This is my house.
I love Luca dearly. Just today he came upstairs when we got home from the gym and said to me, “You forgot something!” And then handed me a dandelion. Sweetness personified.
But then when I served up dinner, a fantastic cheesy pasta primavera mind you, he refused to take one bite because he wanted a salad.
Now yes. I realize my four year old staged an eating coup over having to eat pasta and veggies instead of a spinach salad, but hear me out. Regardless if it was healthy or not, the kid has to realize that A.) it took time and effort to make this dinner and B.) I am not a short order cook. We have a simple rule here and that’s to try the food out with one bite.
But when he sat down and saw what it was he shrieked, “I wanted salad!” then cried.
I told him one bite, he refused. I said he can go to his room and go to bed hungry then.
He left, and we all ate dinner without him.
After we finished eating, I went upstairs to find him in his room reading books in his bed. We chatted about it. He told me that he was willing to eat a bite of it if it meant he could have his beloved salad (“With ranch!”) and I, of course, said yes.
Luca isn’t complicated. Not nearly like Claire. Had this of been an argument with her, she would have bawled, say that I don’t really love her anymore and then cry some more. Perhaps tell me she wants a new mom. (Oh how I love those arguments. I end up saying, “OK. I’ll drop you off at the mall and you can find yourself a new mom.” Don’t judge.)
So Luca gave me a hug, walked downstairs, ate some carrots or broccoli or something to Matt’s satisfaction and when I came down after my shower, he had devoured his salad (“With ranch!!! Mom! Ranch!”)
Now this post isn’t to make everyone all, wow, look at her bragging about her kids eating healthy. Because that’s just our lifestyle here for one, and also, his love for salads are like my love for anything peanut butter and chocolate. Plus ranch isn’t healthy. So there’s that.
This post is because kids are demanding little brats sometimes. They shout, they freak out, they get frustrated and then they take it out on the parents. We get the brunt of everything regardless of how our day may or may have not gone. Kids don’t care if we had an awful day a work or we slammed our hand in a door or if we are tired. Kids take and take and take. But the best part comes when we as parents realize that we hold the key. That they, eventually, do what we tell them to do. Luca, despite his best efforts to bend me to his will, did exactly what I told him to do. When we ate dinner, I didn’t once worry about him trashing his room or getting into something he shouldn’t have. He simply went to his room, read some books and had a time out. That, dear readers, came with years of persistence and not backing down.
I tell myself all the time, THIS IS MY HOUSE. These kids whom I love dearly have to learn that. It’s taken countless fights and tears and going to bed deflated but it does get better. And tonight, as I saw Luca beam with pride over the fact that he got to go play baseball with Claire because be ate all his dinner made me pat myself on the back for making it through another day.