Some conversations were meant to be recorded.
I should begin by telling you that food is an issue in my house, as it probably is in most homes with children under the age of four. Dylan’s fear of fruit and vegetables – and most other foods besides bread, crackers, cheese and yogurt – plays out a lot like a peanut allergy. He’s deathly afraid of any contact.
I’ve learned not to get too frustrated because I’m sure (I hope) he’ll eventually grow out of his food phobias, but I’ve recently put my foot down about fruit. I told him, “The doctor said you have to eat fruit to stay healthy and strong.” For some bizarre reason he believed me, and he’s been eating bananas, apples or applesauce at least once a day. If I ask, “Why do we eat fruit?” he’ll respond, “To stay healthy and strong.” It’s cute. It’s a small step and I’m pleased, but if I could just get him to eat chicken I would sleep a lot better at night.
Every afternoon around 4pm, Dylan and I have the same conversation. I tell him he can’t have any more snacks until after dinner. He tells me he wants popcorn for dinner. I say no and tell him we don’t eat snacks for dinner. Then he says he wants Pirate’s Booty for dinner. And I say no and tell him again that we don’t eat snacks for dinner. Then I offer him a grilled cheese sandwich, macaroni and cheese or something else “dinner-like.”
Anyway, this is how it went yesterday:
Dylan: Why can’t I have more snacks?
Me: Because I want you to have room in your tummy for dinner.
Dylan: Why do we eat dinner?
Me: To stay healthy and strong.
Dylan: But we eat fruit to stay healthy and strong.
Me: Yes, and we eat dinner to stay healthy and strong, too.
Dylan: Why do we eat snacks?
Me: Um, to stay happy, I guess. (What else could I say?)
A few seconds go by.
Dylan: Mommy, I just want to be happy.
How can I argue with that?