Monday, July 19, 2010

Dr. Mom

On Saturday I woke up to the sound of William yakking.  Again.  Second time in two weeks actually.  But this time I'm sure it wasn't a bug.  In fact, I don't think the first time was a bug either.

Putting on my mommy detective hat, overcoat and super cool monocle I gathered these facts about both incidents:

1. He went to bed without eating dinner the night before on both occasions.  Not because of reasons that would necessitate a call to CPS, mind you, but because he didn't like what I was serving.  There are no second choices for dinner in our house.  I do try to respect his likes and dislikes so I won't purposely serve chicken, his most hated food, every single night, but we do have a family of four and the world, including my recipe box, does not revolve around him.  So because he didn't eat dinner and because I don't typically offer an afternoon snack, the last time he had eaten was at lunch the day before.

2. Both times he awoke in the middle of the night asking for water. I always remember when he wakes before morning because it's very rare for him to ever do that.

3. Both mornings he woke up earlier than usual and complained that his side hurt and that he couldn't walk.  He then asked for more water.

4. Both mornings we put him on the couch in front of PBS Kids in hopes that (a) he would start to feel better and (b) we could get a few more minutes of shuteye before Lucy woke.

5. Both mornings he threw up all over himself before he ate breakfast.  It was only water, no food.

6.  Both days he went back to bed and slept until around noon at which time he was 100% back to normal and started eating everything in sight without so much as a hint of nausea.

7. So far, no one else in the house has had any sort of stomach problems.

What would you conclude from these facts?

Me?  I think it's hunger pains turned into an actual stomach ache turned into retching.  Is that possible?  Can you really throw up from being overly hungry?  And if so, what's a mother to do about it?  I can't honestly serve noodles or pizza for dinner every night of the week.

Brian and I talked about giving him a small bowl of cereal just before he goes to bed if he hasn't eaten dinner but even that seems like something he'll catch on to very quickly.

"I don't like this bean salad so I'll just wait until later for my bowl of cereal."

We have been honest with him about it.  He obviously doesn't enjoy throwing up so we've told him that he needs to eat his dinner even if he doesn't like it.  And I think he understands that.  But still, he sits there twirling his fork, his head resting on his other hand, without putting a single bite in his mouth.

If anyone has suggestions I'm ready and waiting!


  1. Maybe we're mean parents, but Martin is not allowed to leave the table until he eats his dinner. If it's something he doesn't like, then he gets a smaller portion, but has to eat more of his sides (i.e. veggie, rice, potato, etc..)

    Kids are smart. William will catch onto cereal real fast.

    Keep us posted!

  2. If my kids don't eat it at dinner they eat it at breakfast. If not at breakfast, at lunch and so on. They do not get anything else to eat until the food is eaten at a meal. When they finally eat it, that is all they get at that meal.

    The older two have learned very quickly to eat what is in front of them. They always know it is coming back if they don't.

    One note: If I know they don't like it, such as William's chicken, I will serve a smaller portion of it and give a little more of everything else. They still have to eat the little portion though. If it is not eaten by the end of the meal, it becomes their next meal. With nothing else.

    I agree with Andrea, stay away from the cereal idea. It has danger written all over it.

  3. Perhaps you could test the cereal theory once and only once. Just to see if it is the hunger pains thing.

    I agree that he will totally catch on quick but at least one time can help you determine one possible cause.

  4. Three Bite Rule: You must eat at least three bites of everything on your plate before you're excused from the table. Choices come in when you decide if they will be giant bites or mouse nibbles.

  5. I wish I was stronger in this dept. I usually end up making 2 meals - one either for Josh and I or one for Josh, Ash and Maddie and I go without (which is fine some nights...I just eat veggies) Or I alter the same meal for diff people - ie - Ash and Madd no spice and Josh and I spicier.

    I do tend to make what they all like. Otherwise I have a house of crabbys. Sometimes I've reintroduced things later like tacos...Ash never used to like them now she LOVES them. I think their taste buds mature over time. :)

  6. I'm pretty lax when it comes to food - particularly because I tend to snack a lot (or eat a few smaller meals throughout the day rather than 3 large ones). As a result, my girls and I tend to eat throughout the day. I am, however, careful that the food we are eating is healthful.

    If my 3-year-old says she is hungry before bed, we typically give her a choice. Ex. "Would you like a banana or a piece of toast?"

    In other words, we don't control QUANTITY of food that our children eat at mealtimes or otherwise, but we do our best to only offer QUALITY options. Does that make sense?

  7. I should add that if Magdalene is having a hard time eating we play the one bite at a time game. "Okay, take one bite. That's all you need. Good!" Wait a little. "Now one more bite." Sometimes she sees a mountain and it is easier to go a little pieces at a time.

    Another thing we do if they don't like it is turn it into a contest. "Who can eat the most bites?" "Who is the faster digger?" The only thing you have to watch out for with this is eating too fast. I usually have to add a three seconds between bites rule.

    Good luck!

  8. As a mother of 5 grown children, all healthy and in better shape than I ever was at their age: Let them eat when they're hungry and give them what they like! My youngest grew up on air and sugar. (not really, but that's what it seemed like sometimes.) She is my tallest, healthiest girl at 14. A miracle? No. Throw all that Dr. Spock crap out the window and let your kids eat when they are hungry. For crying out loud - DON'T YOU? So many unnatural routines for kids...what's the point? Dragging teenagers out of bed when their bodies need sleep, forcing them to eat when they aren't hungry and starve when they are. Think about it. What's the point? To have a perfect little robot that eats what you give them when they are given it? Relax, Moms.


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