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Milk: It’s what’s for dinner

Submitted by on Friday, 20 November 2009 No Comment

I love independence – one of the happiest days of my life was when Big Guy woke up early, climbed on a stool, hoisted the Cheerios from atop the fridge and made himself and his brother breakfast.

I love that Boots’ preschool is teaching the kids how to serve themselves and eat at a table in a semi-civilized matter.

I hate that their adventures in fine dining include unfettered access to the beverage pitcher. It’s turned Boots into a little milk-swilling, food-rejecting protester.

He’s not the only one either – I’ve been at the school twice this week at snack time and watched kid after kid bypass food in favor of a refill. Heaps of snacks land in the garbage as the pitchers are drained.

Is this how drinking problems start? I’m beginning to fear that grape juice is a gateway drug that’s going to leave my precious baby shivering in the cold and clutching a bottle of T-bird in a dark alley some day.

This has been an issue with Big Guy ever since he became old enough to hold out his sippy cup and pleaded “gleega gleega gleega” – for some reason, that’s how he decided “milk” was pronounced. I, however, knew how “water” was pronounced, and that’s what he got if he hadn’t eaten.

It wasn’t just a stubborn battle of wills, either. Too much dairy, coupled with constant rejection of fruits and vegetables, constipated Big Guy when he was younger. If he wanted his beloved cheese, he had to eat other food first.

It had never been an issue with Boots, though. One of first solid foods was enchilada, which he grabbed off my plate when he was just a smidge older than six months. He was as apt to ask for an apple as he was to clamor for candy.

Until recently, that is.

“I’m hungry.”

“You want a banana?”

“No, I want apple juice.”

“That’s not food. That’s a drink. If you’re thirsty, have water. Now, what would you like to eat.”

“I want apple juice.”


To make it even worse, he’ll hold out at dinner, eating only bits of his very favorites while he waits for the bottomless beverage container to arrive. It never shows up, though.

It’s a good thing that I know how to show up at a parent advisory council meeting and raise a ruckus. I think I already know the topic for next month’s riot.

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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