The other night, I was witness to a very gratifying battle of wills. This time, it was N who didn’t want to eat his carrots. You may remember my troubles with C. Well, it’s always nice to see someone else go through the same sort of thing.
The end of the battle was the best part. J had been trying to get him to eat some carrots throughout the meal. Now everyone had finished, and we were getting out the sherbet. N loves sherbet – particularly with whipped cream.
He was very excited – until he discovered that J was going to use the dessert as leverage to get him to eat his carrots. Then he collapsed in his seat, crying. It wasn’t quite as dramatic as when he has a good stretch of floor to collapse on, but it still looks impressive. He goes completely limp and flops sideways in his booster seat, so he’s only held in the chair by the seatbelt.
Fortunately, he can’t maintain the position too long because all the blood rushes to his head.
After he sat back up, J held to her course of action. “No. First carrots, then sherbet.” She put the bowl of sherbet on the table just out of his reach.
“No! No carrots! No carrots! Sherbet!”
His older brother decided to lend a hand, saying “No! You have to eat your carrots! It’s very important to eat your carrots.” He looked at me to back him up, but I shook my head and told him that this was momma’s job and we should stay out of it. With a shrug, he settled back to eating his own sherbet.
N tried the flop again, but it didn’t get him anywhere. His momma was relentless. Everything he said was answered with “first you eat your carrots.”
Eventually he seemed to be completely worn down. He picked up a carrot and held it to his mouth. J smiled “that’s right! just eat a carrot and you can have some sherbet.”
Keeping his eyes on his momma, he held the carrot to his mouth with his right hand and then dropped it. It slid down his chest and belly into his left hand, which quickly pushed it under his booster seat. It was an amazing feat of manual dexterity – especially from someone who can’t quite catch a ball yet.
J didn’t let him get away with it, of course. She was outraged. “No! No! You eat your carrots!”
Reaching under his booster seat, she discovered a handful of various vegetables, then she glared at me.
I’m not sure if the glare was because I was chuckling or because she thought I’d taught him how to hide his vegetables. Either way, I felt vaguely as if I’d earned it.