Getting Really Cheesed Off

All I wanted was a kid with a good arm. A lefty, preferably, because then he might be able to enjoy some sort of pitching career like Jesse Orosco … kind of like a horror movie villain – the dude never went away.

The jury is still out on which hand my kid will prefer, but I’m pretty sure it won’t matter what arm she throws with since there doesn’t appear to be any women who have carved out careers as baseball’s definition of LOOGy’s (Lefty One Out Guys), who are able to pitch forever based on their ability to accurately throw five pitches a night and still rake in beaucoup bucks.

This guy is probably wishing his daughter understood things the way I wish my kid did, too.
This guy is probably wishing his daughter understood things the way I wish my kid did, too.

She is, however, becoming adept at throwing things.

Tonight, it was her dinner. I really need a working vacuum cleaner. Luckily, I have two dogs.

See, the thing is, my daughter is like her parents. Which is good. We’re both gorgeous. We also enjoy our food, saving up to splurge at nice restaurants and cooking good meals even if it is 8 o’clock and we’re both tired from work and sweaty from a workout. (Or sweaty from work and tired from a workout. It works both ways, really.)

Which is why I was taken aback by the amount of turkey that is now in my dogs’ stomachs.

A plate of cheese, avocado and turkey seemed like a good dinner for a 15-month old who has gone from being force-fed from a jar with a spoon, to picking up food and shoving her whole hand in her mouth.

The cheese option was eyed first. She refused the avocado and the turkey and kept going for the cheese, her hand like a Hungry Hippo clamper – Up, Down, Grab. Repeat.

I scooped away the tiny bits of cheese and hoped she’d forget they were there. When she looked at the plate, she seemed confused and, then, looking at me, looked sad. She then looked around the room to see if the Magical Cheese Fairy had come to rebuke her cheese.

Satisfied – or defeated – she started eating the avocado. That’s healthier than cheese, I said, my hand still hiding the yellow and white clumps, hoping she’d go for the protein next. When she got around to it, she shook her head. I picked up a piece and tried to put it in her mouth and she turned up her lip.

I forced a piece into her mouth and out it came. Then, she took some pieces of turkey and I thought Good! She figures out the cheese is gone and has to eat something, so she’s just going to eat the damn turkey! Wrong. That’s when she made it rain.

If strippers danced for turkey, my house would have been the Spearmint Rhino at that moment.

This is when I wish that I could discipline my child. Since she doesn’t really get the whole action-reaction thing yet, I can’t enforce the law of “finish what’s on your plate or you’ll go to bed hungry.” And, if she is hungry, she’ll just cry. Which is the opposite of a good time, so I’ll give in and just give her the damned cheese.

I really don’t know what to do in this scenario. The pictures on the box don’t ever give you the illusion that the kid won’t like the food. I tried placing a piece of cheese on top of a piece of turkey, but like a dog who discovers his medication is wrapped inside the peanut butter, she spit out the turkey and ate the cheese.

What the hell!?

Seriously, when can a child rationalize? When can I stop doing everything for her and start laying down some rules (that, undoubtedly I’ll have to run by my wife first)? I just want to be able to have a conversation with my kid about eating your dinner and if you don’t, no, you don’t get any more milk and no, you can’t have any more cheese.

When can my kid understand English, even a little, for me to start enforcing some rules? It’s not like I need the power. I just need the sanity.

Well, at least the dogs were happy.

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