Yesterday was warmish and sunny-ish so the kids decided we should take a family walk after dinner—with popsicles! This is something they call a "walk-sicle" because they're nothing if not neologists (because why use an actual word when you can make up one word to do the job of many?). Unfortunately, Zoë wasn't a fan of dinner and refused to eat anything.
Now, I know that the current advice is that you shouldn't force your child to eat because it'll cause obesity and so forth. But the thing is that if you're hungry enough for dessert you're hungry enough for dinner. And if you don't touch your dinner then there's no way you should get dessert, right?
So she agreed to eat her dinner and sat at the table crying to herself about her fate while her siblings did their after-dinner jobs and headed outside to wait for her. Eventually she grew tired of crying at the table but instead of taking just four bites of her dinner she tiptoed over to the garbage can and emptied her plate.
News flash: Her parents were not born yesterday.
We quickly discovered her ruse (because children don't go from crying about taking four bites to polishing off everything on their plate that quickly) and Andrew told her that she couldn't have a popsicle at all and to grab her shoes, which sent her into a tizzy (because she was going to starve (you know...because we never feed her).
So we thought up a plan of redemption for her. She doesn't like beans and dinner was a bean-based meal so it was understandable that she wouldn't want to eat it (I guess), but it is also important for people to eat things besides goldfish crackers and popsicles so in order to have her popsicle she'd have to eat something else of my choosing. I chose red pepper slices: four of them.
"No way!" she said. "Peppers are spicy!"
"Not bell peppers," I assured her. "And if you want a popsicle you have to eat four slices of pepper."
Alexander walked into the kitchen during our negotiation and caught that last little bit. He quickly ran over to me (I was squatting on the floor, holding a container of red peppers out for Zoë) and started putting away those red peppers like I've never seen. He was mulching peppers like a wood chipper! Munch, munch, munch. Chew, chew, chew. Swallow. Munch, munch, munch. Chew, chew, chew. Swallow.
"Mmmmm! Bis yummy!" he said, smacking his lips, red juice dribbling down his chin as he reached for another piece. Munch, munch, munch. Chew, chew, chew. Swallow.
He was going through the red peppers at an alarming rate (and he'd already eaten every last bit of his dinner)!
"Zoë, if you're going to get your red peppers in you'd better start now before your brother eats them all," I told her.
She reluctantly began eating and didn't finish for an agonizing fifteen minutes (or more). By this time Alexander had had his fill of peppers and I had sent him, along with everyone else, outside (or back outside) with popsicles. They had all finished by the time Zoë and I made it outside so she was the only one to actually get in a "walk-sicle". Silly girl.