Some of you have been asking how we're doing around these parts, concerning my son's ongoing food issues. Well! Let me take a break from tearing my hair out to update you!
The update is, there's no update. The child has made zero progress. The prevailing wisdom (and yes, I have read Ellyn Satter; I want Ellyn Satter to come live at my house) seems to be that we should include at least one item he enjoys as part of our dinner, but the number of foods he enjoys seems to be dwindling daily. (He won't eat bread, people. BREAD.) He now refuses any fruit (INCLUDING BLUEBERRIES OH MY GOD). He wants only pasta. Only the small pastas. Orzo and tiny stars and eensy little elbows. With butter or ricotta. Try adding some sauce—just try!—and my god, you will pay.
Not only is he picky, he also has an enormous appetite, so if there's nothing on the table that he'll countenance, he is not happy with you. The Wisdom of the Eating Sages also dictates maintaining a blithe, devil-may-care attitude toward your child's eating, but that's difficult when he's shouting at you and weeping and it's just the two of you because your husband isn't home yet and hmmm, is that a beer I see in the back of the fridge? Indeed it is!
I feel for him. I think this is enormously frustrating for him as well as us. Lately he's been demanding "something un-yoo-sual" for dinner, but of course this is hilarious because "unusual" terrifies him. He's bored with what he likes but scared to try anything new. So tears and tantrums follow shortly thereafter. I've tried to make dinner pleasant, I've made it crystal clear to him that he doesn't have to try anything, but that he also doesn't get to spend dinner time pointing out how yucky everything at the table is, and not once has he managed this. Just keeping quiet about the yuck factor in his vicinity. Not once. It's amazing how one's shoulder muscles can begin to spasm just thinking about this issue! Huh!
Then the other day he stopped dead in his tracks outside a Japanese restaurant, inhaled, and said, "It smells incredible in there." I wanted to drag him inside and pour miso soup down his gullet.
We've limited dessert to one night a week, with the occasional exception, because every dinner was becoming all about dessert. Now every night it's a fight over whether this is a dessert night, or not. His newest line is "I've decided this is a dessert night because I'm the boss, and I get to say when it's dessert night." This is an interesting line, this "I'm the boss" thing, because it has never worked, not once, not ever, and yet he continues to use it about, well, everything. I AM NOT LIKING HIM SO MUCH THESE DAYS.
And look, I know. I KNOW. I know there are worse things we could be going through. He sleeps well. He is a delight in many ways. He's healthy and weighs enough and the pediatrician is unconcerned. But you asked! And this is what's going on. The End.
EDITED TO ADD: Me again! Hi! Listen, please don't confuse what I'm feeling about this issue with what I'm doing. As far as Henry knows, I am the the epitome of nonchalance when it comes to his massive refusal of every food item except tiny teensy pastas. We only address the behavioral issues surrounding dinnertime. We have read everything there is to read. And as for "Maybe he'll like..."--thank you. But no. I mean, probably yes, if he'd deign to put it in his mouth. But he won't! And in this way I am driven bonkers. But all inside, in a quiet way, ssssh. He's not affected by it. Okay?