Monday, 15 June 2009

My Son is a Compost Heap

Justification, and an open and honest approach to it, does not always seem to be prevalent amongst many of my parenting peers.

Economy with the truth seems especially appropriate when it comes to diet, and what the smaller scurrying amongst us consume.

I was already familiar with the carrots providing excellent vision phenomenon, and that greens help the vertically challenged, more than any other food source.

But as I am a terribly liar, I have not really used those methods with much gusto.

My food philosophy was absolutely no food of wonderment, yet nutritional doubtful crap, like chocolate, sweets, ice cream, biscuits, crisps, until 12 months of age. And then their introduction was very much sparingly at first, and I have always maintain an ‘as-long-as-you’ve-eaten-what-I’ve-asked’ policy.

So if the stuff I judge to be well balanced is consumed, then – within reason – treats are allowed.

When questioned my justification was, at first, ‘well, I provide the food, thus the rules kid.’

That was also the truth, which is with what I am most comfortable, usually.

As my son has matured, and his understanding has grown, thus his questions elongated, I have stuck with ‘this diet gives you the energy you need, a process that shall remain unhindered by chocolate buttons, they may accompany it, but not hinder son.’

Or a shorter, more toddler friendly, variation on that theme.

At present I would not say my boy’s diet was wonderful, or something I am particularly proud of. But he is eating from a group of foods that I am comfortable with, while also enjoying the freedom of indulgence edibles around a satisfactory level of consumption of the aforementioned.

But he is always pushing the limits, asking the questions, and still able to demonstrate reluctance to continued acceptance of this protocol.

So my imagination is stretched to provide further justification for my methods, or to put it in ways that are easily understandable for a little one, without having to revert to the ‘because I said so’ fail-safe.

The results of which are never pretty.

This morning I reverted to an analogy.

He had eaten a piece of melon for breakfast, he wanted to follow that with a cake when we arrived at the grandparents’ this morning.

‘It’s too early for cake.’ Was not washing, and we were headed for teary stand off, so, perhaps inspired by the ecological aware amongst us, my analogy, and compromise took a smelly twist.

“See you are like a compost heap son. And like a compost heap you need a great mix of things in order to be much use to anything, or anybody, else.”

“What dad? I’m not a compost heap.” He chortled.

“Exactly, but you’re not having a cake until you’ve had some more fruit, and a piece of toast.”

His confusion, perhaps, yielding the agreement I was after.

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20 comments:

Crystal Jigsaw said...

It's not easy these days to get your kids to eat what you want them to eat, esp with all the junk adverts on telly and fast food shops everywhere.

You seem to be doing a fine job.

CJ xx

Mrs OMG Pregnant said...

LOL ... I like your style, confuse them in to submission!!!

Xbox4NappyRash said...

I wish someone had taken that approach with me.

I might not be a walking stroke now.

Surprised and Excited Mum said...

When I'm tempted to eat Isobel's leftovers I remind MYSELF that I am not the compost bin. Yep, soemtimes I look inside our kitchen one just to make sure.

Will bear in mind for Isobel.

Liz@Violet Posy said...

You're doing better than me! I caught myself adding a marshmallow into a bowl of porridge the other morning to get Lily to eat it. But hey it worked Mummy's 'special' porridge was born :)

rosiescribble said...

Hi apt! The timing is perfect! I've just tagged you in the British Mummy (and dads) Bloggers Recycling Meme. Do come over and see!

rosiescribble said...

I meant HOW apt, not Hi apt. Doh!

Tara@Sticky Fingers said...

Cake for breakfast isn't good? Oh bugger, I'd better rethink my whole diet then.
Next you'll be telling me we can't have ice cream for a starter . . .

Kerrie said...

I used to look at my daughter's intake over a week rather than a day, I found that she was consuming far more really healthy food that I had initially thought.

Sounds like you are doing a great job to me...especially with Max's mind, I love the way it works.

Oh, and "Because I said so..." is more than okay to use at times. So is "because I am the adult and you are the child". I still use it on occasion to my 13 & 15 year olds...it's harder though when they are taller than you.

Anonymous said...

LOL! Love this non sequitur: “Exactly, but you’re not having a cake until you’ve had some more fruit, and a piece of toast.”

Patti (mamacrab)

Thumbelina said...

Love your style. Seems incredibly similar to mine!

Not a soccer mom said...

that was great! haha Until he has a good nights thought on it.
buggers grow up and figure us out too quickly.
Keep one step and one snappy come-back ahead at all times. this is why teens are so hard. they have us figured out

SciFi Dad said...

Deflect, distract, disorient.

We have similar rules in our house, and, like yours, they get tested all the time. Our favourite game is the great vegetable count negotiation:

"You must eat four carrots and five cucumber slices before you may have a treat."

"Three carrots?"

"No, four."

"Four cucumbers?"

"No five, and if you try and change again, my numbers go UP."

Kat said...

When in doubt, just confuse them.

Exmoorjane said...

Afraid I'm with the boy - it's never too early for cake!

Potty Mummy said...

Blind them with science, that's what we like to see...

Single Parent Dad said...

Crystal Jigsaw - Thank you, I do alright by my self imposed standards.

Mrs OMG Pregnant - It worked this time.

Xbox - I'd still take you over my knee if you like ;-).

Surprised and Excited Mum - Ha ha.

Liz@Violet Posy - I think that is fine too.

Rosie - Thank you.

Tara@Sticky Fingers - They have ice cream for breakfast in Sicily.

Kerrie - I look at main dinners over a week. Mixing veg, pasta and junk based dishes.

Patti - And it worked!

Thumbelina - We are one of the same.

Not a soccer mom - Toddlers aren't that far behind.

SciFi Dad - Up rather than down. I like it.

Kat - Yep, works, sometimes.

Exmoorjane - My argument, on that level, didn't wash with him.

Potty Mummy - Science is cool.

Jo Beaufoix said...

Well I was going to tag you too then I saw Rosie had already. Tsk. I think my two are similar to Max. They will eat the good stuff when encouraged with erm, the not so good stuff. I think we're doing ok, but I wish the pull of cake wasn't quite so strong. :(

clareybabble said...

Sounds like you're doing ok to me. We have a similar philosophy in our house although it doesn't always work, especially when mummy could quite happily eat cake for breakfast...

LouDuk said...

My advice is that at all costs you can not let him become addicted to fast food or junk food. You will regret it in the future, and so will he.

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