So this evening one of the Spawn decided that pork roast was yucky. Hilarity ensued.
Our rule is that you have to try everything on your plate. If it’s not to your liking, you keep that fact to yourself, eat the food without complaining, and there will be dessert. If you decide to voice an unpopular opinion about the food, i.e. that it is unappetizing or not to your preference, you will be presented with another spoonful to enjoy. We make sure that the rest of the dinner is composed of foods that are deemed generally acceptable by the Spawn at large, and the new food (or the food that has been previously served and found to be a bit iffy) is limited to a small amount, perhaps two bites.
We feel that this is an acceptable policy and it has served us well. It’s a vast improvement over the previous system in which hysterical fits were thrown and food was openly fed to the dog or dropped on the floor. It was done openly but the child(ren) in question, being at the time four or perhaps five years old, felt that they were operating in the greatest stealth imaginable. Thus it always came as a surprise when we totally busted them.
Tonight one of the two Spawn present (one being elsewhere until Friday) gobbled up the aforementioned pork roast with gusto and requested more, while the other one mouthed off about it with impunity. This is in direct violation of The Rules and stiff warnings were issued. The backtalk continued, finally reaching a zenith of outright impertinence and flagrant threats of “Well, I’m not going to eat it. Ever. I’ll just sit here then.”
Oh, if only it were that simple!
Negotiations failed, predictably, at this point and the offending Spawn found herself in the corner. Like all political prisoners, she began a campaign of protest. Unfortunately it wasn’t silent protest since it did involve griping and occasional “accidental” kicking of the wall. This was tolerated by the totalitarian regime up to a point. Allowing a certain amount of self-expression can often keep high emotions at a simmer and prevent outright revolution.
Eventually the delicate peace process began anew, largely due to the blistering logic applied by the peacekeepers. The prisoner was advised to re-examine the historical record, specifically to analyze past outcomes of the strategy being employed, which consisted of declaring that she would neither go to bed nor put on pajamas but would rather stand naked in her bedroom until her Nintendo DS was returned to her, and all without eating the pork roast.
At this point she was forced to capitulate and the offending pork roast, now dredged liberally in ketchup, was consumed. There was a brief threat of vomiting but this was vetoed soundly. (This kid can vomit at will and is not afraid to demonstrate this under duress.)
When at last the smoke of battle had cleared, the Spawn found herself in bed, no stories having been read to her and no Nintendo DS in her possession for an unspecified period of probably more than 24 hours, but probably less than 48 hours.
And The Lovely Rhonda?