June 21, 2013

My Daughter, Hungry and Indifferent

Harper has eaten very little today.  This is a common occurrence, but maybe not for the reasons one might suspect.

Many children are picky with what they will eat.  One of my cousins ate nothing but macaroni and cheese for years because he refused.  Harper doesn't really have this problem.  Occasionally, she will refuse to even try something because Saturn has aligned with Neptune and Mars is moving into Libra.  The conversation goes something like this:

Harper: "Dad, what's for dinner?"
Me: "We're having pasta salad, chicken fingers and broccoli! YUM!"  (Don't judge me)
H: "NOOOOOOO!!!! I don't like pasta salad!!!"
M: "...You ate it and loved it yesterday.  Just try it."
H: "NOOOOOOOOOO!!!! I don't like pasta salad!  And I won't eat anything else while the offending food is still on my plate!  Cleanse it and return it to me!"
M: "...I'm not doing that.  If you don't want the pasta salad, that's fine.  You don't have to eat it."
H: "It has spread its infection to the remainder of the food items! They, too, offend me now! I shall commence flopping on the floor as though all of the bones have been removed from my body!"
M: "...Why are you doing that?"

...and so on.

The main reason why my child is always hungry in because eating is not nearly as exciting to her and whatever else happens to be going on inside her head.  One of my biggest sources of frustration with her is the fact that she is seemingly incapable of remaining at the table for an entire meal.  I don't mean that she has to sit there until we are all finished and have given a complete rundown of our days.  I mean she can't seem to stay at the table while she eats.  She's turning around, looking out the window, getting something from her room, getting something from the kitchen, getting a different fork, climbing onto Sara's lap, finding a doll, showing us a new dance, putting the finishing touches on her homemade rocketship, solving world peace, solving world hunger (by not eating anything herself) etc.

She will then claim that she's all done and no longer hungry.  This statement will, to my utter bafflement and rage, be immediately followed by "Can I have a snack?"

She has no problem serving food, just putting it into her mouth...
Today for lunch, I heated up some macaroni and cheese to clear some space in the fridge, and cooked some hot dogs at their request.  The girls had a picnic lunch on the living room floor and while Harper was distracted by other things for 25 minutes, Brynn ate both hot dogs and most of the mac and cheese, leaving her sister with nothing.

I would feel badly about it, except that I told Harper no less than 8 times that if she didn't sit and eat, exactly this would happen.

H:  "I'm going to eat in a bit."
M:  "Sweetie, by the time you eat, it will all be gone."
H:  "I know!"

22 minutes later...

H: "Dad, Brynn ate all the hotdogs! Can you make more?"
M: "No.  I told you that if you didn't eat, she would eat it."
H: "But I had to do some stuff."
M: "I'm sorry sweetie."
Brynn: **BUUUUUUUUUUUUURP** "Ate all the hot dog!"

Behind this adorable face is a cavernous black hole containing tears and hot dogs.

I've read and been told that you shouldn't hold food over your kids like a punishment.  You also shouldn't make them sit at the table until they've eaten everything on their plates.  I am curious, however, how long it will take my oh-so-busy daughter to starve herself to death simply out of distraction.

"No, she's not anorexic.  She's just easily distracted."

June 3, 2013

My Daughters, Very Different People

A few weeks ago, I confiscated a laser pointer from one of my students.  He was using it to perform Lasik on strangers from down the hall and, since he was doing so without a license, or patient consent, I felt it in the public interest to relive him of it.

I, like many pet owners, used the laser pointer to lead my children on wild goose chases throughout my house.  The girls would scream "THERE IT IS!!!" and go tearing after the red dot that was magically floating on the wall, on the chair, on mom's leg.  Just as they were about to reach it, it would bolt in another direction, sending the girls running in circles until they pass out.  Childish and inhuman? Maybe.  Effective? Yes.

The second time we did this, Sara showed them how to coax the point of light into their hands.  She knelt on the ground and gently whispered "c'mon, little guy! It's alright.  Come here!" and the light slowly, gingerly moved its way into her hand.

On Saturday, I got the laser pointer out again and had it running around the kitchen.  After the initial screams of excitement, Harper knelt down and gently coaxed the light into her hand.  Brynn watched her carefully, as she usually does, analyzing her movements.  When the spot of light was almost into Harper's palm, having slowly inched its way towards her, Brynn cocked her head to the side and stomped on it with all her little feet could handle.

I think it's safe to say which parent each child takes after.  Harper's loving nature is derived directly from her mother, while Brynn has the sensibilities of her true father, Lucifer Morningstar.
It's hard out there for a thug.
 At what age can you get a child tested for sociopathy?



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