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?