I wouldn’t have guessed it was possible to overdose on bread to the point of needing a full-body detox and possibly a carefully orchestrated therapy session complete with that rabbity-toothed motherfucker from Intervention, but here I am after a weekend of bingeing on baked goods: doughy, puffy, and possibly forming my own yeasty crust.

Oh, is it grossing you out to hear about my personal yeasty crust? Well too bad, because where were YOU when I decided that making pizza, naan, and oat bread in the same 24-hour period would be a good idea? Where were you when I learned that while Indian food is all fine and good, fresh naan with peanut butter and jelly is something akin to a taste receptor orgasm? Where were you when I shoveled half a loaf of bread in my mouth at 11 PM last night, even though I was stuffed beyond reason, reasoning that it was easier to simply eat the slices rather than put them away?

I’m going to die of gluten poisoning—distended and bloated on the side of the road like a decomposing raccoon—and it’s all your fault.

In other food ridiculousness, I engaged in an epic battle with Riley on Sunday morning over a waffle. The same damn waffle he eats every day, except this time I snuck some butter—not margarine, mind you, but delicious, drool-triggering butter—on top of it and a tiny microscopic bit hadn’t melted enough and he was all WHAT IS THIS WHITE STUFF I DON’T LIKE IT. And then he refused to take one more bite of his 100% inoffensive WAFFLE coated in SYRUP and I pretty much lost my shit, because while I am used to his obnoxious pickiness when it comes to food apparently I draw the line at barely visible butter freakouts, and then his father and I did the thing I swore I would never do as a parent: we forced him to sit at the table and finish his breakfast.

Naturally it was wholly unpleasant for all parties and by the time the last bite reluctantly slid down his gripe-hole the morning was pretty much lying in ruins. Everyone was mad at each other with the exception of Dylan, who was oblivious to the drama since he was so busy eating his own waffle and about fifteen maple sausages to boot, what the hell. (“MO SASSAGE PEEZ. MO SASSAGE PEEZE. TANK YOU.”)

It seems I have to re-learn this lesson every now and then: fighting about food isn’t worth it. Not to me, anyway. JB and I don’t put up with a lot of bullshit when it comes to disciplinary issues, but food is generally off the list of things I’m willing to do battle over.

Except for Wafflegate, apparently, and if nothing else that certainly served to remind me that in the grand scheme of things, who cares if the kid won’t eat his Eggo? God knows it’s not like a bread product will ever go to waste in my house.

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Anne
13 years ago

Oh, BREAD. I do love bread products. I tried the whole South Beach Diet sometime back in 2004 and I just Could Not Deal with that kind of bread-lacking. And homemade bread makes positively ORGASMIC toast. I would live off homemade bread toast if I could. Also awesome? Butter it and grill it, like a grilled-cheese sandwich, but with just the one (thickly sliced) piece of bread, no cheese/sandwich. SO GOOD.

Kristin
13 years ago

Can I please come live in your house? I promise that I will eat EVERY bite of any delicious bread product offered. Particularly if it is slathered in butter. Kids do not know what they are missing.

julia
julia
13 years ago

Everything is very intense with you, isn’t it?

Lindsey
13 years ago

I am laughing out loud. I swore to myself, over and over, I would NEVER do that with my kids. And I’ve found myself doing it too, and I am always filled with overwhelming chagrin and regret – as you say, it is JUST NOT WORTH IT. No kid will starve in the presence of food. Still … so infuriating! My God!
And btw I may have to try the naan pb&j. Sounds positively divine.

Jamie
13 years ago

Holy shit! I had this EXACT fight with my 4 year old a while ago. He saw the butter (Brummel and brown yummy yogurt spread..droool), the itty bitty microscopic bit on the very edge of the waffle that hadn’t melted in and refused to touch it.

Jurgen Nation
13 years ago

KEN!!

So sad that I knew who you were referencing – INSTANTLY.

I’m never going to be able to get “rabbity-toothed motherfucker” out of my head. Ever.

MRW
MRW
13 years ago

My husband bakes bread every week and I swear to god it’s like heaven. I can’t go back to store-bought bread, nor can I stop stuffing his home-made bread in my maw constantly. Damn you bread!

