Wednesday, May 21, 2008

What a way to end the day

Every night we go through the same routine. It’s a terrible routine and I wish we could stop it, but we just don’t know how. It starts out when we put dinner on the table, that’s when Sophia starts. Pretty much right after she gets in her booster seat, she starts yelling. “Done. Done,” she says as she’s standing up on her chair. Things just escalate from there. The yelling turns to screaming, all the while, Ryan is quietly eating.

Dinner has become a two parent job, one to take care of the “Sophia situation” and the other to feed the baby. Neither Jon nor I actually get to eat anything and we don’t have any idea how to stop it because we would really like to have a nice family dinner.

We’ve tried putting her in Time Out to calm her down (she calms down until we put her back at the table). We’ve tried to let her eat whatever she wants (her dinner becomes a huge buffet of things that never make it in her mouth). We’ve tried just letting her not eat (but how long can a mother not feed her baby? Not long). We’ve tried yelling at her, negotiating with her and pleading with her. We’ve even tried taking her out of the booster seat and letting her sit in a “big girl chair.” Nothing seems to work. She just will not eat at the table. That is until after dinner when, in a desperate attempt to put some kind of food in her little belly, we give her something that she can eat in the living room.

Now this doesn’t happen every single night. We probably have one, maybe two nights a week when she will quietly sit and eat whatever’s in front of her. But those days are few and hard to come by.

I know toddlers are picky, but I’m really concerned that she almost never eats dinner (or breakfast or any meal that we try to put her at the table to eat) and that she’s throwing an almost daily temper tantrum that we, clearly, cannot control. I also know that we are, somehow, creating the situation, but I'm not sure what it is we're doing or what to do to stop creating it. I’m worried that we are creating a family doomed to be on “Supernanny.”


Anonymous said...

How about putting her little table in the kitchen with you and letting her sit there? Maybe even her own tea set dishes? Let her help with the cooking or setting the table too. You probably have already tried that, but maybe if she was more involved with the whole thing, she would be more interested in eating. Just a thought.

Alice said...

I wouldn't worry too much about the eating thing. She'll eat when she's hungry. Really. They all seem to go through phases with food.

Anonymous said...

I agree with both previous comments. Just try to relax about it cause you both need your sanity. I know you can't compare children, but I've noticed that a nap can do wonders. If she has been at daycare all day & hasn't had a nap in a few hours, dinner time might be her crabby time. Maybe try to lay her down when she comes home from school, before dinner. Even if it is just quiet time. Goodluck! Tammy