Monday, August 20, 2012

Zachary's Choice

Most of the time my sister was here we did our best to make meals at home.  Let me tell you how crazy it is to prepare food for six kids.  I have no idea how John and Kate do it for eight, let alone the insane Duggars with their 19 or 20 or whatever it is they have now.  We did go out for a couple of meals, but we tried our best to save money, and our waistlines, by making sandwiches for lunch and putting together a healthy meal at dinner.  The good thing is that with the two of us together doing it, it did go a big quicker.  Perhaps those Mormons who have sister wives are on to something.

The last night they were here, we decided to make baked fish for dinner.  My nephew Zach, will eat everything, much like Sonya.  I never have to argue or cajole her to eat something like I do with Lana.  Gracie, however is Beth's Lana.  She will look at something and if it looks like she might not like it, she will turn her nose up at it.  So it was no surprise that halfway through the meal, Sonya and Zach were done and Gracie along with my two youngest were pushing food around their plates.  They were also very hyped up and giggly for some reason and in not much of an eating mood.  

I had  made rolls to go with our meal, but I never give my girls their roll until they've eaten a good portion of their dinner, otherwise that is all they will eat.  As it happened, I also had cake that I had bought from an awesome bakery here called Porto's, earlier in the day.  So the negotiations started.  The girls wanted a roll and cake, but they knew they weren't getting anything until they ate their meal.  Since Sonya and Zach had eaten their meals with no fight, we gave them a roll and then they sat patiently waiting for the picky girls to finish so they could have dessert.  

Eventually, I had to set the timer for them, because they were just not eating.  I knew once dessert came out they would all of a sudden become hungry.  We do NOT have dessert for dinner in my house.  They don't have to eat everything on their plate, but at least a good portion and all of their vegetables in order to get dessert.  After the ten minutes was up, all three had eaten enough to win them a piece of cake.  I know, I know, don't reward eating with dessert, but again, they had to eat their dinner to get it at all.  Plus we don't have dessert every night, so using it every once in a while isn't that bad.  

I got up to get everyone a piece of cake and Georgia said to me,

"Mom, do we get  woll AND cake or do we has to pick one?"

"No, you do not get both because you guys didn't do a good job eating on your own. You have to pick one," I told her.  This is the rule in our house.  If we are having rolls and dessert and I have to set the timer for them to eat, even if they do end up eating everything they can't have both things.  

"Okay," she said.  "I'll have cake den and no woll!"

"I figured," I said.  

About thirty seconds later I noticed Zach sitting in his chair with tears streaming down his face.  

"Zach?  What's wrong, buddy?"  I asked.  Was he sad to go home the next day?  Did someone hurt him?  I had no idea.  He was sitting there at the table just crying.  My sister walked over and tried to coax it out of him.

"Zach, buddy, we can't help you if you don't tell us what's wrong," she tried.  

He sat there sobbing, still not talking.  

"Zach," she said.  "You need to talk and tell me please."  Apparently, he does this all the time.  He will get upset about something and just not tell her what it is.  I found out later, Beth knew exactly what he was going to say, but wanted him to get it out on his own.  Finally, between sobs he choked out,

"I already had a ROOOOLLLLLL!!!!"  Then he cried harder.  

What? At first I couldn't figure out what he was talking about then it hit me.  Oh!  My rule to the girls of not getting both roll and dessert.  He thought he wasn't getting cake because he had already eaten a roll.  

"Oh no, no Zach!" I said.  "That wasn't a rule for you and Sonya, because you guys ate your dinner without any problems.  The little girls didn't so they have to chose which they want.  Don't worry buddy, you still get a piece of cake. "  I assured him.

He immediately stopped crying, wiped his tears, sniffed and said, 

"Oh, can I have a  piece of chocolate then!"  

And that was it, back to being happy.  It was the shortest emotional outburst I've ever seen.  Something very different from what I experience with my emotional roller coaster queens on a daily basis.  Poor thing thought he lost his chocolate cake because of eating a roll.  I have to say, I can't blame him.  If I thought I had given up cake for a roll, I would have been crying too.  

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