My daughter's eating habits have been a source of difficulty for me from the moment she started solid food. I opted to try baby-led weaning and by nine months she was still almost exclusively breastfed! It's not that she's especially fussy but that she doesn't really see the point in eating unless she's starving, in which case she must have some food NOW!! So I spend an equal amount of time persuading her to eat up her meals as I do trying to reason with her that I don't have any food in the midde of the park/museum/swimming pool. It is frequently a source of tension and distress on both our parts as I try to come up with new and inventive ways to get her to eat a sensible amount at a meal times, choose a filling snack mid-morning/afternoon and not fuss about every meal. Three days ago we started yet another star chart, which worked great on day one, so-so on day two and failed dismally yesterday.
The thing was, she said she felt sick. She didn't look great and felt a little hot so we didn't force the issue of lunch. An hour later, she was complaining of hunger, so I fixed her a snack from her new list of options that we had chosen in the supermarket, typed and laminated and pinned up in the cupboard. She had a couple of spoonfuls of yoghurt and then complained of feeling sick.
What would you do? What would a caring and compassionate mother do? What would a wise mother do?
I sat down with her and spoon-fed her the yoghurt. At least I did, until she threw the whole lot - juice, breakfast and yoghurt - up all over the floor, my slippers and my trousers!
I can't say I was patient, kind or sympathetic, but once I'd cleaned her up she got to sit on the sofa with a Disney movie.
At tea-time I suggested to my husband that we didn't force the issue of making her eat. Her response was to dance around the kitchen telling her brothers in a sing-song voice that she didn't have to have any tea!
Am I the world's worst mother for forcing my child to eat until she is sick? Or am I being played for a fool?