But it was the worst of times for poor Mackenzie.
Today Scott blessed Caitlyn during our church service. All new babies receive a name and a blessing and it’s a special event for the whole family. We dressed her in the dress my grandma made for me when I was born, and it’s the same dress Mackenzie wore for her baby blessing.
Caitlyn was sweet and peaceful during the blessing and fell asleep in Scott’s arms for the remainder of the service.
The ability to take good photos straight out of the camera still eludes me, but here’s what I managed to get this time:
A little grin:
But she saved the big guns for when my camera settings were off and the photo turned out way dark:
The Worst of Times
So why was it the worst of times for Mackenzie? Well, last night marked the beginning of The Food Throwdown of 2010. We have not yet seen the end, as of 6:30 PM on Sunday night.
It started innocently enough… she refused to eat her small portion of last night’s dinner so I told her (as per our policy) that she wouldn’t have any other food after dinner and that she would be served the same portion to eat at breakfast before she could have Sunday waffles.
Well, come morning-time she held her ground. I ate piping hot sourdough waffles smothered with smashed strawberries and she hardly batted an eye. She wouldn’t touch her (seriously four bites) serving of leftovers.
She sat at the table while we got ready for church and at the appointed hour we put her dress on her and piled in the car.
Normally I would have a little bit of conflict about my child going to church hungry but the situation was thus:
– The food was not spicy at all, and is absolutely something she typically enjoys eating. Even if it was gross, I think four bites is reasonable but we are talking delicious here: Scrambled eggs (a rare treat in our house) with garlic, onion, green bell pepper, fresh tomato and spinach. Mackenzie normally scarfs a meal like that.
– We had drawn a line in the sand: No other food until you finish what you’re served. I knew backing down wouldn’t help anybody in the long run, though it would have made the day easier on her parents for sure.
– It was a case of willful disobedience. When I was reiterating our house rules to her at one point “You need to eat what you’re served politely, etc.” she looked me square in the eye and said “I’m not hungry for anything you serve me.”
And so there we were, hauling an emotional, legitimately hungry nearly-3-year-old to church to sit quietly for an hour. It went surprisingly well, but we decided to cut out before nursery. Nursery would have meant pulling her out for snacktime and I was confident at home she’d gobble up the dreaded scramble and we’d be done with this. Missing nursery in itself should have been a huge deal, but she appeared unphased. That should have been a warning flag to me, but I was soon to see The Throwdown was on.
I was pretty occupied feeding and photographing Caitlyn when we got home while Scott handled the scramble eating and naptime, so I’m not privy to the particulars but the short story is no scramble was eaten before naptime.
While she slept, we made a decision that all other activity for her would be suspended until she ate her food. She needed to sit at the table and finish what was on her plate before playing.
And there she sat.
And there she sits.
Three and a half hours and counting.
Girlfriend has tenacity. Nerves of steel. I have to begrudgingly admire her willpower, though it’s quietly killing me to watch her go hungry when there’s plenty of food to be had.
I have found this to be true: You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.
Anybody else been through this and lived to tell the tale? Anybody think we’re crazy (or cruel) to stick it out?
*UPDATED TO ADD:*
She caved at 7:45pm. The homemade tamales Scott and I were chowing on proved too tempting. She ate her leftover bites and moved on to bigger and better things. She’s asleep now with a full stomach. We’re relieved but already a bit worried about the teenage years.*Gulp*
I do want to remember the moment that really broke our hearts tonight, though: As we finally finished dinner, I asked Mackenzie what she wanted me to write on her leaf for our thankful tree. Her sincere reply? “Scramble, Mama. And tamales.”