The Plagued Parent

posts about surviving our children, the Baby Boomers who raised us, and everyone else with an opinion...


The equation is simple — in theory.

You cook it, they eat it. Yea, right.

Actually, we’ve been lucky. Our children never really gave us too much grief at the dinner table. They’ve always eaten just about anything you put in front of them.

My almost-16-year-old actually has greater moments of difficulty at the dinner table now than when she was two. Not with everything mind you, just a few things — potatoes, canned peas, peppers, tomatoes, or super-spicy stuff. She’s actually quite open to trying new things which is great. When she was two, if one of her favorites showed up on her plate before even eating she’d ask, “More affer?” Allow me to translate the toddler-speak: “More after?”

As I said, lucky.

But to have a child so ornery, so difficult, so picky and fussy as to debate every plate laid before them? To have a child that demanded anything but what was served? To have that endless hamster-wheel like moment at the end every single day?

I think I’d go frigging nuts.

Not only would you be preparing dinner every night, but you’re also preparing for battle.



You need a constant repertoire of responses in order to dance the dance of meal time. The constant battles and the faces, oh the faces.

And on the off-chance you do get them to eat, you need to employ manipulative trickery.

Or, deceptive reverse psychology suggesting that what they are about to eat is most certainly not good for them.

At times it devolves into a battle of wits rather than a battle of wills where the dinner table potentially resembles the Harvard Debate Club.

If the day ever should arrive, when dinnertime lacks all surprise and the wonder and mystery of, “What fit are we going to be dealing with tonight,” take gentle flight beyond our parenting boundaries will we miss it ?

Will we miss the faces turning into complaints then evolving into debates before being twisted into well-honed histrionics?

Will we gaze back on those moments as painfully precious or just painful?

I’m certain we will find all of this funny at some point. That is only once we’ve forgotten the cost of replacing the dining room carpet following the Chocolate Milk Incident of 2005.

Part of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge

Updated: April 5, 2017 — 7:37 am


  1. Loved this. Brought back so many memories. With grandkids, it’s the same! Find me here. LINK

  2. My 6 year old has food allergies so cooking is always a joy (uh-huh) and he loves having to eat something different than everyone else (sure). Looking forward to when he can cook for himself 🙂

    1. Yikes. Get him and apron, spatula and step stool.

  3. My first child was a picky eater. Or as my husband used to say, she lived on the 5 calorie-a-day diet. He also used to say he would buy me a Fisher-Price feeding tube playset as soon as they became available. I remember feeding her bits of chicken nuggets over the course of an hour while she watch TV. So painful. Maybe I shouldn’t have bought her all those Calvin and Hobbes books. Maybe that’s where she got her ideas!

    D is for Denver Airport: Alien Circus Reptiles Stole Your Luggage

    1. I love that — 5 calorie diet. That must have been maddening.

  4. That was funny 😀 Mom says I wasn’t much of a troublemaker but my brother was! I guess we realise the trouble only when we go through it!

    Dropping by from A to Z
    Doctors and Dentists

  5. I love Calvin & Hobbes! They’re so easy to relate to. My daughter is also a LOT more picky now that she’s older. I like to remind her of the time when she was 3 wanting “trees” (broccoli) for breakfast.
    Good luck on the rest of the challenge – loving your posts so far!
    Lisa / Tales from the Love Shaque

    1. And did she eat the broccoli for breakfast? That’s awesome. Thanks Lisa.

  6. I was fortunate and did not have picky eaters. Maybe it was because I didn’t like weird stuff either so my meals were pretty simple.

    1. That will certainly reduce potential dinner table conflicts…

  7. Like your use of cartoons 😀 Enjoy the A to Z challenge!

    1. Thanks Lauren appreciate you taking the time to read the posts.

  8. Oh yes the finniky eater!!! Every household should have one – not!

  9. I love this! You’ve captured the nightly ritual of feeding children perfectly. I, too, have an almost 16-year old who claims we have nothing for her to eat for breakfast. Not my fault she doesn’t want any number of the things we have that she has eaten in the last 3 months and might eat again in the next 3 … but alas, today is not one of those days!

    1. Oh, I can relate. My 15 year old (almost 16) is apparently allergic to cold cereal. We pretty much have to forgo shopping because unless there’s absolutely nothing else in the house she won’t go for it. I tell her that when she pays the mortgage then she can complain. Until then suck it up cupcake.

  10. My eldest was always a pretty good eater, but is currently engaged in toddler fussiness. The youngest has always been a bit difficult. But she loves fish!

    1. Best of luck getting through that. At least one of them loves “brain food”.

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