Monday, May 04, 2009

iF THiS iSN’T a TyPiCaL MoNDay!

I wake up Diva this morning and she bursts into tears saying she doesn’t feel good and doesn’t want to go to school. I’m like, “Great, she turns 10 and immediately morphs into a PMS’ing ‘tween." Sooo emotional! I talk her off the ledge and promise her cinnamon rolls for breakfast if she gets a move on it. It works.

Tukey sprawls his body across my bed and complains of exhaustion and a stomach ache. I get water and splash his face a bit, which he likes, and it wakes him up.

Of course, Ajers has been up since 5:30 because he is Mr. Manic Jr. and he sets his alarm for 5:30 just because he “wants to start his day!” He’s the kid who looks at the clock after breakfast and begs to walk to the bus already, even if it’s not coming for 15 minutes.

I’ve got all types.

So, I ply my kids with whatever I can to get them to school, even counting on the calendar that they only have 21 and a half days left of that horrible place! I wave enthusiastically at the tinted windows on the bus as it heads out of the ‘hood.

A neighbor and I decide to take a walk because, for the record, while I loved vacation, the food didn’t love me back, and I am a fat pig, clothes are tight, body image is less than ideal at the moment, and bathing suit season is in exactly one month.

Back home after an exhilarating walk, in which both neighbor and I are grateful that we took (and we’re promising to do it again tomorrow!), I take a shower because it’s Pap Smear Day! As I am walking into my appointment, my cell rings. Yep, it’s the school nurse.

“Tukey is here and he says he has to vomit.”

My thought, “So, tell him to upchuck in the toilet and get back to school, I’ve gotta get my legs in the stirrups.”

But what I say is that he may just be hungry cuz he gets like that sometimes, and that if he tries to eat his lunch and still does not feel better, then I will come get him. In the examining room, I say to my doc, “Do this fast. I’ve got to pick up a sick kid.”

(For the record, the weigh-in at the gyne proves my hypothesis that I've become a fat pig!)

I pick up Tukey, who seems a little peaked (is that the right word/spelling?) but then beg him to let me stop at the grocery store because, guess what? Tonight is the night I am supposed to blindfold Diva during dinner and make her eat some new things! Doesn’t that SOUND FUN!?

So I needed to buy some new things for her to try, because we have officially turned into mean parents. I have been taking her to therapy and it is suggested she might just not like the looks of food and if we were to feed her while blindfolded, maybe she would try something new? Also, we are going to no longer allow her to eat waffles or pancakes for dinner. Does this make me a bad parent? I’ve got to get hold of this problem, although I fear it might be too late. So, new rule, pancakes or waffles in the AM only! She is NOT happy, but I don’t think she’s had either of those items for dinner since Tuesday or Wednesday of last week. And she doesn’t totally hate me yet. Next up though, I’m going to stop buying chocolate stuff. Those are her weaknesses … chocolate and waffles. Oh my.

So, Tukey is actually FINE and I’m like, “Why are you home again?” We play some hangman where he writes: I HOPE I FEEL BETTER and LETS WATCH TV IN YOUR BEDROOM. We go to my room where he insists on The Dark Knight. I try to sleep because I am exhausted from the big walk I took that morning. Ha.

Diva and Ajers get home from school and of course, Diva has a shitload of homework. She has had more homework in her fourth grade career than Ajers has had in HIS WHOLE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL CAREER. I tried to give her teacher the benefit of the doubt when school first started, but now, believe me, I am counting the days down to summer. It’s unbelievable how much work they put on the fourth graders, and in turn, this means WORK FOR ME! I have never done this much homework! It is unreal. Her teacher is not a parent, and I’m convinced she has no idea what is involved in raising a family, and that kids have other activities than school work, and come on, LET THEM LIVE A LITTLE!

We get through some of her massive amounts of homework, and then it’s time for me to make her SURPRISE dinner. This is what I made: a sandwich cut in quarters. One quarter had peanut butter on it. Two had the TEENIEST, THINNEST slice of mozzarella cheese on them, and one had the thinnest piece of honey ham you would ever see! I also included spinach leaves (she actually will eat these but she calls them Pukage). I cut up some fruit – apples, pineapples, cantelope. I also cut up carrots (which she likes) and a few bits of an orange pepper. And three Ritz crackers.

For some reason, I thought she would think of this as FUN and devour the cute teeny sandwiches she would feel on her plate, cuz remember, she was to be blindfolded.


