I had a run in with my three year old today. It happens every now and again, where they decide they won’t eat. Today, it was a cheese sandwich that they decided they didn’t want. But I wasn’t in the room (I got sick of waiting for them to finish), so I didn’t know exactly what was happening. Well, they sprinkled water all over it so that the food was soggy. It was disgusting. But I told them that if they didn’t eat it, they wouldn’t get a snack later or a treat after dinner. I told them a few times, as they sobbed, and continued to reiterate the fact that they shouldn’t play with their food like that. After saying this a few times, I finally said, “I’ll set a timer for 10 minutes. If you don’t eat it by then, no snack and no treats after dinner.” The timer went off, 10 sobbing and whining minutes later, and still, no dice. I gave them the ultimatum again, and they said no.
Flash forward to after their nap. “I’m hungry.” I said, nope, no snacks, remember? “But I’m hungry.” Well, you should’ve thought of that when you played with your food and didn’t eat it. Yes, I am sure I sound horrible. I might sound like a bitch who had just had enough. But to be honest, I know that 3 year olds know exactly what they are doing. They can be manipulative little bastards, and I wasn’t playing that game. It’s happened before, and I haven’t given in. I didn’t go this far, but I was fed up and I knew what would happen. They’d get a snack (and save room for it) and then eat a fantastic dinner so they could get a treat. So eff that.
We aren’t really a snacking family anyway. I mean, we have a good breakfast. The kids have a snack mid-morning, then lunch, another snack mid-afternoon (I try to stick to the school timing), and then a dinner (with sometimes a treat after). Sweets aren’t common in our house, so it’s a big deal for the kids to have an oreo or ice cream. I don’t let them snack in between, because I don’t want them to get into the habit of that and then they won’t eat their meals. And it works for us. Most of the time.
So after nap, they had no snack. Even though they complained. I kept reminding them that it was because they didn’t eat their lunch. (Maybe you shouldn’t have played with your food, you little shit.) Then, after dinner, they went into the pantry and said, “but I’m not looking for a treat, mommy, don’t worry.” Hahahaha, no. You can have another slice of pizza (dinner) or a cheese stick or carrots. Good try, though. I stuck to my guns, I’m proud of it. And they survived. They are 100% even though they didn’t have a snack, or finish their lunch, or get a treat after dinner. Win one for the momma.