children, mommyhood

My Winning Strategy

Since T.Puzzle has turned three, I’ve been holding my breath for the dissipation of his terrible twos. Most Moms you talk to tell you the threes are worse but that has not been my experience. Like a fine wine (you know I had to use a wine reference) T.Puzzle’s older brother has gotten better with time. I’ve seen the same phenomenon with him. It’s groundbreaking and exciting.

However, and you know in the land of my boys there is always a ‘however’, he still likes to sass me, say ‘no!’ to just about everything, test his behavioral boundaries and throw raging (although less frequently) tantrums.

I went upstairs to inform the boys that dinner was ready. They were watching T.Puzzle’s  current favorite Thomas the Train movie, ‘Hero of the Railways’. They had not had a snack and T.Puzzle had taken a lengthy nap (hallelujah!) so I suspected they were famished.

Full Speed is game and he darts downstairs. T.Puzzle, well, he’s a different story.

“I not hungry! I not eat!” he proclaims.

I shut off the movie and tell him it’s now or never.

“I not eat! I not eat! I won’t go!” he cries. By this time angry tears are spewing from his eyeballs and he has dropped into the wet noodle formation. All caregivers are familiar with the wet noodle defense. His thirty-four pound body is now lying in a floppy heap on the floor. I have to clean and press him (I made sure to use my knees to protect my lower back) but I manage to get him off the floor and carry him all the way to the kitchen table.

He sits there in a huff. Everything Mad Dog and I offer him is, ‘I not want that. I not like that. I NOT EAT!’

Yeah, it’s getting really pleasant and fun. I’m just about to drop the hammer and send him to the corner when he picks up a piece of chicken and tentatively puts it in his mouth and begins to chew. Before you know it, he is putting the food from his plate in his mouth so quickly he looks like a robotic conveyor belt. He’s eating everything in sight. Before Mad Dog and I can even sit down to eat our own meals he’s asking for ‘MORE! MORE!’

I have always known that a good rule of thumb when raising energetic, active boys is to keep them well fed at regular intervals throughout the day. If this fails me and believe me it has, my other rule of thumb is to drink wine at regular intervals throughout the day. Either way I’m a winner.

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