Mar 4, 2007

The Battle of Breakfast (at Dinner)

3/04/2007 — cori

"A day that will live in infamy." Very serious words spoken during a very serious time in our history. Funny how history tends to repeat itself. I even fancy myself a bit of a history buff, yet I never saw this one coming.

Remember the Battle of the Bulge, Bunker Hill, Custer's Last Stand? What do all these things have in common with my little corner of the world? They were all famous battles recorded for posterity. They were all smaller battles in a bigger war that ended up making us who we are today.

Similarly, we too, have just experienced a battle that will inevitably leave its mark upon future generations of our family. It has come to be known as "The Battle of Breakfast (at Dinner)". It was messy. It was loud. There were threats, tears and turmoil. We hearkened up from the depths of our muddled, history memories a small, yet influential battle called, "Custard's Last Stand". We too, had decided to take a stand at all costs.

We were on the defense, not a good place to be against a strong-willed 2 year old little girl. She seemed to be gaining ground. She pounded us with everything she had. For 20 minutes she repeated the same phrase non-stop, "I not want dis anymore. I no yike eggs." Her weaponry was a highly detonable whine. She knew her enemy would weaken within 30 minutes of this shrill sound, so she pressed on at full volume. Next, she unloaded the weaponry form known as "Large Alligator Tears Streaming Down From Puppy Dog Eyes". We didn't buy it. We had expected this line of attack and had just moments before changed our concourse so as not to see the alligator tears directly.

The incessant whine was beginning to bring me to my knees, but Chuck pressed on, encouraging me that this was a battle that HAD to be fought, we couldn't show our weakness now. We were going to win, we could just feel it. If we couldn't force our daughter to eat when she was no longer hungry, than, by George, what kind of parents were we? We made our stand and were executing solely on principle now.

Our strategy of leaving her alone at the table to finish her eggs seemed to inflict much turmoil. This brought about the "I'm going to cry so hard that it makes me gag" routine. We didn't see this one coming. We were going on past experience here. Every time we employ the "leave them at the table alone" strategy, it works. Nobody ever wants to be left at a table alone (except for Mommy - Mommy really likes that punishment). We felt we were only minutes away from a swift victory. We started feeling as though taking a stand on this issue and choosing to fight this battle wasn't in vain after all.

Evidently, we started our celebratory procedures too early. It seems that Chloe had indeed tried to put a bite of that dreaded egg into her mouth only to see it come out again in various other forms. The 'gag reflex' from her previous strategy was seemingly still employed and she used it to her advantage. She let whatever was left in her mouth spew forth upon her plate and herself, unwittingly causing damage to herself (getting her favorite jeans dirty - this caused even more of an uproar from her than the fact we were making her eat the rest of her dinner).

We were forced to concede. We couldn't make her continue to eat when a foreign substance was now inhabiting the very food we were trying to get her to force down. We raised the white flag and came to her rescue. Instantaneously, once we removed the object of her detestment from before her, she switched back to the fairy princess she had been earlier that day. Gone was the whiny warfare tactics, gone were the over-sized tears, gone were the looks of betrayal. We were friends once again. She even dared to smile at us.

What's the moral of the story? I'm not sure. I'm still trying to figure that one out. It appears to be: Never fight a battle with a two year old because she will always win. Wait until they're three to start choosing battles.

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