I gotta be honest with you. My absolute least favorite job when it comes to parenting is feeding my kids. I downright hate it. And yet, 4 times a day, I subject myself to this stick-my-head-in-a-blender type of chore. Somedays, I only do it to avoid being turned in for child abuse. Seriously, there are some meals where I think there's actually MORE food on the kids' plates when they're done "eating" then when they started.
If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that both my kids had issues with breastfeeding. With the help of a nipple shield and some supplementing with formula, we stuck it out for a full year with Princess. Little Man only lasted about 3 months before a series of problems (including, but not limited to: constant screaming-mostly from him, a bad case of mastitis, a lack of weight gain, and a 2 1/2 year old big sister who quickly figured out that Mommy was tied down to a chair 90% of the time and couldn't stop her from dumping out every bottle of shampoo in the bathroom). If only that were the end of my kids' eating issues. *insert wistful sigh here*
At the tender age of 2 1/2, Princess was diagnosed with allergies to wheat, dairy, eggs, and peanuts and promptly put on a strict diet. She doesn't have the carry-an-epipen-with-you-at-all-costs type of allergies. Her allergies cause her asthma to act up considerably. This created quite the dilemma. What do you feed a kid who can't eat anything? FYI, specialty allergy-free foods are EXPENSIVE.
Little Man ate like a pro until he turned one. Then everything went to you-know-where in a handbasket. I decided to make a list of all the foods Little Man will currently acccept as edible the other day. It took me all of two minutes. Here's the long list:
Pizza (the only form of bread, cheese, or tomatoes he will deign to look upon)
Chicken breast (sometimes)
Blueberries (now and then)
French toast sticks
Potatoes (when the stars are aligned)
It's not that I don't offer (or try to force feed) him other foods such as green beans and hamburger. He just flat-out refuses to eat them. The kid has only gained 2 pounds, 6 ounces in the last 6 months which is cause for concern from his pediatrician. He dropped from a healthy 43% for weight on the growth charts to a skinny 5% in less than a year. At his last checkup, the doctor ordered blood tests to find out why he is not gaining weight (I got to help hold my screaming baby on a table while 2 nurses filled 3 vials with his blood. Yay.) Everything came back normal except for the test for allergens. Whoopie. Another child with food allergies.
So here's my dilemma. At this point, I have one child who CAN'T eat anything and I have another who WON'T eat anything. Mealtimes at my house have turned into a battle zone which the kids invariably win, leaving poor mommy laying dazed on the kitchen floor covered in "icky" veggies. This daily war has me tempted to ask the pediatrician to put an IV in each of the kids so they can skip the whole torturous experience of a meal.
Anyways, it's almost lunchtime at my house. Time to suit up for battle.