Growing up, my mom used to tell me a truly hungry person would eat even fried onions. The saying gets lost in the translation from Croatian to English but one gets the point. As a child, I despised onions so I could hardly imagine wanting to eat them even if I was 'starving hungry'. Quite the opposite is true now that I am an adult as I have grown quite fond of the taste of fried onions.
From what I remember, we ate whatever was on the table. There were no exceptions. If you did not like what was served, you would be hungry. But it was your choice. Food was provided and you had the choice whether or not to eat it. The time we were served liver was the time I exercised my right not to eat dinner. Instead, I put the liver pieces into the planter of a tall indoor plant which, if I remember correctly, was also in the dining room.
The mistakes made years ago were giving in to the demands of my children and not enforcing the rule with which I grew up. This went hand in hand with the fact I was taking care of the children as a single parent in a marriage as my then husband would often be on business trips. As a result, I now have demands and protests at the table on a daily basis. Such was the case today which started the moment the children arrived home from school.
Saffron came home asking about a snack before she even walked through the door. Since I was waiting on the other plumbers which the landlord ordered Monday, I was unable to attend to their snack until after they left.
'Can we have ice cream?' she asked.
'No' I replied.
'But I'm staaaarving!' she bemoaned.
The two younger children were happy to eat the mini pretzels I gave them. Saffron, on the other hand, refused to eat them stating it was not real food. I told her of the phrase about eating fried onions if you are truly hungry. She was not amused and threw a tantrum for what seemed like an eternity.
For dinner, I baked a puffy pancake but did not have sugar. Instead, I used honey for the batter but had no powdered sugar to sprinkle on the top as I have done countless times in the past. Instead of being grateful for having food on the table, Saffron began to protest the absence of the powdered sugar. I threatened to take her dinner and throw it away if she did not wish to eat it. She started eating shortly thereafter.
Children test our patience to the utmost limits of our abilities. The demands and protests along with the crying when they fail to get whatever they desire is at times unbearable. Tonight's bedtime was 18:30h. Sage fell asleep as soon as his head hit his pillow. Cinnamon could not sleep for another hour and drew instead. Saffron also fell asleep easily. It seems all those protests and crying wore her out in the end.