts. I can only now imagine.
I’m trying to figure out the best way around this. I know that if it’s a battle of wills, I’ll eventually win, but will likely teach him my stubbornness. Actually, I’ll likely lose. And teach him that stubbornness. Like I said before, you can’t make someone eat. And children are wily.
But you also can’t just capitulate. We can’t teach him that we’ll just roll over at his every whim. That’s the test these days. He’s trying to exert his will, and using all of his tools. And he’s manipulative. And that’s good. It’s his job. But he can’t win these battles. Just can’t.
That said, it’s not me in his room right now. We’re trying to navigate his general grief about “school” and realization that he’s not going to get everything he wants. Trying to be sensitive to his needs, but also not enable some bullshit. I think the next few weeks or years will be interesting.