She wouldn’t try anything practically. I told her to lick a piece of fruit and she had a hard time doing that. She figured out the apples but complained that the skin was still on them. She ate the three crackers. She REFUSED the sandwich quarters totally. Tried a carrot, but even that tasted funny to her.

Am I going to have to resort to tough love on this? I seriously DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO! Everyone says, “They will eat when they’re hungry enough.”

After pleading and begging and major alligator tears on her part, and practically mine, I held her on the couch for a while, then made her a half-peanut butter sandwich and gave her some BBQ chips.

BUT, no more waffles at dinner. No more treats of chocolate. I have to figure this out. We are seeing a therapist, but how long can I go with this. Am I supposed to make her a surprise blindfolded dinner every night and hope she will eat it. I DON’T HAVE THE TIME OR THE ENERGY! Or the fight in me to fight this one. But I have to. Because she can’t go on living on waffles and peanut butter sandwiches, apples, carrots and junk food her whole life. Because that’s basically her main food groups right there.

THEN tonight, after I put her to bed and explain that now I have work to do for myself, she comes downstairs crying saying she doesn’t want to go to school because they are playing this study game and she knows she will get the answers wrong and she will be embarrassed.

I explain that the only people she has to worry about are herself, her mommy and her daddy, and not to worry about the teacher or anything she says that may embarrass her. I swear, can she have any more anxiety in her poor life?

OK, so this is turning into a huge rant/gripe fest but I guess it feels good to vent. I am now going to bed because if I stay up any later, it’ll be one AM and then I’ll get up in the morning and be all pissy, like usual.

I hope YOU had a nice Monday! Oh, and check in on Wednesday because I have a fun Mother’s Day contest with books and chocolate covered treats for you to win!

Peace UP, and here’s to 20 and a half days of hell school left!


DawnfromCA said...

OMG Manic, we do lead parallel lives! My 8 y.o. doesn't eat ANYTHING except waffles, pizza, hot dogs and strangely enough, California rolls! We battle it out daily, and right now he has strep, which I'm convinced has something to do with the fact that he gets no nutrition in his daily diet. No milk, juice, fruit or veggies (except carrots, and even that is very little!) I'm getting desperate, too, because he is also small for his age. I feel your pain, girlfriend! Let me know if you find something that works! Good luck and big hugs!

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

Dawn! Holy Crap! But your son eats meat (hot dogs is kinda meat, right?)

I am dying to know how many other moms have these children who are BEYOND picky!!!

And what to do about it?!!? I don't like the idea of forcing her to eat. I just CAN'T DO THAT!


MaBunny said...

Yeah, I think your Diva and my Nicole would get along great! Nicole is about to turn 11 in November and is oh so the Drama Queen! LOL, she has been PMS'ing for almost a year now.../sigh...
My monday was insane.....
Hoping today is better.

Lisa said...

My 2 and a half year old is a nightmare with food. (I have 7 kids, so I should know what I am doing?) We ignored it for a while, but made a big deal out of how yummy everyone eles's food was. I keep telling myself that a kid has to sometimes see something around 15 times before they will try it. So I make her a very tiny dish of the dinner, every night now. She MUST at least lick each food. If she has gone many days without eating, I bring out her beloved cheese pizza. Otherwise, tough luck. I NEVER go back on what I have said (ie: no blank until you lick/eat at least one thing). But I will offer an alternative if we have been at it over half an hour, that I know she will eat, like a plum, yogurt, or grapes. She Does eat organic cereal, toast w/pb, fruit, cheese, almonds....the problem is with meat and veg. I buy Voots supplements, she has a multi-vitamin,tum,and vit C daily. She has always been tiny, but I think the food thing has nothing to do with that. She nursed for 2 plus years, and loved pureed food. It was when it got chunky, that she got weird.SHE DRIVES ME CRAZY!!!!!! I am a good, healthy cook and all my kids eat "normally".She only eats lunch and breakfast happily.Sorry for the novel, you touched a nerve!!!

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

Lisa--I think what you're doing is GREAT and I should have done that for Diva a LONG time ago. JUST LICK IT! LOL! I really think that's an excellent approach. I am also going to NOT let her have the usual treats if she doesn't try something ... I Don't know! You'll get your 2-1/2 year old on track--she's still at an age where you can FORM opinions FOR HER! LOL! Thanks so much for sharing. You guys are all making me feel less freakish about all this! : )

Unknown said...

