Last night I put Baby A to bed without dinner. Nothing. No milk, no dinner, no nothing.
This has been an increasing battle between the two of us. My husband does not have the level of issue that I do with her and eating. She's not perfect with him, but significantly better than with me, where she is basically a screaming mess at every meal. Unless it's a peanut better and jelly sandwich, or a grilled cheese, those she'll eat without complaint.
Every other meal, she's twisting to get out of her seat, pushing the spoon away, throwing food off her tray, turning her head when I try to give her a bite, crying, screaming, shaking her head, the whole nine.
It's not really a consistent cause either.
Occasionally it's whatever I prepared for dinner, however, I don't introduce a lot of new stuff anymore, she eats about everything we do and has very few things that she doesn't care for. I still offer her those every once in a while, but I don't push the issue when I know it's something she's not a big fan of.
Sometimes it's that she doesn't like the spoon I gave her.
Sometimes it's that she wants her milk first. But if I let her drink her milk, she fills up on that and won't eat her dinner. If I put a small amount in her cup, she'll drain that, and then play with her sippy cup, not eating, so I take the cup away, and then it's instant tantrum.
Last night it was because she wanted to only eat the sweet potato and was trying to pick the green beans and steak off the spoon, which I, of course, wouldn't let her do. So, she screamed, and that was the end of dinner. I sat her down an hour later to eat. She shook her head, turned away from the spoon, and that was it. Dinner was done and she went straight to bed at 7:20 (her normal bedtime has been closer to 8).
I know some of this has to do with my patience levels, or lack thereof, due to pregnancy. I am not an overly patient person to begin with, pregnancy makes me very irritable and Baby A is really pushing my buttons lately.
This is a level of acting out that is very new, although it's been growing for a while. The last few weeks have been pretty bad. I'll get maybe two dinners out of 7 without screaming.
I also know, that some of this has to do with Baby A's growing sense of independence and wanting to do things herself, or at the very least, not wanting me to do them for her. I get that. I do. It's fair. But when she's been in her high chair for 20 minutes and has taken 3 bites, I just don't know what to do. So I sit down and start feeding her. Sometimes it goes well, most times lately, it doesn't. And again, I am so, SO short tempered these days that I can't handle her fits. I just start screaming back at her. Later I wish I had handled it differently, but I just can't stop myself at the time.
To be honest, it's not just meal times. Everything is a battle lately.
Getting dressed in the morning is a battle.
Doing her hair is a battle.
Going into the grocery store and not getting a cart for her to sit in, is a battle. All I needed was a gallon of milk. I just wanted to walk in and walk out. She pitched a fit at the entrance. Pitched a fit throughout the store when I refused to pick her up and carry her (my back was really bothering me that day). And then threw the mother of all tantrums in the middle of the parking lot. Of course. Where there was a police officer parked. Of course.
I don't actually worry about the other people seeing me or her mid tantrum. She's little, little kids throw tantrums. I think most people get that. When parents ignore it and let a child scream unattended in the stores, that's when most people have an issue. When a parent is correcting a behavior, and I don't mean beating their child in the middle of the store, but when they're obviously making an effort, successfully or not, most people have a little sympathy and realize we're doing our best. Really though, the police officer sitting in his car, three spots away, rattled me a bit.
I really hate that I put Baby A down last night without dinner. But she never woke up crying in the middle of the night, and once I put her in her crib, even though it was early, she calmed down and sang herself to sleep like normal. She was ravenous this morning and ate her entire bowl of oatmeal, extra milk and was still asking for more. So, basically, she's not going to starve to death if she has to miss dinner and maybe she'll figure out that screaming = no food. I'm hoping she figures it out pretty quickly because I feel really guilty about the whole thing, even though I still feel like I'm right in my actions.
Sometimes, it just sucks being a mom.