Thursday, February 11, 2010

Desperate Times call for Desperate Measures

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. 


  1. where were you when I was younger... This is the kind of thing I would have loved :)

    Great post, even though you are breaking new territory in what not to do, it still makes me laugh :)

  2. when kids are sick, all the "rules" of parenting go out the window so don't're doing a fine job!

    P.S. your puke story had me laughing and well, feeling a bit sick when I really let myself think about what I would do if that happened while I was driving!

  3. I agree w/ your "plan of action" Ruth. Save the "big guns" for when they're really needed. It sounds like you pulled them out at just the perfect moment.
    I hope Matthew is feeling better (and heavier!) again very very soon.
    Take care of yourself while trying to take care of your little boy. :)

  4. Good work, Ruth, on the force-feeding front! I can relate! Sure hope Matthew is feeling better soon. And you too!

    Love your blog, by the way... great way to get to know you better! Thanks for telling me about it.

    And, GROSS on the vomit story, but totally hilarious. Sorta glad I didn't see that before our mtg on Tuesday - I would have had a vision in my head that would have kept me giggling all morning!


  5. Love this! I resort to bribery all the time, especially with T. My favorite line: "Now all I have to do is hover." Ha!

  6. I think I know exactly what I am making for a midnight snack tonight!