Meals used to take up to 1 hour, at the very least.
He runs around and expect my MIL to go after him, lovingly feeding him spoon by spoon.
He is five this year. Five.
Needless to say, I cannot stand it. I just cannot.
His kindergarten teacher's first feedback was, "Tiger is a picky eater"
The list of food he likes includes broccoli, green beans, peas, Ebiko and seaweed. Salmon & Chicken.
No sauce or soup please.
Every scoop that goes into his mouth must consist of one colour only.
God forbid a piece of meat or vegetable should be buried in the rice.
Of course he loves McDs and ice creams and sweets and chocolate. I do not restrict my kids to organic, home made, super nutritious, pesticide-free, animal-cruelty free, GMO-free food.
You can, of course but it's not our choice. Everything in moderation is my motto.
So, during our last trip to Malacca, he was doing his famous "I am so full, I cannot eat routine" during breakfast. I was losing my temper faster than oil burning but since we were out in public, I had to maintain some dignity.
I whipped out my phone, tapped on Youtube and typed, "starving Africans kids" and pressed play on the first video on the list.
I asked Tiger sweetly, "You want to watch Youtube?"
He nodded gleefully.
Within seconds, he his lips quivered and tears started rolling down his face.
"Mama, I don't want to watch this..."
"No, finish watching it. I insist."
"Do you understand how lucky you are to have food whenever you are hungry?"
"Do you want to go to Africa and live with those kids?"
Wailing cries followed but he finished everything I served him.
For a week, whenever he says refused a meal, I would whisper, "Africa..."
From then onwards. No more food issues.
He tells us whenever he needs a snack.
He is willing to try new food.
You can hashtag gratitude on that.
I still remind him to appreciate food, to eat whenever he is hungry, not to be overly greedy, etc.
Stuff that used to fall on deaf ears....now he gets it!!
Last night, I asked him about school and he said,
"We ate porridge today and it was delicious. There are vegetables in it"
I nearly cried from joy.
I wanted to sing and dance.
No more lectures.
No more nagging.
I love you, Youtube.
Next time I meet a picky eater, I will prescribe:
This video, stat dose.