The Core Dump

A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures

[By Nic Lindh on Wednesday, 11 October 2006]

Eat it!

Dinner is my favorite time of the day—the day’s toil is over and it’s time to relax and enjoy a nice meal with the family.

At least, that’s how it used to be.

These days dinner is an endless struggle to get a certain young princess to please-for-the-love-of-jeebus-eat-something. Something that isn’t chicken nuggets or hot dogs. Nuggets and dogs go down just fine, but most anything else involves the two tools in the parent’s tool box: begging and threatening. Begging does nothing, so many a TV privilege has been on the line during dinner.

The thinking is that the endless pickiness of toddlers is an evolved mechanism to keep them from eating poisonous foods, much like the desire to sleep in mommy’s and daddy’s bed evolved as children who enjoyed wandering off into the night ended up food for various predators and thus did not pass their genes on to another generation.

Which makes sense, but is hard to keep in mind when you’re dealing with a four-year-old who thinks mommy and daddy are utter monsters for wanting her to eat the food they slaved over, and will cheerfully ask for a snack five minutes after leaving the table with two bites of food in her and her daddy reaching for the Tylenol.

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