Thursday, September 20, 2012

Terrible three

I call it terrible three because when she was two, I never had any trouble with her at all. She would follow what I tell her, no questions asked. People often warn me that it's looming but I had so much faith in my daughter that she will not subject me to this ordeal. Until last night.

I knew it was bound to happen one of these days and last night it did. I had a taste of an episode of Leia's terrible three at the dinner table. She refused to eat and being the Ina-Tay that I am, tried all possible tactics to get her to eat. I did the choo-choo train, flying airplane, hissing snake and what have you and all I got was her shaking her head no.
This was the scenario: I have been the default cook at home eversince I came back and made sure that Leia knows Mama is cooking the food. For me, it adds more appeal if she will see me laboring in the kitchen. While waiting for the nilaga to cook, I let her sit on the dinner table and chatted with her. I asked if she wanted to eat and she answered that she wanted candy. Of course I told her no but made a deal that she is allowed one piece after dinner. Okay, deal. That was easy. When the table was set and the prayer was said, Leia didn't want to take even a single spoonful of rice and viand. I put on my Mama hat and explained that she needs to eat so she will grow strong and healthy, that not all kids have food to eat. She was unconvinced. My brain tried to remember all those articles I read on how to get your child to eat minus the act of actually shoving food on her throat. I tried to keep my cool knowing that she was testing my resolve. She started playing with her food and I darted her my disapproving look. She then threw a piece of potato on the floor. That was it! I stood from my chair and went to the comfort room to take a deep breath because I was so ready to spank her.

Now I promised myself that I will never spank her unless very necessary and if I do, I will never use my hands. I was on my wits end! So after that deep breath, I went back to the table and showed her who the boss is. I looked at her directly and told her in a calm voice that I will not force her to eat, it will be her choice. But if she gets hungry later in the night nobody will prepare her food. Then I ate. I ordered Mom and the help not to pay Leia any attention and to ignore her. After five minutes from the corner of my eye, I saw her pick up her spoon and fork and started to eat. I kept silent until she spoke with her mouth full and said sorry. I then told her that behavior was unacceptable and I want her to respect the food put on the table because they don't come free. I made her promise she will not do it again and she did. We then hugged and after dinner she reminded me of that candy I promised to give her.

Let's see how long before the next episode happens and I have to give my litany of "food does not fall from heaven" and "there are children who don't have anything to eat." This is motherhood and it sure is not for the faint-hearted. I will never let her think she can boss me around.

I am starting to sound like my mother. And while all of these were going on, I knew Mommy was trying hard not to tell me, "now you know how it is..."

Have you gone through the same ordeal? Comment below. :)

1 comment:

  1. My Mom says the same whenever Lei gives me a very patience-breaking scene...

    However... wait till she gets 4! ^^

    Glad you're enjoying your moments with the heiress :)