When one's lean-to-begin-with kid has eaten next to nothing for over three days, one starts to get a bit edgy. In plain speak, just in case I wasn't obvious enough, I'm getting edgy. I mean, I know from past experience that when he's feeling all better, his appetite will come back and he'll make up for lost time. I know that. And granted, I've managed to get a nutritionally balanced pudding into Matthew on each of the last two days, and he's been drinking fruit/veggie juice, but that's seriously not enough to sustain a usually active kid. Matthew has not eaten much at all since late Sunday! And it's Thursday morning. I picked him up for a hug this morning and he was, like, five pounds lighter than just a few days ago. I could feel the bile of panic rising in my throat.
So I pulled out the stops. I carved two little boats out of a banana and filled their crevices with peanut butter (one of his absolute favourite snacks), and then also gave him a pile of chocolatey nutella to dip the boats into. I figured this would be like nirvana for him because he's never experienced that combination of things he loves before! Once in a blue moon, I'll give him nutella on toast. But to enjoy nutella and peanut butter together?? I was gratified just to see his face brighten a little when he saw my desperate offerings. He said he'd try to eat some. Good start.
I then added the 'piece de resistance' - he would be allowed to eat it while watching tv (normally a no-no unless it's popcorn on movie night, but I was hoping to distract him into eating - sad, I know)! I could hear the shocked intake of his breath. The only condition, I said, was that he had eat. There'd be no hour-long fiesta of tv watching while his banana/p.butter/nutella feast went untouched. We had a deal. So, about fifteen minutes ago, setting a new standard for what-not-to-do-as-a-parent, I hauled his mini armchair in front of the tv, set up a little stool in front of him upon which I placed his decadent breakfasty treat, sat him down, covered him with a blanket, and turned on the tv.
Now all I have to do is hover...make sure he keeps his end of the deal.
* note: almost an hour later, I am relieved to report that Matthew ate about three quarters of his banana...though I confess that, in addition to the bribery of tv, I had to sit beside him on the floor and hand feed him one tiny little slice at a time! Also of note...he's still watching tv.