My son also eshews butter. How the hell can someone not like butter I often wonder. He’s almost seven and still going strong on the butter hating. I figure I’m not going to force him to eat more fat, but I can’t get my head around the no butter thing. He also hates peanut butter and chocolate, but those are serious issues for another time.

Hilary
13 years ago

This is why I always give up on homemade bread. Because bread is my weakness, and it seems a crime not to eat HOMEMADE BREAD, especially that I created my own self. And it can’t be bad, right? It’s HOMEMADE!

It is bad, very bad, when you find a half of a loaf gone and all fingers point to you. I hope you figure out a way out of this bread conundrum and share it with everyone.

(And don’t worry. I’ve yelled at my kids, “It’s a cookie! It’s sweet! Why won’t you eat the cookie?!”)

6512 and growing
13 years ago

I made some baba ganoush this weekend simply to spread it on crusty bread. Well, and because there were two husband-purchased eggplants in the fridge and what else would you do?

Kids and their food preferences. Geesh. I feel like kids spend much of their little lives trying to get out of eating and sleeping, and I’m spending much of my adult life over-eating and longing for sleep.

GingerB
13 years ago

I fight with my 3 1/2 year old about food all the time, even though I swore I never would. I just suck as a parent. She is super skinny, small, and I want her eating. So I fight. And I hate myself, just like you do, Linda.

Leigh
13 years ago

…nor will he starve. If anyone in my house doesn’t eat (including the dogs, yes I am putting the dogs on the same level as my child), I just remove the meal and say “ok.” No one has ever gone hungry for very long!

I have found that I feel better with no gluten, but I miss it. Especially reading this post…

shannon
13 years ago

E does the whole “you are NOT leaving this table until…” with the girls once in a while and I get so freaked out and uncomfortable I leave the room till he’s done his food/discipline grandstanding. Hated it as a kid, hate it now…

Joanne
13 years ago

I read a great thing from Ellen Satter – it is your business what you feed your child, and it’s their business what they eat.

Wink
13 years ago

my mom always had great advice — “they’ll eat when they’re hungry.” bah, i hate that. mostly because i have a daughter who would literally have starved to death if i hadn’t forced the issue sometimes. and then you said something once about dylan that really struck a nerve. something like “what if he’s too faint with hunger to REALIZE he’s hungry and that’s why he won’t eat”. wow. so true, and it confirmed my own philosophy that sometimes you do have to play the You Will Eat What I Put In Front of You parent. food battles are tough…….(i do like that comment ascribed to ellen satter that it’s their business what they eat. it’s just that they first actually need TO EAT. then we’ll worry about WHAT it is………….). i’ll also take some of that homemade naan please.

Lo D
Lo D
13 years ago

butter, lo, she is a mystery in our family.

i happen to hate it. my baby sister, on the other hand, had to have fistfuls of butter packets forcefully wrenched from her angry paws as she would shovel the contents into her mouth during lunch or dinner out during toddlerhood. (out to eat at panera/st louis bread company)….

two other things:
-you continue to be my literary/blogerary hero,
– pb & j is my all time favorite food. indian is one of my ALL TIME favorite cuisines. your new “recipe” sounds GENIUS.

Tina
13 years ago

My tot does the exact same thing with the butter. If he can see it, he throws a fit.

AndrewENZ
13 years ago

“fresh naan with peanut butter and jelly”

Must have now!

Amy
Amy
13 years ago

mmmm, me like bread! But on to the food battle. I tend to agree with you guys that food is just not a battle worth engaging in, but then when you are in the midst of being completely annoyed and agitated over whatever scrap of food they have decided will kill them if they eat it, well, I tend to lose perspective. Of course, I would never have that battle with my youngest because if he were allowed to he’d just open the fridge and chomp down a whole stick of butter!

Brigid
13 years ago

We had a waffle fight because the better DID melt and if she can’t see it, then it never existed.

Karl
Karl
13 years ago

I prefer to think that you didn’t battle over food, you battled over stupid. We had one who would eat lunch fine, but only drink milk at dinner. Mostly we learned to put a few tiny bits on her plate to push around for show, but every now and then there would be a fight. Usually when it was something that she actually ate the night before and tonight she is announcing “But you KNOW i HATE this…”.

