Toddler Dinners: The Ugly

I know a lot of you have always given me the side eye because Landon eats so well. I know it is downright annoying to you. For that, I am sorry. But I did want to make your day and express with great hatred that we have hit an ugly phase of meal times. I like to think of it as an unwelcome guest to the dinner table. That guest is brought to you by the letter 3. Here is a list of the issues currently:

  • Taking FOREVER to eat. This manifests in pouting, playing, staring off into space, talking and just good ole refusal. The concept of time is completely lost on him. Seems pretty logical that if you don’t eat your dinner within time, you don’t get to watch TV and go directly to bed. Seems like an unwanted consequence yet he does it EVERY NIGHT. Dumbass.
  • Refusing to try things. Even if it is something we have had before, just ain’t happening. “It’s gross” or “It’s yucky”. We still stand by the trying it or you can’t get down motto. He has sat there until bedtime. Whatever. It is all control. And it isn’t always what you think he would refuse. He often eats all the broccoli first and refuses to eat the chicken or something like that.
  • Wanting us to “help” him. From what I read, this is a common 3 thing in all areas. We get the same thing for trivial tasks like putting on pants, coloring and building Legos. He needs “help” using a fork on one food but not the next. ARG!
  • Wanting the SAME thing over and over. I think this was a little our fault. In the early weeks of Oliver, breakfast was what we could do super fast. That became cereal bars and some yogurt raisins and maybe a banana. Once we got our routine together, we started offering old favorites (waffles, yogurt, cereal, oatmeal) all to no avail. And worse, he would say yes until it was cooked and ready and then refuse. Not gonna lie, he has gone to daycare sans breakfast. FUCK IT.

So yeah, it sucks and I can’t even complain that much. Kevin has to deal with most of it because I leave once I am finished to put the baby to bed. It isn’t uncommon for me to eat, put Oliver to bed (bottle, bath, rocking) and still come down to the him in the high chair with a weary looking husband. We are over it. Normally I would ask for advice but I know it is a phase. He still has nights of eating great. Hell he went shopping with me yesterday and wanted a zucchini and I gave him raw slices with salt. He loved that! WTF? Promises of dessert work SOME times. I’ll admit to eating brownies in front of him to prove a point….a delicious point, mind you. It could be worse so I am just holding on for dear life and still grateful he will eat a vegetable and drinks milk. Just wanted to let you know I don’t have some rainbow unicorn dinner experiences at my house. Cheers!


So a few dinners from the week:

 You can see all the #toddlerdinners by me and many IG users throughout the week by following the hashtag.

P.S. Follow up from the Colic post: While we are out of the “colic” stage, we have a witching hour. We handle this day to day but often Oliver is put down for a nap around 5:15. He seems to do well with this. Sometimes he sleeps for 30 minutes and is up and other times I finish dinner and go get him to be up for a bit before bed. It seems to be working well for us and gives us a “quiet” dinner together. We can talk to Landon and not have to jiggle a baby.


  1. I’ve never found Landon’s good eating to be annoying – and I definitely LOLed at your “Dumbass” comment, because yes. I think that so often about my almost 3 year old. And I suspect it will get far worse before it gets better! Yay! Glad you are at least not dealing with the baby as well right now.

      • We were staying in a hotel a few weeks back and the continental breakfast helper person happened to overhear me say to Archer, “You *can’t* have your hot chocolate yet because you’re to dumb to NOT drink it while it’s too hot.”

        He blank-faced me and said, “Did you just call him dumb?”

        Me: “Yeah. But he IS.”

        Him: “Well, um, is he your kid?”

        Me: “Yeah.”

        Him: “I guess that makes it okay.”

  2. Oh yes. All part of being 3. Ain’t it grand? Daniel’s newest dinnertime habit is to spit out food onto the floor that he doesn’t like. I thought we outgrew that phase, but it is back again.

  3. I feel your pain. It is getting frustrating. Our latest has been the compromise of “x number of bites” to be done.

  4. I would kiss your face right now if I could. (And if it wasn’t weird and creepy.)

    My kid just turned 3 and has been pretty picky for his whole life, but the past few months have been HORRENDOUS. I thought it was just him because all of my friends’ kids have awesome eaters, so to read that someone else is dealing with the “but I caaaaaan’t take a bite by myself” and the battle of the wills that can last for hours is so.fucking.amazing. I hate this stage and I can’t wait to get back to the normal picky eating and I thank all things holy every time my 1 year old twins inhale their food faster than I can cut it up because then maybe I won’t have to deal with THIS. Best of luck. We won’t be defeated by 3 year olds! ::fistbump::

  5. We’re having similar problems with Archer right now. Especially with the not trying… and I always give in. To be fair, I don’t offer something ELSE. If you don’t eat it, you can go hungry. But I think we really need to buckle down. It’s important to try a bite of everything on your plate.

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