05 December 2008

Tonight's Conversation with the Small One

Freya has adopted the official position that there are exactly three reasons why people might not eat all or part of their dinner.

1. They have a tummy ache.

2. They are full.

3. They are not hungry.

(After listing these off for us a few nights ago she then firmly announced, "and I do not have a tummy ache.")

Sometimes, when she's not eating her food (which seems to be more about power and control than any of the above reasons) she will perform magic tricks, illusions, if you will, during which Steve and I must close our eyes and wait for her signal. When we open our eyes - get this - the bite in question has disappeared!

Tonight was not a magic show night, however, so I decided - after telling her in no uncertain terms that her three ultimate reasons were not going to cut it - to try to explain why her body needs different kinds of foods to grow and be healthy.

"I am four," she says, holding up two fingers on each hand "and on my next birthday I will be five," she adds a finger, "that is how I grow."

"That's how you get older," I say, "but to grow and be healthy your body needs all different kinds of vitamins and nutrients."

"People get bigger because they grow, soooooo.... and I am up to here," she puts a hand just below her eyes, "on my sister and soon I will be up to here." The hand moves up about an inch: right in front of her eyes.

I agree that she is getting big, but insist that this is not a valid argument for avoiding her vegetables.

"Okay, Mom, okay," she says, holding up her hands, "how about this. You close your eyes and dream that I am eating kale and spinach and lettuce and..." she pauses to consider her options, "carrots... and apples-"

"-and oranges," Matilda adds helpfully.

"Matilda! I couldn't eat that much! Okay, Mom, you can just dream that I am eating all of those things, okay?" She settles back in her chair, apparently confident that she's wrapped up this particular argument quite nicely.

"Uh, Frey? Do the things that we dream really happen?" I ask, clearly with a right answer in mind.

She give me an exasperated sigh, "Just use your imagination!"

I didn't have a rebuttal for that one and resorted to the tried and true (and often inadequate), "Just eat your greens, Freya."

"Okay," she says, "I will, but first can we keep talking about this for a little longer?"

I think that in the process of choosing a preschool program we might want to find out which one has a debate team.


Annika said...


nova said...

I love her.

I was that picky about eating my vegetables at that age, but I wasn't so good with the debate. Good for her!

p.s. I _still_ am that picky. I will try to tell my husband to "use his imagination" next time when he begs me to eat kale.

Jen said...

At least she didn't tell you to suck it this time.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Freya rocks.

Amy @ Milk Breath and Margaritas said...

Wow does she sound like my daughter when she was little.

And come to think of it, still.