I’ve got two very different little boys. Ying and yang, I like to call them. Because even though they’re both Tauruses, share physical characteristics and have an intense dislike for the bad “b” word – bedtime – they really couldn’t be more dissimilar. Which I suppose is half the joy of raising more than one child; the varying array of quirks, conflicts and complex personalities that keep you on your toes. (And often, reaching for a bottle of wine.)
This year, with Reid being in school for the very first time (translation: freedom!) I’m once again reminded that he is very different from his older brother. Whereas Ryder will ALWAYS finish his entire lunch at school, Reid has an insurmountable decision-making process, known only to him, for what he will eat, and what will go untouched.
“Why didn’t you eat your sandwich?”
“It was too melty.”
“Why didn’t you finish your grapes?”
“They’re too round. I like them less round.”
“Why did you bring back your cookies?”
“They smell funny. Like someone has been breathing on them.”
Now I ask you, what does melty even mean?? And how does it relate to a pristine turkey sandwich?
Two weeks in, I was seriously beginning to wonder if he would ever get the hang of eating a school lunch. And then I remembered a key piece of armour – a strategic tactic, if you will – in the war against determined toddlers: The Bribe.
Please don’t look for The Bribe in parenting manuals. We are stoically told from the moment our children are born that thou shalt not bribe children to elicit a desired behaviour or outcome. To which I say, yeah, and my toddler was toilet trained in 3 days when I bribed him with a KINDER SURPRISE.
So, I did what any responsible parent would do: I told Reid that if he finished his lunch… within reason, of course… he would receive a KINDER SURPRISE as an after school treat. The first day, he attempted to call my bluff; returning with an almost full, untouched lunchbox. However, when I doled out one of those delicious chocolate eggs to his brother, and not him, he quickly revised his stance. …