OR ELSE

dinner

The day ended as it began. With the battle of wills of the oldest and youngest. The two sat at the table this morning staring at their yogurts and insisting they did not wish to eat it. Since they had already poured in granola, there was no way for me to save this for them as the softened granola makes for an unpleasant texture which nobody wishes to eat hours later.

As their sister readied for school, Saffron and Sage continued to sit at the table still not touching their food. As they sat, I finished their lunches and told Cinnamon to walk to school without her siblings so at least one of them was on time. Every once in a while I would glance over to them and tell them to eat...or else.

The 'or else' was my threatening to cancel tomorrow's trip to the cookie baking/decorating class. Many times before I would give in. Not this morning. Not this evening either. After an excruciating 45 minutes the oldest and youngest finished their breakfast and got ready for school. I agreed to drive them the two blocks as I was on my way to the gym.

This evening was no different as the same two children sat for close to an hour picking at one bean at a time. We had leftover Mexican chili from last night. Cinnamon chose not to eat at all just as last night. 'Do I have to eat this?' came the endless questions every few minutes.

As parents we often give in to our children as it is easier than going through the lengthy daily battles. Certainly there are a few things not worth the arguing but eating what is on the table will no longer be negotiable. As children, most of us had to eat whatever was on the table or go to bed hungry. Why should it be any different for today's generation of children?