Joshua has an odd outlook on food that is unpredictable – as with most things in his life. But the only certainty is that when he says no, he does mean no. But yesterday Joshua was ravenous and could not be filled by his own meals, he needed to steal the food off my plate and to eat lots of snacks too. Having eaten his own lunch, he stole half of mine and he snacked on peanuts, crisps, satsumas and chocolate while I was preparing his evening meal, which he also devoured. He had eaten and drunk well all week and that is not always the case, sometimes he clamps his mouth shut and refuses to eat. Even this morning at 3.30 am, he has demanded ‘tea’ and has enjoyed weetabix with banana.
At school, he either eats his own toast and steals others’ slices too at snack time, or else he rejects it all. He will have a spell of enjoying his school dinner and eating everything, then followed by a refusal to entertain any of his lunch. I feel that part of my role as a mother, is to ensure Joshua gets enough to eat and so it upsets me when I read that he has eaten nothing at school. So then I prepare a packed lunch for a spell, to tempt him with his favourite foods. This can work for a while and then he gets bored of that too. Finally I resort to returning to school dinners, but sending in a bag of emergency snacks, just so that he does not starve!
Yorkshire Grandma has always prepared enormous plates of food for Joshua when he returns from school and she delights in telling me that he ‘ate every scrap’, even though I have suggested in the past that her portions are too large, even for an adult, let alone a child. She treats him to a sunday roast dinner on week-nights and other homemade delights, as well as relenting to junk food too.
It is a disheartening thing to spend ages preparing a homecooked meal, only for him to look it over – which he always does to decide whether he will eat it or not – then refuse to try it or even open his mouth. It feels like a personal sleight yet I know he does not mean anything by it, it is simply not what he wants to eat at that time. So I get less agitated than I used to, knowing that he will fill up when he needs to. There is precious little else in his life that Joshua can control, but eating and drinking are two things that he can veto.