Negotiating with Terrorists

Two-year-old, tantrum-throwing, floor-hugging, sound barrier-breaking domestic terrorists.

As you may have guessed, I’m describing a “terrible two” moment. This just happened moments ago on The Hubby’s watch. And why?

Because Joshua decided he’d rather play in the basement than eat dinner, even if said dinner was Daddy’s favorite lasagna rolls. Joshua loves lasagna rolls…or at least he did until today. Toddlers are so fickle! But that’s beside the point.

The point is this: The Hubby bribed him with the old, “If you take one bite, I’ll let you go downstairs” shtick — and it worked.

Cue the dramatic eyeroll.

Joshua’s dinner now sits, lonely and sad, on the half-wall separating the living room from the staircase leading to the basement. It’s getting cold and more and more likely to wind up in the garbage as the minutes tick on. It’s sitting on its turquoise IKEA plate like a life raft floating away on open ocean, saying, “Haha, you’ll never catch me!” I can practically hear the roaring bellies and desperate cries of the African children who would just love to savor the delicious dinner that Joshua so flippantly refused to eat.

Would you turn this down?!

Long story short? My husband not only negotiated with the “tiny terrorist” version of my son, but he conceded to his wishes. We’ll see how triumphant he feels when he can’t have dessert, or when he goes to bed hungry because he refuses to eat. I’m not a short-order cook, and I don’t want to set the precedent at this very early age that if you don’t like what Mommy made, you can cause a ruckus until you get what you want. That’s not how to maintain good health, and it’s not a practice I want to encourage — especially because I’d be the one dragging myself into the kitchen over and over to make fifteen different dishes that my child will just refuse anyway. Now is the time for Joshua to understand that our family eats together — and we eat the same thing. Take it or leave it.

On the bright side, I know this means he’ll eat whatever we prepare for him in the morning!

  • readathomemama

    Agreed! With these toddlers it’s very much “my way or the highway”. I hate lose-lose situations!