February 25, 2010

The Picky Eater

The strangest thing has happened.

Out of nowhere, my seventeen-month-old son has become a picky eater.

Coincidentally, the changes to my toddler's food preferences occurred on the same day as my older kids' school Valentine's Day parties.

"I need you to play with him for a minute," I told my kindergartners, plopping their brother at their feet. I was making lunch. Kellen and Cortlen were counting, sorting, and decontaminating valentines received from their classmates. Any card decorated with a Barbie or without a package of candy attached was tossed into a pile appropriately labeled 'toxic dump.'

"Oh no!" I yelped thirty seconds later. "What happened?" The baby was sitting on top of 50 valentines. He was bleeding profusely from his mouth.

My older sons giggled and ran away. When I tried to wipe the blood off my baby's face, I noticed that it was sticky and smelled like high fructose corn syrup.

"Please don't give the baby any more candy," I told the boys. "It's not good for him."

Kellen shrugged his shoulders and asked if I wanted a red lollipop. I accepted.

The next morning, I went in to the baby's room to find that he had eaten an entire package of Nerds, as well as the box that they came in.

"Who gave him this?" I asked, holding up what was left of the wrapper.

My daughter told me that Cameron had spoken to her in a dream. In it, he specifically asked for grape flavor.

Later that afternoon, Kellen found a piece of chocolate underneath the sofa. He left it on the seat cushion while he went to the bathroom. When he returned, it was gone.

"That was mine!" barked Kellen, shaking his finger at his brother.

I scooped up the baby and put him in his high chair. "Time for dinner!" I announced. Shockingly, Cameron batted away the food I put in front of him and looked longingly at the three white paper bags that were on top of the refrigerator. The ones decorated with heart doilies and red and pink heart stamps.

He's no dummy. Why fill up on broccoli when you can hold out and get a handful of sweet tarts?


Amy said...

When my 4th child was 20 months, we went to Disneyworld. Up until that point she had never had a sip of sodam mainly milk and water. Yet, in the middle of the heat, when you are dying of thirst, all the little kiosk type drink stands carry juice, gatorade and soda. Needless to say, by the time we got home a week later, she turned her nose up at the milk and screamed her head off for my soda.

Thanks a lot Disney.

Deanna said...

My boys' sentiments, EXACTLY.

"Hold out for candy, when mom is running errands and needs you to quit whining."

Works every time. i'm such a sucker. LOL!

the thrifty ba said...

you are lucky he made it to 17 months..

All8 said...

I'd give up my dinner for nerds too. Whoops, I mean (in my best mom voice) I'll eat all of my yummy food first and then share this little box of brightly colored, high fructose corn syrup laden, acidy bits with everyone who eats extra helpings of the good stuff. .....chirp......chirp..

Kara and Theo said...

I've discovered that MY 17 month old baby is half goat. When her siblings brought home the 'good' stuff she proceeded to gorge herself on their little chocolate bars of love, tin foil included.

JRiggles said...

Soo funny! Love how you put it into those words!!

Kristina said...

All of my kids ate anything (even peas *gasp*) I gave them until they were about that age too. Then they started noticing that other kids in daycare or older siblings didn't like certain things and suddenly they didn't like it either.

M.O.T.B said...

All I want to say is even though I am certain you already know, that little guy is gorgeous!

WILLIAM said...

I think anything made by Wonka is perfectly acceptible as a meal replacement.

Catrina said...

I must have gotten lucky, so far (you never know she may turn into a picky eater) My 15 month old will eat anything you put in front of her (except hamburger helper). She is like a bottomless pit!

The Novelist said...

Sadly my kids learned this behavior from me! Isn't sugar one of the food groups after all? For me it is the biggest section of the pyramid. Maybe that explains why the biggest section of my body is also on the bottom!

Emmy said...

Lol! Love that he told her in a dream to give him the nerds. How do you get mad at her for that? :)

Cindy said...

LOL! Camber's "dream" reminds me of my son! When my daughter wasn't even a month old, he put a raisin in her mouth. I asked why he did that, and he said, "Mom, she told me she wanted one!"

Margaret said...

Gotta love other kids teaching your baby to hold out for candy!

erin said...

I just went through this over the holidays with my 2 year old son. His older sisters kept giving him cookies and he's now gone from the best eater EVER to a cookie monster. Complete with cookie monster impersonation. Not kidding.

mamacoreenie said...

Hilarious! My three yr old is the same way. When asked what he wants in his school lunch or a snack or breakfast (any meal, really) he most always answers, "CANDY"!

Stephanie said...

My son is 22 months old. He still will only eat pureed food, with the exception of a few types of crackers. If I try to get him to eat something else, he'll either not put it in his mouth, or vomit as soon as it's in his mouth. We can't go to a restaurant without bringing food for him to eat. It's embarassing, and I'm sick of standing in front of the cuisinart. To make things worse, he won't eat food that I make for me and then puree. Has to be something just for him.

LemonyRenee' said...

The cat's outta the bag, the genie's outta the bottle . . . I say, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Think of how much quicker, easier, and well-received dinner would be.

Yvette said...

I had the same problem after Halloween with my almost 17 month old at the time. Now he just chases me around the house when he's hungry saying "A canny, mom"(A candy mom)He threw a major fit when I would offer him an alternative. He grew out of it after a few weeks. But knows right where to be when others have candy in the house

The Parent Trapped said...

I gave my 19 month old a lollipop in the bathtub the other week thinking, "How smart! This way she can't possibly make a mess with it!" Now she screams for a "pop-pop" before every bath. I am a Parent Trapped by giving in to the baby, my last baby, too often!

Anonymous said...

My first child didn't know McDonalds had happy meals until she was 3 1/2 and we went with a friend. My third child threw a full out tantrum in Target at 16 months screaming for "tandy."

jp said...

he's still your little vampire. started with "drinking" blood, now he perfers blood red candy. Adorable. Shocking he is so healthy after all the scares when he was tiny. he is sooooooooooooo cute. i love that you used the photo op before taking away the candy. : )

Anonymous said...

Today, one of my two-year old twin boys got his hand stuck in a toy (how?). While comforting him, he was sobbing into my shoulder when he gave me the saddest face ever and said "cake?". They barely know what sugar/cake/baked goods are, but they stayed w/ Nana last week...

オテモヤン said...


The Robinsons said...

i normally don't comment, even though i read religiously. just had to say he is so stinking cute.

mummytominis said...

My eldest is fussy eater and always has been. She gets it from me and I always get "the look" when I admit that to other parents. The "ahhh, it's all your fault look"
but, I'm adamant that my youngest is going to take after her father is the world of food and eat everything whether she likes it or not. She's only 13 months but so far so good...

Mariella said...

Haha, this is too funny. My daughter will be one this month and her grandma sent down a valentines care package. When I left the room the chocolate was on the couch and Holly was crying. When I came back she was very content, I looked to see what was keeping her occupied to dicover she had the entire bag of chocolate on her lap and had eaten through the tinfoil wrappers to get to the chocolate!

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