10/22/14

Broccoli moments

That’s what we call them.  And, it must be pretty common because there was a recent Simpsons episode that featured a broccoli moment between Homer and Bart. 

Thank goodness Sydney is not as stubborn as Bart.

Or as over-indulged. 

A broccoli moment is where a parent accidentally backs themselves into a corner that results in a stand-off that the parent must win. 

Ours happened soon after Syd came to live with us.  She didn’t eat green.  She ate chicken nuggets.  And, in the beginning, that was about it.  One place she’d lived fed her pizza almost daily.  Another fed her McDonalds, so she wouldn’t touch either of those.  She was very, very clear on that point.  The only other food she recognized was chicken nuggets. 

But, that’s not how Rob and I eat. 

Side note.  Rob’s Mom is coming to visit next month and she always tells Rob to tell me not to go to any trouble.  This time, Rob told her, it’s no trouble, Mom.  Lane really cooks for us that way every night.  Protein, vege, and a starch.  I guess that’s old-fashioned now, but everybody that knows us knows that we eat good.

Anyway, Sydney got exposed to a whole lot of variety.  I cooked all kind of stuff and I masked the vege in a way that she would eat it.  Until the night I steamed broccoli. 

I told her she had to eat it.  She said no.  That was my chance to find a way to back out of my position.  But, I didn’t take it.  I told her yes.  I told her she couldn’t leave the table until she ate it.  All of it.

She sat there and she cried and she looked at that broccoli and she sat at the table and she watched TV, but she could only get up to go to the bathroom and then she was back at the table. 

I did the dishes, cleaned up the kitchen, brushed my teeth and got ready for bed and then came back to the table with a book.

She recognized the sign of her defeat.  She ate that cold broccoli. 

Now, I can apologize for making her eat that cold broccoli.  And, we can joke about it.  It’s common for me to ask her if she wants to make something a broccoli moment.  And, it’s common for one of us to back down before it goes too far. 

Yesterday, we had a broccoli moment in the car.  It’s bound to happen between an adult and a person trying to spread her wings and become an adult, a person who is taking more and more charge of her own life and decisions. 

I get it.  I understand.  But, I pulled to the side of the road and put the car in park and we sat there for a minute before she gave in.  And, last night, when she brought it up, I explained that the only reason we got there was she tried to tell me how things were going to go down and as long as I’m paying the bills, that ain’t necessarily how it’s actually going to go. 

She and I are having a whole lot of playful banter.  I’m loving it.  I don’t know what’s brought on the change, but she’s less sullen and grumpy.  She’s more open and playful. 

And, yes, I do my part to try to foster that playfulness between us.  She has to understand that I have a certain amount of attention I can pay her and that can be good attention or it can be bad attention, and while she’s not completely in control of which one of those plays out, she’s in control of a lot of it.

Parenting…somebody called it the best job you’ll ever hate…or maybe that was the worst job you’ll ever love.  Either way, that kind of fits. 

Oh, and BTW, Sydney now loves Thai, Indian, Mexican, Chinese, soul food, pizza and burgers.  Like Rob, she will eat just about anything I put in front of her, and she’s clear about whether she likes it or not.  All it took was exposing her to it and getting her to try it.  She even willingly eats steamed broccoli now.  She likes it with lemon juice, so I always make sure there’s lemon juice in the steaming water.  Compromise. 

Everybody have a great Wednesday.  It’s halfway through the week. 

Lane