So I returned from Turkana and I’ll be sharing with you a few insights I got from my trip there in coming days.
Meanwhile back home, Kitty happens to be those kinds of poor feeders –the kind that you need to BEG for them to eat. If he would have his way, Kitty would not eat. He’d rather do anything else but eat. Trust me, he’d be very comfortable going for a week without food.
So it’s always been a real struggle to get him to open his mouth, put food inside, chew it and eventually swallow. Can you believe Kitty began chewing food when he was 2.5 years old? Geez! And no, I did not blend his food for too long. Actually I never blended Kitty’s food. From day one I mashed it with a fork and that was it. But somehow, the chewing memo never got to Kitty.
On the other hand, his younger brother Ello is quite the opposite. The very first time I gave him food when I was weaning him, he chewed it. It came automatically. I didn’t even show him how to chew, he just did it on his own. It was rice cereal which was very smooth, but still, he chewed it. And he has never stopped chewing. And by the way Ello has a very HUGE appetite where he eats anything and everything and at any time. There is no coma or fullstop for him when it comes to food, not even an exclamation mark. Ello will finish his plate of food, move on to his brother’s plate, clear it, then come to my plate, clear it, then move on to his father’s plate. But he often doesn’t find anything there because his dad has usually long cleared his own plate .
So that is one of the stark differences I’ve noted between my two boys. A very poor feeder and a very good feeder. Clearly kids are not the same.
Now my issue for today is about Kitty’s poor feeding and the different strategies I employ to get him to finish his food. Trust me, I have tried everything under the sun. You name it, I have tried it. Yes even that one that you are about to suggest to me –I have tried it. Many times without success. As long as it is food, Kitty will not budge. Period.
So this one time I decided to try something new. I told him that if he didn’t eat his food, then a ghost would come and eat him up. And it worked like charm for he quickly gobbled up his food. And I was happy. Yaaaay!
But it worked only for a while for one day, in the dark of night when we were all asleep, our snooze was suddenly awoken by a sharp piercing scream. It was Kitty .
I quickly dashed into his bedroom, storming into it like the ninja that I am, ready to fight with whatever was attacking my boy. That is what mothers do. Dive direct into danger to rescue their babies. All mothers are shujaas.
On turning on the lights, I found Kitty sitting up, crying, hysterical, totally scared.
“Mummy, the ghost it is coming to eat me,” he cried.
Which ghost Kitty, there is no ghost. Ghosts don’t exist,” I comforted him.
“Mummy the ghost that you said will eat me if I don’t finish my food it is there behind the door it is coming to eat me”.
Talk about my words coming back to haunt me, literally!
But I must admit that for a moment there I got a little scared and had to check behind the door just to confirm there was no ghost because Kitty was really making it look like there was indeed a ghost.
So after reassuring him that there was no ghost, I encouraged him to go back to sleep. However, he made it very clear that I had to sleep right there next to him otherwise he would not shut his eyes. I quickly obliged. My poor boy.
The following day at bedtime, he refused to close his eyes because the ghost was hiding behind the door and was waiting to eat him as soon as I left his bedroom.
Oh dear .
Now what monster had I created?
Kitty stated that unless I slept right there next to him, he was not going to shut his eyes ng’o!
And the scenario repeated itself over the next two weeks.
But you have no idea how much I regretted what I had done. Now surely why had I created this ghost monster? What was it going to take to completely erase that ghost out of Kitty’s mind? Sigh.
Talk about making my own bed and lying in it. Trust me, I really really pinched myself hard for it.
It’s been about five months now and I have not heard him speak of ghosts again.
Never again will I lie to him about ghosts, or anything else for that matter. It’s totally not worth it, trust me.
For now, I will continue sitting patiently waiting for him to finish his plate of food, which most of the time takes three houses. IsoraitAnd you? Have you ever been in such a situation with your kids where you lied to them and it came back to haunt you?