Playpen Diaries: You won't eat supper, but you will eat dirt?

Lyndsay McCready
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It was a sunny Sunday afternoon, the kids were playing in the backyard, I was comfortable on my lounger and the dogs were cooling themselves under the trampoline.

The playpen diaries

The sound of the birds filled the air, while the faint sound of laughter indicated everyone was getting along — not totally unusual at our home, but kind of.

Although I was tempted to go and see exactly what was going on, I resisted the urge and let my little ones be.

In hindsight, I now know when your mommy instincts are telling you to do something, you get up off your butt and do something.

About 15 minutes after the fact, my son stands up, turns around and looks as though he had just shoved a large piece of chocolate cake in his mouth. Knowing this is an impossibility I quickly get out of my seat, run over to my smiling two-year-old, only to be greeted by a loud crunching noise.

I calmly ask ‘what are you eating?’ His response, “rocks mom,” followed by a smile that could light up a room.

Without even thinking I stick my fingers in his mouth wanting to pull out the rocks, only to feel the sharp pain of tiny baby teeth clench down on my sensitive fingertips.

My face must have said it all because within seconds the pout was on, tears were falling and my son was trying to hide his ashamed face.

In the meantime my daughter was looking on with a look of pure amusement — a clear indication she knew what was going on, that it was wrong and furthermore was involved in one way or another. It didn’t take me long to put all the pieces together.

While I was sitting enjoying those fleeting moments of silence, my children were making their ever-famous mud pies, the same ones we have all made at one time or another, however the difference here was my son decided his pie looked good enough to eat, so he did — and worse, enjoyed it.

I don’t know about other parents out there, but I have a heck-of-a-time getting my kids to eat anything.

I have tried the ice-cube tray of goodies I saw on Pintrest. I have tried letting them make their own mini pizzas. I have tried to sneak vegetables into their Kraft Dinner. I have let them tell me what to make for dinner. I have even promised their weight in cookies and ice cream if they would just eat what is on their plates, but it doesn’t matter if I make waffles, chicken or rice, if it isn’t a grilled cheese sandwich, hot dog or apparently dirt, the chances of them eating on their own are slim to none.

If it isn’t a grilled cheese sandwich, hot dog or apparently dirt, the chances of them eating on their own are slim to none.

I often question how my children are even alive or haven’t brought back scurvy. One is constantly trying to snack on boogers and dirt, while the other avoids anything that has even an ounce of nutrition in it. Everyone keeps telling me it’s a phase and they will grow out of it and although I cling to those words, at this point I am starting to feel discouraged. Perhaps it is my cooking? I mean when your child would rather chew on a rock and shove dirt in their mouth rather than eat what you are putting in front of them — that is saying something.

When your daughter would rather go to bed at 6 p.m. than finish what is on her plate, one can’t help but question what they are doing wrong.

I want to raise happy healthy children. I would love for their diet to be rounded and include all the contents of the Canadian Food Guide, but at what point do you just give them what they want?

When do you agree to disagree with the experts and just do what it takes to get food in their bellies and survive the day?

I am going to continue to try new things, I will continue to do everything I can to discourage the dirt diet and I am willing to give Pintrest another go.

However, if my kids want grilled cheese sandwiches, hot dogs or Kraft Dinner everyday of the week and it keeps the dirt on the ground and boogers out of their mouths, then for now, I guess that is what they will get.

We will call it the “This mommy is tired of sitting at the table for three hours every night counting to five diet.”

If you are a parent and you haven’t heard of it yet, just wait until your child turns two — it’s all the rave, just ask any toddler in Canada.

Lyndsay is on twitter @newsielou.

Geographic location: Canada

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