Welcome to dinner at my house.
“Logan, stop waving your fork in the air. You’ll poke someone in the eye with it.”
“Get that end out of your mouth–we don’t chew on silverware, we use it to eat–stop waving your fork in the air!”
“Logan, take a bite, now. No, not with your fingers–“
“Sadie! Get your spoon out of your milk!”
“No, Logan–stop waving your fork in the air! You’re going to poke your sister’s eye out!”
“No, Sadie, you can’t sit on my lap–eat your vegetables.”
“Logan, take a bite of vegetables.”
And so on. Doesn’t matter how many times we write down our Table Manners list or how many times Logan is reminded of Rule #1, which is “Listen to Mom, Dad, and teachers.” Doesn’t matter how many times he is threatened with losing his video games or his cars. “I will,” he says as he’s reminded of what he needs to do. Five seconds later, he’s forgotten and is back to wiggling. Dinners always feel to me like a raging tide rushing all around me as I shout directions to paddle our way out. I swear, it seems like the only time I stop shouting and the waters turn calm is when I ask, “So, what was the best part of your day?” Then a blank stare washes over Logan’s face, and for a few moments, he’s still, staring off at the horizon.
Eventually I get my iPad and set a timer for 25 minutes, which motivates him to some extent. He knows he needs to clear his plate before the timer is up, or he does not get a dessert after dinner. On multiple occasions he’s literally taken his last bite as the last second ticks to zero. Most nights as he carries his plate to the sink, I take a deep breath and realize it feels as though I’ve been holding my breath for the past half hour.
Yet things are getting better. Logan and Sadie are able to play independently for a short time after dinner now, which makes cleaning infinitely easier (that along with a new, working dishwasher). Part of it is Logan’s new-found love for our pets; he’s always marching off to “go on a cat hunt.”
And he’s drinking his new breakfast shake with less and less fuss–though it’s giving me more and more headaches. For the past few weeks I’ve been adding the Body Ecology Vitality Super Green–which is pulverized, fermented seaweed and other greens–to his coconut keifer drink each morning. And almost every morning, it explodes on me, shooting out of the blender and coating the counter and my shirt in green smoothie.
This week I tried cooking wilted kale with onion, which tasted good although it seems like a lot of work for something Logan and I like to eat raw anyway. I also attempted a new sweet treat, carob clusters from The Candida Free Cookbook:
- 1/4 cup coconut butter
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp carob powder (of course, I’d never heard of this, but I found it at the natural food store!)
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
- Pinch of stevia
In a double boiler, melt coconut butter, oil, and carob powder. Once melted, add remaining ingredients and stir. Drop into muffin cups and stick in the freezer to set.
The mixture seemed really crumbly in the pot, so I added some ghee to wet it, but it really didn’t help much–they still tended to fall apart even after freezing. I also topped them with sunflower seeds, for fun (because apparently, the art of cooking is slowly emerging from the nightmare it used to be for me. Hey, it only took a year.).
My writers’ group, whom I hosted this week, assured me they were lovely. I liked them, too, but Logan took one bite and definitively said, “no, thank you.”
I suppose if he’s not learning to like new foods, at least he’s learning to be polite.