Wow! I guess I'm thinking "She won't eat anything else?" And then I'm thinking,"Well, Ariana would rather eat any type of fruit than dinner or lunch. Sometimes she'll eat meat, but usually not, and she will eat noodles and grilled cheese. She's a picky eater, but not THAT bad!" I don't buy any type of "junk" food so she doesn't have that opportunity. She can ONLY pick healthy things cause that's all I have in my house. Well, except popcorn!!!! LOL I buy apples, grapes, bananas and strawberries and girl, she can eat a whole container of strawberries in one sitting.

I hope this gets straightened out, and you know what, it will!

Gina said...

My aunt went through something like this with my cousin. She choked once and from that moment on, refused to eat. She would chew her food, but not swallow - storing it in her mouth until she could sneak and spit it out.

They went though so much - bribery, begging, therapy, punishments, etc and nothing worked. She used to give her shakes and stuff for nutrition. And then one day, it was over - just like that.

I know I am not offering any help at all, but I just wanted to let you know you are not alone, that many moms deal with this stuff and they feel terrible about it. But eventually, it will pass.

March2theSea said...

our 10 year olds sound like sisters. Shitloads of homework that usually result in tears (as of late) and if its not mac+cheese we are not interested...bah. So tired of "dad what can I have for dinner?" and I want to say "I am not sure how to make NOTHING TASTES GOOD".

pixiemama said...

Um, I gotta say, I don't think I could eat blindfolded. Even if I knew what the food was. It sounds stressful for everyone. Have you tried any kind of protein shake things for her? Something that is healthy but can be altered to suit her tastes?

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...


And pixie--we have tried protein shakes, in fact, Mr. Manic and I were just talking about why we can't understand that she doesn't like them. But, she does drink instant breakfast carnation milk pretty much every day. That should be good, right? : )

3carnations said...

No breakfast for dinner EVER? We do that sometimes, and not because it's all our son will eat.

Incidentally, he likes chocolate chip waffles.

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

3carnations--we did breakfast for dinner for her like 4 nights a week with the waffles! So I have to take a stand on it right now and say NO for now. BTW, when she eats waffles, she JUST puts chocolate chips on them -- NO BUTTER OR SYRUP, because gee, that would mean she would have to TRY those items! LOL.

morninglight mama said...

Man, we really, REALLY need to chat and gripe together. JAM has such a limited diet, and I think his issue is texture... there's no easy solution. Ugh. Just thought you'd like to know that your misery has some company over here in MD. :)

Anonymous said...

Ugh! I have the same problem with my boys, my daughter eats anything! I cook dinner just about every night only to have their noses turned up at it! I do not make them something separate though...they eat what we eat or they go hungry (we're pretty firm with that because they usually eat breakfast and lunch)and we do make them try everything even if they gag (which happens just about every night too). I wish I had a solution but I had to comment to let you know that misery loves company!

Amanda said...

Manic, I will email you when we don't have a power cut and I have time to explain my angle in writing. The thing is, you have more than the food issues to get over because of the way you've tried to get round it before - having been there and got the whole wardrobe, never mind the t-shirt, I feel your pain! I don't have the golden key but I can tell you what has worked for me and pass on the tips we got.

Kirsten said...

I also have a beyond picky child. he does eat some meat - if you consider hot dogs and deli turkey meat and occasionally hamburgers. I guess when he spent the night at my mom's house she got him to eat meat loaf by making him a mini one and convincing him it was a hamburger -- which esntially it is...but when i did the same thing? forget it. his tacos have to be just cheese. . i so feel your pain!

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

Anon--so you let your kids eat breakfast and lunch and if they don't eat the dinner you make, then they just don't eat, and they're usually fine? Cuz Diva does eat breakfast and lunch (well, I THINK she eats her lunch!), so this might be a good idea! Or I can say eat what we're serving or the alternative is a PB sandwich???

Babe in Babeland said...

Hi! First-time commenter...I like your blog!

We're now trying to feed our baby some solid foods, and it's HARD. It takes a LOT of effort just to get that food down her mouth! I thought it got easier as they got older, but now I'm not so sure...I guess every stage is difficult.

People keep telling me, "It' gets better; it gets better." I think it might just get DIFFERENT...the challenges with children just keep coming...

Stephanie J. Blake said...

Ok, MM.I'm going against the grain.

Maybe you could let her eat whatever she wants? Something says "battle" here and she is testing you. Even if she eats wafffles for every meal, she will still grow up and someday, she'll move out and live her own life.

