early battle of wills

It’s amazing what nine days of sleeping in will do to a person, especially when that person is under two. Starting the first Monday morning, Brooklynn didn’t want to sit in her own high chair for breakfast. She would accept a banana or fruit bar and wander around the kitchen, following me around as I got lunches packed, or she would want to sit on a lap and eat some food off a plate or from a bowl. Weekends – no such issues. The high chair is just fine for all three meals each day. Probably a couple of snacks thrown in as well. Offer her yogurt anytime after 8 am and get out of the way as she hands you a small bowl and beelines for her chair and why isn’t the yogurt already on the table waiting?

We do ask her to wake up, get dressed, and eat breakfast in a span of 15 to 20 minutes each morning. And sometimes, when I don’t do a great job of getting up the first time the alarm goes off, it also means that part of those 15 to 20 minutes need to be spent finishing up our own morning agenda. So, it would be great if we could go back to eating independently.

We’ve dealt with bad habits before. For a couple of nights, Brooklynn thought that she should probably play with toys and run around after her bath instead of going to bed. So, for those couple of nights, we skipped the nightly story and put a crying toddler in her crib, shut off the lights, and walked out. And, after three or four days, we were back to the old routine of bath, story, and bed without any crying.

This morning, we decided that the sitting on the lap to eat breakfast habit was going to end. Yes, I enabled it for three weeks, and it doesn’t really seem fair to punish her for a habit that I promoted. But it turns out I’m the parent and she’s the kid and so my decisions still carry a little more weight than hers.

Her recent breakfast has been some Cheerios in a little bit of milk with her new “big girl” spoons. She was quite happy when the bowl was placed on the table, a little apprehensive when her chair was pulled out instead of mine, and extremely agitated when I attempted to place her in that chair.

I used a knee, elbow, both hands and possibly a little hip to get her wrangled and buckled into the chair and I did find out that the straps are capable of supporting the full weight of a toddler without breaking or the chair tipping over. Glad to know it’s worth all that money we paid for it.

Brooklynn quickly devolved into full grade sobbing, and even though both Rhiannon and I were sitting on both sides of her like any normal meal, she wasn’t happy. So we were faced with a choice: we could take her out of her chair and pack her in the car without any breakfast or we could let her sit on a lap and actually eat something.

It took a few minutes on Rhiannon’s lap for her to actually calm down and control her breathing enough to take a few bites of cereal.

Remember that thing I mentioned about me being the parent and my decisions meaning more than a child’s? Please disregard.