Earlier this evening a young woman came to the front door. She had good news for me she announced. She would take care of the installation charges if I agreed to switch from my cable and internet provider to her company. She was bright and hopeful, young and pretty.
I cut her spiel off at the knees. It felt bad to do it. It’s a tough thing; going from door-to-door during the dinner hour, in the cold.
We have that sign on the door prohibiting exactly this kind of thing. And besides, she’d come in the middle of a presentation I was giving to an audience of two. Two small boys were refusing to eat their dinners.
And until that loud knocking at the front door, I’d been on somewhat of a roll. I was saying things like, “there will absolutely be no more dessert or treats (dramatically tapping at the treat cupboard) if you don’t eat your meal,” and “you have no idea how lucky you are to have so much food, some kids (pointing meaningfully out the back door) aren’t so lucky.”
I was perfectly aware that my beautifully delivered oration was being met with complete disregard by Naveen who was busy wrapping noodles around the wheels of a mobile cow. And Deaglan had only one question he kept interrupting with, “How much do I have to eat to get a chocolate pudding?”
I’ve learned one very disappointing truth on my parenting journey so far: Assume nothing.
Shaune and I are hearty, willing eaters. And we excel at sleeping. Our favourite things are to eat and sleep. In fact, a long-time dream of mine is to be allowed to only eat and sleep for days at a time. Give me food. Give me a bed. I’m happy.
Failures on both counts.
I was discussing this very thing with a mom friend of mine a while back. She wasn’t as good at commiserating as I’d hoped she would be. She admitted that her son was a very good eater and he’d slept practically 12 hours straight since the day he was born. When she saw me wincing she kindly pointed out some of his failings. “He’s two and he hardly says a word. I mean, didn’t you say Naveen can practically read from the Encyclopedia?”
“And” she added, “my little brother was a really picky eater. My mom had the worst time ever making meals and packing his lunches.”
“Oh yeah?” I perked up a little. “Did he grow out of it?”
“You know what? He did. Two years ago when he moved to Toronto for work, he started hanging out with a more sophisticated crowd of people. Now he eats sushi and all kinds of vegetables.”
So basically she was saying that I might have to wait till Deaglan’s almost thirty to see a change in his eating habits. He won’t even be my problem at meal times then!