Monday, January 4, 2010

One Small Change

It's amazing to me that one small change can make such a huge difference. Just like putting up a thick sheet in Brenden's window made it dark enough for him to sleep soundly both at night and at nap time, eating at the dinner table has changed our dinner time from something full of frustration to something I actually enjoy.

We first noticed it when we went to grandma and grandpa Smith's out in Colorado for Christmas. After sitting in the car for over 12 hours we thought for sure Brenden would be a complete mess and not eat a thing. To our HUGE surprise he not only ate broccoli and potatoes but devoured all the ham that grandma put in front of him. Meat has been a big sore spot for us. I even took to calling Brenden our "vegetarian" for awhile, he was that against eating meat. For a long time he was against eating anything at all, which is when we started buying Pediasure to make sure that he was getting some kind of nutrients.

He ate at the table the entire time we were there. We may have had a few disagreements about what he should be eating, he wanted to eat oatmeal all the time but we thought his diet should be more diverse, but he definitely ate a lot better.

I wasn't crazy enough to think that this good luck could last. He's been through phases before when he ate and didn't eat, slept and didn't sleep. So imagine my surprise when we got home from the long road trip back and he asked to eat at the table. He actually pointed to the table and said he was ready to eat. So sit down we did and he ate his pizza with no complaints.

Again, I was skeptical. This couldn't possibly last more than once. But why not try it again, right? So for dinner last night we sat down at the table. We even pulled out his highchair, which we haven't used in over a year because he flat out refused to sit in it to eat, but we don't have a booster so we thought it would work. Tim made an awesome dinner of ham, stuffing and veggies and before Tim and I had a chance to sit down Brenden was already digging into his stuffing. He ate bites of everything, even asked for seconds and thirds of the stuffing. I almost cried I was so happy.

I know a week of eating decently and then actually eating really well twice at home isn't much of a stretch of time. But to see a light at the end of this "picky toddler" stage of eating is encouraging. For the past few months it's been more than a struggle, it's been a battle of the wills. Brenden usually lost, but not without several timeouts and lots of screaming. (I was screaming in my head, at least.)

Fingers crossed that I didn't just jinx us. Usually when Brenden does something that makes us happy, like sleeping late or not throwing as many tantrums, and then I blog about it he will immediately change that habit. Please universe, don't curse me!

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