This is the third in a series written by little Thud, on how to be a better toddler.
Today he’d like to share his tips on how to make meal times as difficult as possible.
Nothing gives your parents more stress than how much food you’re eating. It’s like they’re obsessed or something. ALWAYS with the eating.
They hover and nag and can’t keep their bloody hands out of it.
It is NOT your job to make this time easier for them. I think deep down they’d be really disappointed if it was too straightforward, so do everyone a favour and keep them on their toes. It’s a nice, bonding thing for you all to go through.
Here are my top tips for a power battle at dinnertime:
Wear them down with toddler logic
I’ve put together a sample script based on last night’s dinner at our house.
Toddler: Did you make this pasta?
Toddler: Did you make it with love and care?
Parent: Indeed I did. Much love and care.
Toddler: Did you make sure it was healthy as well as delicious?
Parent: It will help you grow up big and strong.
Toddler: I don’t want it.
Parent: But you loved this yesterday!
Toddler: That was yesterday. This is today.
Parent: It’s your favourite!
Toddler: I think you’re confused. Pasta is my favourite.
Parent: THIS IS PASTA!
Toddler: No. This is PASTA. I only like pasta. It shows a serious lack of self-awareness and knowledge of your offspring that you don’t know the difference. Why do you hate me?
Parent: EAT YOUR DINNER.
Toddler: Sure, yell at me. That always works. Why don’t you try some bribery next? Begging is funny too.
Parent: PUT IT IN YOUR MOUTH.
Toddler: It’s too hot. You are trying to burn me. My mouth is melting. I have third degree burns.
Parent: Blow on it.
Toddler: Oops, now it’s too cold. Can’t eat it. Soz.
And so on and so on. You get the picture.
It’s your responsibility to make sure the kitchen is destroyed in the process of eating.
Throw that shit. EVERYWHERE.
Not only is this fun to do, it’s funny and it has the added bonus of wasting food.
This is the cornerstone of all toddler antics. Evasion. Specifically running and hiding. It’s a great power play because no matter what authority your parents think they have, they can’t physically stop you from getting up and running away. Unless, of course, they’ve got you in a high chair. You need to get out of that torture chamber quick smart. You are not an infant. Grow up and demand yourself a proper chair for chrissake.
Dealing with bribes
They will try to bribe you in order to force you to eat. This can sometimes be a lucrative game to play.
But approach with caution. Make sure you get all the details before you bring that fork to your mouth. Remember that adults have been known to bring out APPLE SLICES as “dessert” and have passed off bubbles in the bath as a “special treat”.
Don’t be an amateur. Hold out for the good stuff and get it in writing if need be.
Observe your food
I’m not sure whether you’ve picked up on this yet, but adults hide stuff in your food.
BE VERY WARY of anything that’s smushed up, baked in or pureed into a sauce. There’s a huge possibility there’s something ‘healthy’ in there. And by ‘healthy’ I mean POISON.
If a blender or food processor has been used, I can guarantee they’ve smuggled some poison into your meal.
I need to repeat this to make sure you understand. DO NOT EAT THE GREEN STUFF. I repeat. DO NOT EAT THE GREEN STUFF.
It is poison.
You will not grow up big and strong. You will die a slow and painful death (over the next 80 years or so).
So my friends, I hope this helps. You’re on your way to being the best toddler you can be.
Go forth and demoralise.
Love Thud xxx
Do you have any tips your kids would like to add?
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Yup! Spot on. Ari now asks “Mum, why do you not want me to be happy?” Like I am some bitch who snatches away his happiness whenever I get the chance. Manipulative little… prince.
I suddenly have a lot of respect for Ari. Little legend.
Jesus Christ Mary and fucking Joseph, this aptly captures the ABJECT MISERY of dinnertime at my house every freaking night. Tonight: WOULD NOT eat the lovingly prepared fruit kebabs that he ASKED FOR. Then, refused to eat chicken schnitzel because it’s YUCKY. I’m cancelling his subscription to The Thud. Little bugger must be getting this shit from somewhere.
Tonight I served up Thud’s favourite lasagne. He told me LLLLUCK. Which is toddler for YUCK. He is now being bathed by his father with nothing in his stomach because I decided I just didn’t care anymore. He has destroyed my will to feed. I can handle the rejection of new and exotic food. It’s the refusal to touch previous favourites or food that has been requested that really makes me homicidal.
And by ‘healthy’ I mean POISON. GOLD!
Clearly anything that contains vitamins or minerals should be avoided. You have no idea what that shit will do to you.
Oh I think most kids got your memo on this one Thud. Not cool. Not cool at all. The mess is the worst part. I have spaghetti sauce stains on my ceiling that will never fade.
I’m not sure why I keep serving up any sort of bolognaise sauce. It’s always a disaster. I’m not bright.
Thank you for your excellent dissertation. It shows imagination and a determination for aggravation that is impressive in one so young. As a veteran of many dinnertime battles, I would like to add a post-script regarding mashed potato.
With its absence of taste and appalling texture, mashed potato may seem at first glance to belong on the bottom rung of the culinary ladder… and yet…
I have found that as a hairstyling product, mashed potato offers superior hold even to Poppa’s Brylcreem, as a craft material its powers are unparalleled, and when dry it sticks to clothes, furniture and family pets like sh*t to a blanket. Mashed potato rocks.
Toby (aged 4.5)
As you are a ‘big boy’ I take your advice very seriously. You obviously know your shit. Thank you for your sage advice. I will add mashed potato to the rotation immediately. It sounds like a winner.
All the best,
Thud (aged 2.4ish)
Just wait until they turn 13 and you try and add tofu…lol. Fun times.
Well Sue, even I would protest if you tried to feed me tofu. WORST!