Nothing quite like it for screwing your mood. So follow me follow down to my hollow and there I shall wallow because of food, (not-so) glorious food.
We are going through a 'phase' in our household. I am telling myself it is a phase. It has thus far lasted 3 weeks, 4 days and 15 hours and shows no sign of letting up.
I am not sure how or when it started but the middle 2 males in our menage have taken to thoroughly enjoying how much they can piss me off and push my patience with their irksome mealtime shenanigans. Its clearly a control thing. I am the joke and the baboons just flit about this zoo waving their bright bottoms in my face with sheer petulance.
3 times a day, (5 if you include the inevitable twice daily snack-gate) they taunt me. 3 times a day I cogitate, create and present a variety of wholesome (ok, sometimes wholesome) meals. I give myself a little pep-talk, prepare for battle and I then sit back and wait for the circus to unfold. I mean I can't complain because the end result is almost always the same - clean plates and smiling faces but it is the predictable drama and melee that grate to my absolute core.
I offer them the same option they have most days, I know my kids and they know I know them so just start the day with a little test, a 'lets see how far we can push her before the sun has risen from the horizon' test. We haven't even got to 'the getting dressed obstacle course' that seems to amuse them for at least 20 minutes, it is a wonder how I get them out the door every day. I digress. It is predictable and no matter how I twist the offering, the same boring events unfold..
Boy 1.'I don't want any breakfast'
Boy 2. 'I have a tummy ache' 'I need biscuits for my poorly tummy'. Me. 'You need to eat breakfast to give you energy to play today. Biscuits are not breakfast. Who wants Shreddies and who wants Cornflakes'
Boy 1. 'I want cornflakes'
Boy 2. 'I want Shreddies'
Me. Having distributed the chosen dishes 'Here you go, see who can eat theirs the fastest' (please just
Boy 1. I want the Digger bowl!!!
Boy 2. I want the ORANGE SPOON!
Me. 'Those are in the dishwasher, they are dirty, you can have them at lunch if you are good boys'
Cue some pained looks, some table banging, some huffing
Boy 1. 'My cornflakes aren't wet enough, I need to make them ALL swim'
Me. I decide to let him have a small win. With a joyous tone 'Here, have a tiny drop more and then you can eat them ALLL up'
Boy 2. 'I WANT CORNFLAKES!!!!!'
Me. 'sweetheart (!), if you eat all your shreddies you can have a vitamin' (soft, chewy, sweet vitamins are my breakfast saviour - thank you Haliborange.. a mildly guilt-free bribe that always gets results)
Feeding has begun
Boy 3. Giggle, giggle, gurgle, grab
Me. Here have a boob.
Even the the one with no words is joining the incessant meal time rebellion. My boobs are no longer the secret weapon. Its not enough any more to shut down his wails with a mammary; this boy just got curious and dare i say it - mischievous. He's earning his baboon-stripes and is soon to be welcomed into the pack ('the group' to be collectively correct). So help me.
Boy 3. Grab, chuckle, squirm, bite, yank
Boy 2. 'He needs a kiss mummy, I am coming to give him a kiss' jumps off his chair, knocks over the shreddies into Boy 1's lap.
Me. 'Sit back down until you have finished. Oh dear, never mind, mummy will clear it up.. good girl mummy'
Boy 1. Sobbing so hard he inhales a cornflake. Choking and sobbing and choking and sobbing. 'My legs are WET, they are cold and WET, they don't work any more' as he slides off his chair onto the floor.
Me. putting boy 3 on the floor, run to get some form of cloth and towel to rectify the situation 'its ok darling, you will get changed really soon, its just milk' (and we all know theres no point in crying over it). Return 10 seconds later to find all 3 junior males on the floor, rolling around in a puddle of cornflakes and laughing.
'get back up now and eat your breakfast or I will put you up in the loft with the lights off'
Boy 1 and 2. Jump onto their chairs, wolf down the remainder of their breakfast (once I have mopped up and refilled depleted stocks) smirk and say 'what can we have now' 'our tummies hurt, we are hungryyyyyyyyy'
This happens EVERY meal time, breakfast being by far the less frustrating meal by virtue of the lack of effort in preparation.
And I don't lock my children in the loft with the lights off but when the last resort is reached that threat generally gets results. Either that or they are usually bored with this 'piss-off mummy game' and are just considering the next.