Every once in awhile an obstacle comes along in parenting that leaves me at a complete loss. For example, the time during the darkest hours of night when Cameron was inconsolable because of the “hills” in his sheets. They are the kind of problems you won’t find a solution for in your parenting books.
But this time it is Eli who is pushing me to the precipice of my patience. He has developed a nauseating habit of chewing his food and refusing to swallow it. He will sit in his chair stubbornly allowing drool and chicken sediment to pour over his bottom lip. On good days he will give in and choke it down after a period of time sufficient for digestion if he had only let it down in the first place. On bad days it slowly drips from his chin and becomes decoration on his clothing.
In the beginning I let him spit it into a napkin. But then it started to happen so frequently that I committed to the power struggle and now I offer no depository for his masticated messes. I stand there, desperately trying not to lose my cool, insisting that he swallow it. I use bizarre gestures to demonstrate how to swallow.
Then the irrational/paranoid mother instinct kicks in and I start to wonder if he has a “problem”. Is it possible that he has a physiological issue that prevents him from properly eating? But I know this can not be true because he never has a problem getting ice cream or potato chips down his pipe. If only Mrs. Piggle Wiggle were REAL.
Today at work I overheard a woman saying that her children bring out the worst in her. My immediate reaction was “Oh that is so sad.” But tonight I can completely relate.