As for the bread: we were tempted for years by the ads for bread making machines, and resisted only because the end-point was pretty obvious: we would eventually be too fat to leave the kitchen. Now, if you’re actually making bread BY HAND, then you are at least temporarily beyond any help I can offer…. :-)

Beth Fish
13 years ago

Oh man, you just reminded me about the Grape Incident. I can’t even tell you about the Grape Incident, because I am still cringing with shame. I think we all do that sometime, best intentions notwithstanding.

kate
13 years ago

I also try not to fight with my kids over food, or force them to eat things. probably based on my experiences with my mother forcing me to eat lettuce soup (yes. for real) despite my actual, no faked-gagging, and also the time she made me eat my dinner salad for breakfast because I had refused the night before. Childhood was fun.
But I digress. I try to swing with the whole “you don’t have to eat it but you can’t have anything else” method at mealtimes. The kids can go hungry or eat what I’ve served (which is usually something they asked for). Guess which one they pick? If they refuse to even try something new, it gets a little hairier and usually they are forced to take at least one bite just to try it before they say they don’t like something. this happens rarely as I primarily stick to the hotdog/eggo waffle/chicken nugget basics. But every once in a while, something just sticks in my craw (not just with food, with anything) and I. Have. To. Be. RIGHT. And then it’s war.

And since I’m still bigger, guess who wins?

victoria
victoria
13 years ago

When I read julia’s comment, “Everything is very intense with you, isn’t it?,” I thought, “Snippety reader, much?”

But maybe you are an intense person, and maybe that’s what makes you a good blogger: you take the ordinary frustrations everyone experiences, and use your skills to make them hilarious — sort of the way a standup comic does.

This has often struck me about dooce’s writing: that woman seems to take EVERTYHING on the chin. And then she wrotes about it in ALL CAPS, to comic effect.

Anyway, some childish nonsense — even from a toddler — is just so ridic that it would test the patience of a saint. The kid can’t eat the same waffle he eats every morning, covered in syrup, just because there’s a morsel of not-yet-melted butter on it? I’d be tempted to lock him in a storage shed. (Which is why it’s a good thing I don’t have kids.)

Lesley
Lesley
13 years ago

I would have killed for a mom who forced me to eat a drenched in syrup waffle over the mom I had who forced me to eat liver once a week. YUCK.

Lesley
Lesley
13 years ago

P.S. Linda, the gluten-free experience is quite delightful. You can eat similar things without getting all side effects. I have a horrible reaction to gluten (bloat, gas, canker sores, severe mood swings).

Another alternative is raw foods. Raw desserts/cake/brownies/cookies/pizza are to die for if they are well prepared. They’re also good for you.

chelsea
chelsea
13 years ago

Uh, linky to naan recipe? I live for PB&J. And that, uh, sounds HEAVENLY.

SKL
SKL
13 years ago

My kids are also in the “cannot eat if unacceptable substance (or alleged substance) has ever been in contact with this food.” But I do force the issue up to a point. Wasting food drives me absolutely nuts. And being treated like the lunchroom garbage can isn’t always that desireable, either. One way or the other, we’ll all get through this, I must believe.

ElizabethZ
ElizabethZ
13 years ago

The twins get what I make or the only other option is a peanut butter sandwich. And not PB&J either. A slice of bread with some PB smacked onto it and folded in half. It works pretty well as a deterrent, but wouldn’t have been an option in the waffle scenario, it is more a dinner thing. The waffle, yeah – not necessarily worth ruiniing a morning over, but I get your frustration. Yummy buttery, syrupy waffle – who doesn’t want that kid?

Our biggest issue in the food department is finishing dinner, and how many bites they have to eat till they can get their dessert (fruit cup, yogurt or applesauce usually, once or twice a week – ice cream treat of some kind). We used to bargain, now we just say finish or nothing else. It is pretty funny they still like to bargain, they try but they now say – how about 10 bites, instead of 2/3/4? They usually don’t even have 10 bites left on their plate, so then we say, ok – sounds good. If they still don’t make it, they can only have an apple or orange or something. That also hase been working pretty well, the bargaining is getting less and less.

