Let me start by saying that my 4 year old is a good eater. (Necessary disclaimer: THIS IS NOT A SANCTIMOMMY BRAG FEST. Promise!) We know exactly how fortunate we are, believe me. Obviously (he’s a human) he enjoys a good french fry and cheeseburger occasionally. And he would gladly make meals solely of candy if we gave him the opportunity. But for the most part, he eats what we eat for meals and eats most anything.
As a former private chef, I had grand visions of what family meals would look like. No, I’m not talking about how I envisioned my son eating escargot or anything. I just envisioned my child holding a fork properly and consuming the food I put on his plate. I didn’t envision having to replace my dining room chair’s upholstery because he would completely trash it when he made it rain food at every meal.
He doesn’t eat the meals like normal people. He methodically picks apart his food and consumes it in his own unique manner. Nobody warned me about this. I was prepared for a picky eater, but I wasn’t prepared for an eater who would turn eating into a weird performance art. I know, I know, I should be grateful that he’s consuming it at all.
But he’s just so incredibly weird about it.
Exactly what are my son’s techniques when it comes to food consumption? I’ll let him tell you…
“When eating cupcakes: eat the icing first. Then consume the top only to the point of the wrapper- NO FURTHER DOWN! Why is that part even in the cupcake anyway? Don’t think removing the wrapper changes things. I will still only eat the top third.”
“Forks? I don’t need the tyranny of your cutlery! My fingers can pick things up just fine. Yes, I’m capable of fork operation. I just CHOOSE not to use it most of the time.”
“How long will it take mommy and daddy to eat this meal? Oh ok, well, I’m gonna need to multiply that times 40 and then I’ll give you a ballpark for my time frame.”
“I excel in the art of eating desserts in record time. You’d think that my inability to eat my meal in a timely manner would transfer over to the consumption of sweet treats. You would be wrong.”
“Corndogs are fun! I’ll methodically consume the cornbread coating then I’ll consider eating only half the meat from the inside. Then I’ll put it in your face and call it a ‘roasted rat.’ I know that makes the meal more enjoyable for you. You’re welcome.”
“Now if we’re talking about a burger or biscuit sandwich? The meat must be nibbled first. Then you may consider eating the bread. I know, I know, you thought my corndog method would mirror my sandwich method. Nope.”
“One. Food. At. A. Time. Don’t you dare try and make me eat a bite of strawberries then a bite of my meat. No ma’am. I’ll eat each food group on its own and in my own time.”
“Deconstruct. Deconstruct. Deconstruct. You thought deconstructed dishes were only to be found in pretentious restaurants? No no, my friend. I will take that burrito, deconstruct, and reconfigure those ingredients. It will blow your mind! Bring on those Michelin stars!”
“Even though I’m pretty sure the torture of my food consumption was designed by you to kill me and I hate it, I will flip my lid if the dog tries to steal my 3 hours old sandwich. The dog should have known I WAS WORKING ON THAT!”
“Pants free is the way to be! Stop forcing your social constructs on me- I will gladly eat this meal in only my underwear and will enjoy every second of the blissful freedom! You should thank me for not ruining yet another shirt with my food skillz.”
“I will talk about poop at least once during the meal. I’m a 4 year old. It’s what I’m contractually obligated to do.”
Comment below with the unique and absurd eating methods your kids have invented. Please let me know we aren’t alone over here!