Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Assume nothing

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.

But still.

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.

Our boys?

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!



  1. So sorry to tell you that my 17 year old still has not put a piece of steak in his mouth...from 2 to 15 it was a horrid about 15 I gave up and just let him eat what he wanted...wish I had done that at 2...I would have less grey hairs!! They won't starve and it won't stunt their growth..the 17 year old is 3 inches taller than the 20 year old!!

  2. I hate people coming to my door to sell me things.

    My sons were both great sleepers and one was a fantastically sophisticated eater even as a toddler. The other sort of average. But even that one eats nearly anything now. I myself was a horribly picky eater, right up until towards the end of high school. I don't know why, but something just clicked for me then.

  3. Kim-I love these stories and photos of your two precious boys. You truly have a gift for writing about the trials-and rewards of parenting in the most entertaining and heartfelt way. Please don't ever stop:)

  4. The other night I was in the middle of cooking when my daughter had a melt down and the door bell rang. Same type of thing and all I could get out of y Louth was "now is not a good time." Thesalesman asked if he could come back and I said no because I would not change my mind. The man hung his head. I knew he had been working the neighborhood all day. I worried my mean words may push him over he edge. Still, why would me being bothered in the middle of multitasking make me feel so horrible? I will try harder next time.

    Sigh on the eating and sleeping thing. I have one who is good at both and one who is bad at both. Never know what the even code will give. As I always say parenting is more about me learning and growing than the kids growing and learning.

  5. Naveen's face is priceless!!
    My favorite part is where you say you and Shaune excel at sleeping...brilliant! :)

  6. Keep hoping. This past few months I have seen a lot of improvement in my six year old actually eating his whole dinner and not picking at it either. Now if only the twins would watch and learn.

  7. door-bell ringers. grrr. I had a couple of teenagers on my porch at 6:15 last night asking if they could talk for a school project! I told them I was in the middle of our bedtime routine and instead of apologizing and leaving they said it would only take a few minutes. I screamed, "get off my porch!" Then I put a curse on them that they would grow up, become parents and have someone ring their door bell at 6 pm every night for the rest of their lives.

  8. I console myself with the fact that their children will be my revenge. ;)

  9. Ha! I'll commiserate with you about the picky eating part. Two of my kids are SOO picky. I've basically given up at dinner time, and they have frozen Eggo waffles.

  10. Hahaha...oh my goodness. What conclusions kids can jump to. I haven't listened to Bruce for a long time, but I love that you guys had "karaoke offs". :)

  11. Mine are also horrible eaters, I also get the "how much do we have to eat" spiel. That last picture is priceless.


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