The evening routine has been making me crazy lately. Alan works late, I feed the kids whatever they want (which is generally one of about three things: bagel, cereal, or toast and butter), and I make myself something healthy(ish). We all three read at the table and zone out. I finish my dinner then nag/bug/remind them to eat, stop reading, shower, etc. The whole thing makes me crazy! After a long time reading at the table I take away their books and they cry because they are still hungry. We fight. It’s awful.
In my perfect world we would all sit down together, eat a hot, healthy meal (that the magic dinner fairy has prepared), and engage in conversation together. In a perfect world.
So, at family meeting on Saturday I brought up the evening routine as a problem. We discussed solutions. Eve proposed not reading at the table, which Lex was very hesitant to agree too. We finally decided on no reading at breakfast or dinner because those are times we have a time-frame and schedule to adhere to (school or bedtime), but reading at snack or lunch was ok. Reading at the table when you’re not eating is fine too, of course. Lex agreed to try for a week. Last night we all ate pizza and garlic bread at the table and had a great conversation. In bed that night Lex told me that he really liked the conversation and it was a very nice dinner. This morning, Sunday, a day we’d usually read the paper at breakfast, Lex decided to eat quickly then read the comics afterwards, all on his own without me reminding him of the new rule. I made french toast, per Eve’s request, and we all sat together and again had a lovely conversation about the day. Lex ate toast and butter, but still joined us for the meal and conversation. No fussing about reading. It was great! Tonight Lex was at Lego League and Alan was at work, so Eve and I prepared a nice meal (lentil soup and fresh bread, again at her request) and set the table with candles and everything. When the boys got home we sat down together for a great meal. Lex had bread and yogurt. I would love to get him eating more variety, but for now I think the meals together again are awesome! I hope it continues without fuss. Maybe after a few weeks we can start working on trying new foods again.
I know this sounds like old news because food has always been an issue in this house, but lately it has really hit me that he is nine and a half years old and doesn’t eat warm food. His diet consists of about five “meals” and none what you would consider a proper meal. We rarely go out to eat because all he’ll eat is the bread and butter, or bagels at Panera Bread, and he can’t eat at friends’ houses or birthday parties. It is really limiting for him and seems to be getting worse, not better. I was hoping he would out-grow the pickiness, or at least gain some curiosity about food as he grew up, but nope, not so far. I’m hoping this can be a first step. At least removing the reading makes him more aware of what he’s eating (makes all of us more aware of what we are eating!) and maybe we can work that into expanding his diet a bit. Wish me luck!