Yes, 3 More Bites. The exciting hour-long (if you're lucky, usually ends up taking all evening) dinner game full of exciting prizes. Exciting if you are like me and consider my fabulous chocolate chip cheesecake an exciting prize. But sometimes even the promise of delicious desserts isn't enough to make a winner out of my children. They just don't seem to like to eat. Weird huh?
Well no, not really that weird as I may be partially responsible. I have always been a light eater. Don't get me wrong, I love food, but eating an entire meal has been one thing that I can rarely do. I know that portion control in this country is out of control and the rate that many Americans eat their food is downright alarming. Seriously, in the time it takes me to eat my salad or butter my roll, most everyone I know would be rummaging around for dessert or grabbing seconds. At home my slowness is not out of the ordinary because I am the mom and at dinner time that makes me the runner, so I'm always late to sit down after fetching milk and napkins and cleaning up spilt milk and retrieving more napkins. My slowness isn't limited to our house, it happens out at restaurants too. I confess, I am a slow eater, but then again I have never had a weight problem so it seems to be working for me.
I am afraid my children have caught my slow eating gene and it has morphed into an "I am so full, I can't take another bite gene." I just hope they pass it on to their kids so I can sit back and watch the bargaining. Oh yes the bargaining, apparently you've never dined with us. My brother calls it a 3 hour commitment, so seriously if I ever invite you to my house for dinner, be prepared, you'll be here a while. I may even refer you to this post before you may accept my invite.
It's not that my kids are overly picky eaters. Granted they refuse to eat fish and my husband's grandmother's cooking but I can't blame them, I do the same. Other than the aversion to fish and Grandma's mystery casserole, they are fairly adventurous eaters, more so than most kids their ages. I know this by the number of reject snacks I get back on snack day. What kid doesn't like bananas or veggie pizza? Almost all of the veggie pizza (the kind where you flatten out the tube crescent rolls bake it, slather on cream cheese then add fresh veggies to the top) came back in the container I sent, of course it came back to my house in horrible condition after riding around in my daughter's backpack for an hour, but I'm pretty sure it was in an edible state up until the bus ride home. Same with the bananas. I sent 18 half bananas (dipped in lemon juice so they wouldn't turn brown, thank you very much) and got 12 back. Is my math that bad or did my snacks get the thumbs down?. Anyhow, what I mean to say is that my kids don't have a problem with variety, just the volume.
Last night I didn't feel like cooking (yeah it happens to all of us) so to further irritate the devout Christians in my community I committed the ultimate sin and ordered a pizza on Sunday. Hey, they were open! I plopped one small piece on each of the girls' plates and instantly got the stink eye. They love pizza but still they complained. After Hubby and I were done and putting dinner away, they still had hardly touched their food. Then almost simultaneously they both asked "how many bites?" For the first round Hubby and I try to set the mark high with an answer of 7 or 8. As time goes on and I start to lose patience, they whittle me down to 3 bites. "But they better be good bites, no funny business!" If I'm lucky they'll finish their 3 bites, but more often than I'd like to admit, the girls are still sitting at the table when it's time to get ready for bed. Then never fail, they say they are hungry right after brushing their teeth. I can't win.