I used to struggle with my boys about this, but now, I am like EAT SOMETHING, DOESN'T MATTER WHAT.

It will pass, I promise.

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

I know Steph--the therapist took me aside last week and mentioned that maybe she is manipulating me. Um, YEAH! I'm not going to fight the big battle of forcing her, but will take away some of the things she loves. Thanks!

Michelle said...

I remember being in EI with Mister Man and seeing all the kids coming in for eating therapy and resolving to never ever let this happen to my kids. It's so painful for the kids, and I can see how hard it is for you, too. Mister Man has sensory issues, so we can easily head down that path. But I'm with whoever made the comment that if they don't eat, they don't eat. There are other meals in the day. I don't make a big deal of it -- the only things they're required to do are a) drink their milk (or soy milk in the case of Little Miss) and b) take one bite of whatever new food I've served -- if any -- and chew and swallow that bite. Other than that, do whatever. While they are still somewhat picky eaters, I at least somehow manage to get multiple food groups in them on a somewhat regular basis. It's always a worry though... good luck with her. And good luck with the therapist! I know there are some good ones down in your area.

Michelle said...

Oh, and my sister through high school ate the four p's -- pizza, popcorn, pretzels (the big soft ones) and pasta (plain). She's still alive :)

Anonymous said...

manic, my 14 year old daughter was very similar. Therapy did nothing. Yes, it's a battle/power struggle, but I don't think it's just for the sake of power. There's something very different about how things taste/feel to her. The good news is she has added several new foods each year. Just started eating hamburgers for the first time. Yay, she can go to a BBQ and eat something more than a bun. And the things she doesn't like, she's not gagging at anymore. She tastes something new (still hardly any veg or fruit, but at least the burger is iron and protein, right?) and just says "I don't really like it," instead of sitting there with tears in her eyes like a few years ago. I hope this gives you hope that it will change. The blindfold thing sounds scary to me. Dinnertime is so stressful for these picky ones. Keep loving and giving carnation instant and vitamins!

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

Anon--thank you so much for this-it is very reassuring to know your daughter is trying new stuff!

Anonymous said...

Hi, coming out of hiding....

Have you had her blood tested for deficiencies?
I totally agree that it is probably a boundary issue (oh, that age, right....hehe)
BUT, aside from being a picky eater it sounds like she's a carb addict - which major stress will induce. If she's got that much homework I honestly don't blame her. She could have food sensitivities and that would make a person crave what is bad for them most. Also, at night when she's probably on sensory overload the mouth feel of waffles, ect. is soothing. I agree with another poster up top, sensory issues could be playing a big part. Have you tried giving her chicken and waffles? Or waffles made of whole grains.....if it is sincerely a picky thing I can relate because I was totally the same way. It drove my Mom CRAZY! It was an overnight thing too. I remember it, it was like I woke up one day and just didn't like a darn thing but bread and sugar and ALL things salty. I didn't eat veggies or fruit for a lloooong time. I existed on cereal, ramen, spaghetti, and some other random stuff but went meatless when I was 10. My tastebuds were craving super strong flavors and textures but I couldn't find it so eating was pretty much un enjoyable. Now, if someone had set a bowl of Indian cuisine in front of me I would have gobbled it up. Along with her hormones, her tastebuds may be changing too. I hate to throw around the word eating disorder because it makes people panic (And for good reason....don't get me wrong. I had bulemia and anorexia for a year unchecked and nearly died.) When I started that whole mess I ate marshmallows and brown sugar like it was going out of style and nothing else. Extreme pickiness in my humble opinion can sometimes be a precurser to an ED, stress though causes the brain to just fire off randomly and cause havoc, making one exhibit odd behavior. You are SO doing the RIGHT thing by getting her into therapy now!!! And the vitamins, that's one thing my Mom didn't do for me that I wish would have happened. G-d bless her, she did a good job with me. I was totally out of her league though, she's told me so many times I was harder to raise than all 3 of my brothers combined and I know that my middle and oldest brothers were NOT easy children/young adults to handle. You sound like such a good Mom. Get some very thorough bloodwork done though if you can afford it. It might turn up something. Otherwise, just do what you're doing and don't think for a minute that you can't :) I sincerely hope it's something she grows out of. I feel your pain...I do not have kids but I remember the hurt and confusion on my Mom's face, and I felt so misunderstood too. Is there a communication breakdown somewhere or have you two drawn very clear lines? Maybe the therapist has an idea? All the best!