I've been a member of the Baby Center birth boards for almost four years now. I've seen all kinds of crazy posts and witnessed fights that were completely absurd. I also saw some interesting debates on parenting styles and philosophies, and the flaming that normally went with them. I always tried to be respectful to other's views and if I couldn't, I would just stay out of it.
But I did have one hot button issue that could easily get my panties in a wad, and it was a pretty silly one too. These were the posts about kids being fussy eaters back when the May 2006 babies were about 1.5 to 2 years old. We would discuss how stressful fussy eaters are and share strategies on how to encourage our kids to eat more. I could always count on at least one mom jumping on the tread and commenting that you just put the food in front of the kid and if they don't eat it, too bad. They will eat when they are hungry. They always managed to say somewhere in the post that, "I am not a short order cook."
Every time I saw that, my brain would explode and I'd start foaming at the mouth. Whoever made these comments clearly did not have a child like Michael. I always considered that attitude a luxury. I would love to have that attitude, but at that time, I had watched Michael go from 99th percentile for weight at birth down to 15th percentile at one year. Even though his doctor wasn't concerned, I was. Michael did not eat. Sometimes I could get him to eat yogurt or string cheese, but he wouldn't even eat Cheerios. I offered him some foods well over a hundred times and he never ate them. In fact, Michael never actually asked for food (other than cookies and junk food) until he was almost three years old. So, if Michael did ask for a specific food, I've always pretty much jumped on it because, OMG he actually wants food.
I've never pushed Michael to eat. I've always offered, and if he doesn't want it, he doesn't have to eat it. If he would ask for something healthy instead, fine. If he asked for junk, no way.
Recently, with Michael's new debating skills surfacing, this approach has not been working so well. Last night I asked if he wanted noodles. "Yes!" I gave him a choice between dinosaur and Spiderman noodles. He picked Spiderman.
"Are you sure? Once I start making them, you can't change your mind."
He assured me that yes, he wanted Spiderman noodles. Yet, I had a bad feeling about the whole thing.
Five minutes into boiling the Spiderman noodles Michael yells in to me that he wanted dinosaur noodles. I calmly explained that I had started making the Spiderman noodles. He told me to put the Spiderman noodles back. I calmly explained that I would not. He screamed and yelled that he wouldn't eat them. I calmy responded that he didn't have to eat them if he didn't want to. And it just escalated from there.
I ignored him for a minute, but he started making demands for everything but Spiderman noodles. I remained calm and basically just repeated my stance over and over. Finally, I looked at him and said, "You know Michael, I'm not a short order cook." Then I walked out of the room.
He kept on complaining about the Spiderman noodles when I served them up. He refused to come into the dinning room to eat with us. He ordered me to "PUT THE SPIDERMAN NOODLES AWAY!"
So I did.
"I WANT MY SPIDERMAN NOODLES!" He's so predictable. I calmy took the noodles back out of the fridge, warmed them, and told him that if he wanted them he needed to join us at the table. He did join us, still sniffling, and ate a few of his noodles.
You would think that after such a scene, I'd be frustrated and annoyed. But I wasn't. Partly, because I kept calm and managed to get my message through to Michael. But moslty because Michael is growing and developing well and I now have the luxury of not being a short order cook.