Picking My Parenting Battles

There are two things I am not going to have a battle of the wills with my son about right now: night time dryness and vegetables.

He has enough trouble falling back to sleep when he wakes in the middle of the night that I do not want him to start worrying about having to stay dry. He will obsess about it and then no one will get any sleep – EVER! He will get frustrated and upset and drive us nutso!

We have nighttime “underwear”, he pees in those a few times a week, no big deal. Seriously, who is going to find out and make fun of him? Oh, well, yeah, I guess I did just tell everyone, but I doubt your classmates are trolling the blogosphere yet considering most of them won’t learn to read for another year or two.

If they do, sorry, sweet-ums! Add that to the mile long list of things your mother has done to destroy your life that you can discuss with a therapist when you are older.

The other battle is vegetables. Another thing I blew. I gave him orange vegetables instead of green when he first started eating baby food and now he will never eat a vegetable. Yes, I seriously had another mother tell me this and in my sleep deprived, insecure state of mind I believed I had completely and hopelessly failed my child… again! Thankfully, some of the other moms in the mom group shook me and snapped me back to reality. Thanks again, Kristen, Tola and Angelica.

My son will not knowingly eat a vegetable. He LITERALLY gags if he tries. His preschool teachers may have thought I was kidding when I warned them about it this morning. It is V week and they were doing vegetable tasting and voting for their favorites. Sure enough, he acted excited about trying them, brought one to his lips and then gagged. Then he refused to try again. You know that feeling you get when you take your car to the mechanic because of a funny noise and the car actually makes the funny noise so the mechanic can hear it – that’s what I felt when they told me at the end of the day. Phew! At least he doesn’t do it just for me.

Save the advice. I have tried it ALL! Overcook, undercook, raw, all different kinds – he still gags. Add cheese or other sauce on top he will lick or pick it off and hand me the vegetable to “share Mommy” or just announce from the start “I don’t like it”. I have chopped onions into minuscule little bits and he still finds them, picks them out and “share Mommy”. Do a search for “gardening” on my labels and you will see that we grow our own vegetables – he loves helping plant and water and even pick them. This is what ends up happening:

Strip For 080583

He picks out recipes from his cookbooks, helps me cook the recipes knowing full well they have vegetables in them and then he will get to the table and refuse to eat them. Modeling?  M and I eat them and over exaggerate their deliciousness. Some of his favorite shows (Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Super Why, just this week) have episodes that encourage kids to try vegetables and eat healthy. He can quote them to me, but he still won’t do it.

There are a few exceptions.

  • He will eat chopped spinach in his scrambled eggs. Go figure, the kid will eat greens!
  • He devoured Kale Chips when I made them – though that could have been the extra salt talking. 
  • He will help cook and eat HIS favorite Carrot Bread (that is HIS name for it).

I really can’t count the Red Velvet Cupcakes with beets, because that is an “undercover” vegetable. Honestly, you can’t taste the beets in it. And that’s how I get veggies in on him, pureed and snuck in.

I could force him to eat them and not give him anything else to eat until he does, but that seems a bit counter intuitive to me. You shall eat this horrible awful thing that makes you gag or you will STARVE! And then I have to put up with his cranky and whiney act when his blood sugar drops. Ugh! No thanks.

I spent the first year of my son’s life with my bags constantly packed for jetting from one guilt trip to another. It was miserable for him, me and my husband. I am not going back there. I will continue to put him in nighttime diapers, uh, underwear and I will continue to sneak veggies in when I can and try to get him to eat them on his own.

And I am not going to feel guilty about it. For his sake as well as mine.

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  1. This is why I admire you and your parenting so very much! (Always have)

    1. Coming from you, Mary, that means a lot. You are my model parent. Hope "the puker" is okay and you don't have too much laundry.

  2. My parents tried to force me as a kid to sit at the table until I ate my veggies. Have a lot of bad memories of me and the battle of the cabbage as I like to call it. But later on, they stopped the forcing and let it be. They continued to cook them for the others (heck, mom was a vegetarian!), and eventually when I got a bit older, I started eating them on my own. NEVER cabbage, can't even think about it. I do garden and love growing my own tomatoes and peppers and a big herb garden. My nieces and nephews love to help and they love to make pizza with the tomatoes, and help me make spaghetti sauces with the veggies. I think your son will grow up fine just as you are doing. Does he like corn on the cob? That was a fun one as a kid I recall. I know it is a "starch" but it is still a plant I remember telling my mom!

    1. That is exactly why I will never try to force him, Winnie.

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