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Saturday, 20 August 2016

My Toddler Won't Eat and It's Stressing Me Out


*I finish making lunch*

Okay, food is ready. God, that took me ages. Is it even worth it? I suppose we’ll find out.

He NEEDs to eat this meal. How can anyone survive on toast? Toast and biscuits. He’s like a bloody student already.

Wish he’d stop screaming. Although he’s probably hungry, hasn’t eaten properly in a week.

I’m not gonna give him a drink yet, sometimes that puts him off. I think it does anyway. Maybe it just puts me off? What if he’s thirsty though? I know, I’ll make the drink but hide it on the other side of the oven. Perfect.

Now, shall I have the food ready for him on the table when I put him in his seat? Or should I bring it over when he’s sat down, like a dishevvelled waiter?

Too many choices. Feel like I’m cracking a puzzle.

*puts son in highchair*

He’s crying already, haven’t even showed him the food yet. Must be because he’s hungry, right?

I’m nervous. This is more stressful than a credit check.

Here we go - smiley face, happy singing and now for the big reveal…TUNA LASAGNA!!!

*boy screams even harder*

Oh, fuck. That’s a bad start. He does like this stuff though, maybe he’s forgotten. Let’s get a little spoonful first shall we? Here we go and…

*son turns his head away from the spoon*

Oh fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Not again. Stay calm, he’ll sense it. Show him the bowl.

*son glares at food*

Christ, he looked at that food like it owed him money. Not a great sign. Might as well try the aeroplane spoon trick.

*Does aeroplane spoon trick*

Nope. Never works. Don’t even know why I still try it. Even when I was a baby I remember thinking that was shit.

If I can just get him to taste it, he’ll remember he likes it.

Fair play to him, he’s a stubborn little sod. That’ll help him go far in life. I think. Will it? Or is it the worst quality you can have?  Either way, he’ll need to eat the odd meal whatever he does.

THAT DOESN’T MATTER RIGHT NOW! Let’s just get him to eat this small and lovingly prepared portion of fucking lasagna.

Is it too hot? Too cold? Too just-the-right-temperature? I didn’t realise Goldilocks was based on true events.

Let’s try the dummy move. I’ll hold the dummy out, he’ll open his mouth and then BOOM - I’ll switch the dummy for a spoon of tasty, nutritious food. Never fails.

Here goes.

*tries dummy trick*

Well that was a fucking disaster. I’m wearing more food than he’s eaten in the last two days.

Need to calm him down.

It’s okay little man! Don’t worry, daddy’s just getting a bit worried about you. Would you like some food?

*son screams until he starts coughing*

I think that’s a no.

He’s not accepting a small spoonful, might as well go for a massive one.

*heaps spoon up*

What a surprise, that didn’t work either.

I just need to get some food into his mouth. He’ll taste it and everything will be fine.

*moves spoon towards sons mouth, son bobs and weaves like a prize fighter avoiding a jab*

This isn’t what I expected. All those books I read, where was the chapter entitled ‘Force Feeding Your Screaming Child While You Hold Back Your Own Tears’?

Sometimes I think it’d be easier to plug him back into his mum for a few days.

Let’s have another go. My god, this is impossible, should be a parlour game.

“Hey guys! Who fancies a quick round of ‘Feed The Uncooperative Baby’ with me?”

It’d make a great iPhone app.

What if I hold the spoon still, will he accidentally move his mouth into it?

*son screams blue murder until a small particle of lasagna touches his lip and then he stops, considers the situation momentarily and then opens his mouth*

YES! We’re in. Come on! Feel like I’ve cracked a safe.

*loads big spoonfuls in as quickly as possible, making up for lost time*

Must maintain eye contact. Don’t change sitting position. Keep everything EXACTLY as it is till he’s finished. Any change in circumstance could ruin everything.

My god, this feels so good. Every mouthful he has I can feel stress leaving my shoulders.

See! You love this stuff little man! Nom, nom, nom!

*slight cry from son*

Oh shit, sorry. Stay focused.

He’s probably ready for that drink now.

*grabs his drink from other side of oven*

Here we go mate. Wow, he was thirsty.

Okay, next spoonful.

*son refuses food and starts screaming again*

Oh no. I’ve fucked it. It’s snakes and ladders, one false move and you’re back to the start.

What did that article say? Stay calm? How the fuck are you supposed to stay calm when the person you love most in the world hasn’t eaten properly for five days?

PLEASE eat some more, son. For daddy? In fact, for yourself. You NEED food to survive, mate. Please?

*tries to jam spoon in son’s mouth again*

How can you go off food in the middle of a meal? He loved this fifteen seconds ago and now it’s offensive to his tastebuds. He’s fussier than that Princess with the pea.

And now he’s eating the table cloth. Great. The food I spent half an hour making for him is foul but the £3 tablecloth from Wilkos is strangely delicious.

I wish I was this honest in restaurants. Next time food comes over I don’t fancy, instead of being terribly British and suffering quietly I’m gonna lash my drink at the wall, throw my body backwards and scream like someone’s hacking my arm off.

Ah, fuck it. Might as well eat this myself. No wonder I’m getting fat.

*tucks into food while sobbing*

I'm a stand up comic and dad to twin boys. Follow my blog on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or check out my parents podcast.

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