Once upon a time, in a suburb of Atlanta, a mom and daughter picked the wrong battle (or was it?). It was a normal September Sunday, just 10 days before Lady A’s fourth birthday. Todd was out of town on a camping trip with his buddies and I had been solo-momming it up all weekend. All was going well until lunchtime, at which time things went very, very wrong.
I asked A if she wanted a PB&J for lunch. Her eyes lit up with excitement and she gleefully exclaimed, “Yeah!” So, I headed to the kitchen to whip it up for her. PB&J is one of my fave sandwich combos and I was excited to share one with my firstborn. Once the sandwich was ready, A began to whine. Why, you ask? Because there was jelly on her PB&J. The horror!!
For the record, A had jelly filling in the Pillsbury croissants I made the weekend before, so I knew she liked it. Well, I don’t know why I chose to pick this particular battle but I did. And, it was going down.
So there she was, sitting in her booster seat, whining and crying that she doesn’t like jelly while her sister looked at her, perplexed, from her high chair. I explained to her that she does like jelly and she needed to try it. (Side Note: I make my children try everything but don’t force them to eat what they don’t like.)
Refusal. Refusal and whining. Refusal and whining and tears.
After unsuccessful attempts at verbal convincing, I took a bite of her sandwich to show her how good it is. The horror!! She then got mad at me for taking a bite out of the sandwich she didn’t want and started crying harder and louder.
Protests. Protests and yelling. Protests and yelling and tears.
At some point the yelling was mine, too. It probably started way earlier than what would be considered acceptable (except, many would say it never is), but dangit! I had a point to make and she pushed the wrong button. My fuse is a lot shorter these days than it used to be. So, after explaining to her multiple times that she had the choice of either eating what I gave her or not having lunch at all (to no avail), I resorted to threatening to throw the sandwich away. The horror!! She didn’t want me to throw away the sandwich that she didn’t want.
Arguing. Arguing and frustration. Arguing and frustration and tears.
Finally, after a minute or so of her continued manic behavior, I threw the half of the sandwich I had bitten in the trash. A lost her mind. She still had the other half, though, but at this point I don’t even think she knew what she wanted or didn’t want and I was in such a frustrated mom-fog that I couldn’t bring myself to calm down and try to help snap her out of it either. Well, I’m sure you guessed it, this was going nowhere fast. So, enraged, I picked up her plate, threw her food in the trash, and proceeded to pick her up and take her upstairs to her room, all the while E is still sitting in her high chair, eating her lunch quietly like a saint. I’m sure she was thinking that there was no way she wanted any part in what was going down. Smart girl.
So, A is in her room and is now crying that she’s hungry and that she wants to obey. I calmly (yes, I calmed down), told her that it was too late for that and that she had to take a nap without lunch. Oh man, not what she wanted to hear. So, after a few minutes, I took a fruit pouch up to her (as mean as I try to be, I couldn’t in good conscience actually let her go to bed without something) but, she didn’t eat it. Guys, I was waiting for her head to spin all the way around; she was possessed by irrational demons. But then again, maybe I was, too.
At some point, she came out of her room and was whimpering at the top of the stairs for awhile. E was still eating quietly. I called up to A and told her that if she was hungry, she could come downstairs and I would make her another sandwich… with jelly. Well, she must have worked herself into quite the hungry state because she sheepishly agreed and came back downstairs where she was greeted with a hug, a kiss, and another sandwich… with jelly.
Well, wouldn’t you know it. She took a bite and a huge smile lit up her face. I looked at her and said, “Is it good?” and she responded with gleeful excitement, “Yeah!” I then asked, “Was Mommy right?” and she agreed with a smile and nod. I could have cried.
Start to finish, the great PB&J debacle of 2016 lasted somewhere from 35-40 minutes. The rest of the day was filled with smiles (even though it took awhile for my stress level to normalize). She may tell her shrink about it one day but at least she has a long life of enjoying PB&J’s ahead of her. And, if you ask me, despite the fact that I lost my temper (again), I won that battle.