Strong-Willed

Remember The Girl Who Couldn’t Eat Good?

If you enjoyed that post, you will enjoy this one too because she is back!

We had another food battle with Kesa the other day. She absolutely refused to eat the soup that I made. She kept saying “I DON’T LIKE SOUP!” over and over, making it very clear that she was in no way going to eat the soup. Craig and I were ready to rip our hair out, but did not want to give in to making her a special supper even though it is what we usually do to avoid such battles and eat in peace.

Kesa only likes a few different foods, tofu dogs, potatoes (not mashed), raw peppers, raw baby carrots and raw cauliflower (only with Catalina dressing), peanuts, almonds, pecans, cashews, cranberries, apples, pancakes, most of my baked cookies and muffins, fruit popsicles and banana ice cream. She would be happy to eat potatoes and tofu dogs with sliced peppers for lunch and supper everyday, but I want her to have a more balanced diet and try new things. She won’t even eat peanut butter sandwiches or bread anymore. She is stubborn as anything and will never lose a food battle with me. Still, it is my dream that we will all eat the same meal together in peace someday.

So, we told her that she could not have anything else and not go and play until she ate the soup. I told her that she had to at least try the soup before she could say that she didn’t like it. I even meticulously picked out all of the ‘green things’, tomatoes and onions for her and left only carrots and cauliflower with some of the broth. I even offered to sit her in Serafina’s high chair and feed it to her if she would give it a try.

Everyone ate while she whined and whined. I cleaned up the dishes and swept the floor and she continued to whine. Craig took Autumn and Serafina upstairs to watch a movie, inviting her to come when she finished and she still refused to eat the soup, all the while crying “I DON’T LIKE SOUP!!” Over half an hour had past since the start of supper and she still just sat at the table with her soup bowl pushed a foot away from her. I finished up the kitchen clean up and went to do yoga in the living room, leaving her with her soup. She stayed at the table, quietly continuing to whine because she knew that I could hear her even though my back was facing her.

After about 50 minutes more of sitting at the table, I saw this.

She had fallen asleep at the table!

She never did eat the soup. Not even one taste. She won yet again.

I just can’t torture her like that and neither can Craig. In fact it is torture for us all. Autumn went to eat in the living room because she couldn’t stand it any longer. At least I know that anything else she eats in this house is healthy, even if it is just a muffin that I made or a bowl of almonds and cranberries. Even if it is tofu dogs and potatoes with sliced peppers and catalina dressing. Someday she will have to try something new.

She sure is strong-willed! Craig and I had to laugh at each other. He said “At least she would hold up very well under pressure.”

And right now I am thinking that as frustrating as these moments are, they are the ones that we will remember and actually probably miss one day. The times we will smile or laugh about as we think back on when they were young. Plus, the fact that she drives me absolutely CRAZY gives me many opportunities to practice being more kind, patient and loving.

I am a near saint by now! 🙂

7 thoughts on “Strong-Willed

  1. Ivy gets like this too, just refuses to eat, even her favourite things. I used to stress over it, we would beg, plead, threaten everything to get her to eat. Nothing worked, we were all miserable, meal time was a dreaded time. So one day I just gave up, I won’t make her a new meal, but if she doesn’t eat what she is served, she doesn’t eat! Actually something you said on your blog once helped me too. Ivy snacks on healthy things all day, like fruits and seeds and crackers,(you said something like at least you know your kids munch on good things throughout the day or something like that) so I know that she is getting nutrients, maybe just not at the time I am structuring her too. After giving it up, meal time is much nicer. She sits with us for a bit, bites one piece of food then asks to go play. One day we will have long, nice family dinners, but not now and I am ok with it! Letting go has helped me sooo much 🙂 good luck

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    • Kesa is like that too, she doesn’t really ever eat anything big, but just likes to snack on nuts and apples and crackers and vegetables throughout the day. She eats consistently and I am thinking that that is not a bad thing actually. She probably is the healthiest one because she really is just listening to her body and eating when she is hungry and stopping when she has had enough. I don’t usually like to force my kids to eat everything on their plate either because I think that we should encourage them to trust their own hunger/fullness cues. If it really is that they just don’t like a food, then I just offer them something different that is still a healthy choice. I know that they eat better than most kids and so much better than I ever did when I was a little girl. I think that they are getting a pretty healthy start in life.

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    • I was reading up on strong-willed children and saw that it can be such a good thing really for when they are older and are determined and know what they want. It’s funny that I have three very different kids. Autumn is the perfectionist, afraid to ever fail at anything. She is also the girly girl who likes to dress up and dance and be pretty. Kesa is the strong-willed, stubborn one who never wants to get dressed or even brush her hair. And Serafina is the super clingy whiny one, VERY attached to momma. I can hardly get anything done with her crawling around all the time saying momma momma momma and grabbing at my legs. Usually when I am at the computer typing I am nursing her at the same time and typing with one hand. It is ridiculous! I never had such an attached child, but I will have so many memories of these girls to look back on and so many stories to tell them about when they were young.

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  2. I have a strong willed kiddo too. She’s 11 now and still going strong. lol Her arch enemy was always sleep. I used to tell people this and they didn’t believe me. She would fight sleep and not give in and it was the funniest thing to watch but yes “Hair Pulling” comes to mind. One day, at age 3, I saw something in her eye. It would not come out but wasn’t bothering her at all. I took her to the DR and I had to hold her down with another nurse while the DR tried to flush the tiny object off the white of her eye. Didn’t work so we were sent to an eye DR. We tried all things to get her into the DR chair so he could use tweezers to take the object out. Umm I don’t know many grown ups that would sit threw that. She wouldn’t go near that DR chair. Even after M&M bribes she said “How’s about you give me the M&M’s instead and I walk right out the front door.” Exact words. We went to the ER next morning & the DR said he’d give her a shot “to put her in a sleep state”. I immediately knew that wouldn’t work on my strong willed kid. I didn’t tell him that though because it was a drug for goodness sake. I learned to never second guess myself when it comes to my own kiddo because 20 minutes later after the 1st shot she was still up and about. The DR was baffled. So another shot. Now she’s seeing trails and becoming even more active. The DR even more baffled is forced to put her out completely with an IV but it took 3 nurses to hold her down. I was medically validated that yes I certainly do have a Strong Willed child. 🙂 It’s tough parenting but I do believe it will serve her well as a teenager and adult.

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