Supper was not a fun event tonight. And while I won't over exaggerate and say that it happens all of the time, it's not *infrequent* either. Part of me doesn't want to write this because my pride dictates that I only present a happy-at-all-costs facade, especially since I can decide what is put on this blog and edit out anything that isn't complimentary. But you know what, my parenting isn't that pretty, so I dare say that there would be little to write about.
Ben's 100% married to track right now, and there's still about 1/3 of the season left. They started on Feb. 14th, and it's been one never-ending season. Right now as I wallow in my own self pity, I want to blame this on Ben and say "Because you aren't here a lot, I have to do more than my fair share (yeah, I know...whatever that is!), and I need a break." I want to be able to blame someone other than myself for the veritable disaster at dinner tonight which left me in tears and Abby laughing. And while I know that she wasn't vindictively laughing at me, IT SURE FELT LIKE IT!!!
So it's nights like these that re-affirm how much parenting is fail fail fail fail. Are the good parents the ones who cover their failings the best or who hide them most skillfully? You know, giving an almost 2-year dinner who can adequately feed herself a little bit of food is fairly simplistic. Easy. So how did we end up in a standoff where she alternated between playing peekaboo (I turned my chair and ignored her), pretending to be asleep (really hard not to laugh; I turned my chair to ignore her) and poking (at) me saying "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!" (I still turned my chair and ignored her).
I know that part of my sobbing is the determination that my daughter WILL learn to eat well and enjoy healthy food. So a mealtime like this feels like a slap.
I refuse to use dessert as bait. (I actually got her favorite lovey out of the dryer, which she had been neglected of all day, and used that instead. It worked insofar as she kinda took one bite.) I hate doing the "3 more bites and you can..." tactic because I want her to learn to listen to her own hunger cues. But then again, if she's telling me that she's not hungry, why am I trying to force her to eat even just a couple of bites of food? How do I learn the difference between "I know what's best for you" and "I must respect your own innate self"?
I crave "parenting talk" and seek it out a lot specifically for help, tips and validation of what I'm stumbling through. But it can be tough to be in a conversation with another parent and admit that I'm really struggling with whatever issue. So I'm going to put this out there seeking maybe not so much advice (though welcome) but commiseration. It's good to know that I'm not the only one who struggles with knowing how to parent. More often than not, it seems that I am. I think that "we" all have on the I-must-not-admit-my-failures filter. Well, I'm admitting one of mine, of which there are many. Maybe I'll slug though another one on a different day.