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My Child Hates Dinnertime

Before my 5-year-old daughter, I had no idea a human being could survive on five bites of food a day, with three of those bites being something made out of cheese. It's like she's figured out how to turn the air she breathes into energy somehow. Maybe that's why she talks so much. I'm pretty sure she only grows because she drinks milk like she was born on a dairy farm.

I’ve tried a lot of things to get her to eat dinner — pleading, bribing, crying, hollering, wishing upon a star, invoking Daniel Tiger songs. The child literally does not care about food. You could have her very favorite dessert sitting right in front of her, but if she has made up her mind that she isn’t going to try the casserole, it’s just not happening — ever. If hell were to freeze over, she’d still be sitting at the dinner table with her napkin over her head.

And she's like some kind of genius food detective. She can see a chopped-up mushroom hiding amongst the hamburger from 3 miles away. She somehow knows when I've tried to sneak some spinach into her pancakes in a sad attempt to get one bite of a vegetable into her body. She has a sixth sense for tomatoes that aren't completely puréed in her spaghetti sauce. Everything is too spicy, too meaty, too dinner-y, not enough like a bowl of Cheerios. She would happily live on cereal for the rest of her life if I let her. I'm sometimes tempted.

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