New Castle News

Kali-Davies Anderson

April 2, 2013

Kali Davies-Anderson: No, honey, that is NOT a Q-tip!

NEW CASTLE — I don’t know about you, but no one ever has to tell me twice to eat my plate full of pasta or pizza, nor do they rejoice at the sight of my half eaten brownie or cupcake.

But for anyone who has ever been in charge of feeding a barbarically picky eater (husbands and wives included), these may seem like unattainable milestones.

When my daughter was first born I asked my mother-in-law if my husband was ever a "good" eater. She frowned and shook her head no. So, when the time came to start my daughter on solid foods, I broiled some fish and held my breath. At first she seemed very open to different tastes and textures and I told myself that I had gotten lucky, that I had escaped the wrath of my non-vegetable eating, meat and potatoes, lettuce fearing husband's genes.

Then, about a month into her table food introduction, Miss Violet began displaying what some might go as far as to call “obnoxious” eating habits. The changes were subtle at first: milk became something to douse my dining room floor, it was no longer for drinking. Vegetables, which once served as acceptable forms of nutrition, warranted only a puckered and sorrowful expression of disdain and all of the "typical" foods that "all" kids like were rejected one-by-one.

So, I found myself doing what any doctor or dietician would SURELY suggest. I began feeding my daughter various forms of french fries, chicken nuggets and breaded fish. This all is in addition to the daily oatmeal, juice, cereal and yogurt that she does manage to ingest, and for a while it seemed as though she would predictably eat at least some of these healthful entrees.

Then, on more than one occasion I noticed food disappearing rapidly from the tray of her high chair. Upon further inspection I discovered that not only wasn’t she eating as quickly and efficiently as I had presumed, she was, in fact, not eating at all. For when I lifted her tiny body from the high chair, I noticed that her forceps seemed disproportionately large and, well, crunchy. She had shoved the entire contents of her dinner up her sleeves.

Although not pleased, I believed there was a rather simple solution to this problem. I would just not feed her in anything with long sleeves. This worked quite well  — once, or maybe twice — before my savvy toddler began hiding french fries beneath the fabric of her high chair, swatting the entire meal onto the floor in a fashion similar to a DJ spinning records. At various points throughout her meal, she resorted to several failed attempts at placing fish sticks in her ears.

I wish I could wrap this up by proclaiming some new-found technique, serving as a fool-proof way to get a child to eat. I wish I could tell you there have been no more incidents of seafood filled sleeves and french fried earlobes. What I can say, however is that this is yet another example of learning patience from a 32-inch high tyrant, which is hopefully preparing me for the bigger battles to come.

I also hope that someday I can sit down for a meal with my daughter that does not involve the microwave or broiler and we can laugh about the time she threw her chicken nuggets at the cats and washed her hair with apple juice. These are possibly the thoughts that keep me from going 100 percent insane.

A girl can dream, can't she?


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Kali-Davies Anderson
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