Jen
Jen
13 years ago

MO SASSAGE PEEZ.

I’m crying here, that is so dang funny to me.

Maybe because I think I said it on Saturday and I’m 35.

Erin (Snarke)
13 years ago

Mmmmm. Bread.

I don’t think it was a parenting fail. Or about the food. It sounds more like a case of feeling guilty at having to prove your alpha-ness which, sometimes, kids just need. I think. :)

Faith
Faith
13 years ago

I’m so scared to have to face the food issue with my future children. I can’t seem to find a good stance on it. I don’t want my kids to waste food, and I certainly don’t want to have to deal with a kid’s low-blood-sugar tantrums caused by their not realizing that eating is necessary for life.. but I absolutely loathe the idea of having to cram food down their throats just because it happens to be on their plate, or because I know they need to eat. At the same time, I also don’t want to have to cook several different meals per night or cater to excessively picky kids. Somehow I think I’m going to have to go down at least one of those roads at some point, cause dammit, there just doesn’t seem to be a middle ground.

Michelle
Michelle
13 years ago

Mmmmm, bread. My personal kryptonite. Since my kids are all teenagers or older we don’t have the food fights anymore. I cook dinner
and if they eat fine, if they don’t fine.
Just don’t ask me to make something later.

Belle
Belle
13 years ago

I cannot live without bread. In fact, my entire meal one day last week was a hot loaf of Artisan bread right out of the oven. For me and me alone.

I remember the food issues being irritating, but we never insisted the kids eat stuff they didn’t like, even if it was just an I-don’t-like-this-today deal, or all they wanted was mashed potatoes and cottage cheese. I had to eat liver and lima beans as a child and it would not have killed me, MOTHER, to not have had them.

And Dylan’s “PEESE and TANK YOU” is just too damn cute.

Trope
13 years ago

My kiddo is 2.5, and does the same thing regarding butter… won’t eat bread dry, but if he sees the butter globule he will scream I DON’T LIKE THAT CHEESE! DON’T WANT CHEESE MOMMY! and then I have to pretend I have switched the bread with another, different, cheese-free slice of bread. Nobody talk to me about the power issues here.

Arrrgh, kids and food. It’s a wonder any of us grow up with normal food habits. Not that we’re so normal in my house, but I hear that some people survive it.

Maggie
Maggie
13 years ago

I have one seriously picky eater. Her famous quote is “this doesn’t taste right” even if it is the same damn thing she has eaten for 50 days in a row! The problem for me is where to draw the battle line. If she doesn’t want to eat fine, but I am NOT making her a second/special meal, however, she is skinny as hell, so it is really hard for me to see her not eat any dinner, although last night that is just what she did.

Korinna
13 years ago

Everyone keeps raving about the bread, but give me a fatty, processed meat any day.

Long live sausage.

Anonymous
Anonymous
13 years ago

eek on the food fight. It’s such a delightful stage of child development. Just wondering, is Riley the kind of kid where you can do things like nuke the waffle, inspect for offending butter, and pronounce it “fit for consumption”? Peer pressure can also be effective. (Look, Dylan ate his waffle, do you want Dylan to grow bigger and stronger and faster than his big brother?) And there’s always the guilt approach. What’s worked uber-well for us is having ground rules of (1) everyone stays at the table for the full meal, and (2) everyone tries everything [that they’re not allergic to] at least in small quantities b/c the food was made with love. It takes the focus off the offending food item.

I’d agree with the other poster that the food thing may simply be a power struggle/attention-seeking behavior. It may be that Riley doesn’t handle changes to routine well. But man is it hard to take that perspective in the heat of the moment! Deep breaths …. in 10 years he’ll be inhaling everything in sight.

SKL
SKL
13 years ago

Oh, and I don’t butter my kids’ food. They butter it themselves if they want to – their choice. Same thing with putting milk in their cereal, etc. When they feel like it’s their own choice, they are more likely to eat any given thing. And if they don’t want the enhancement, fine and dandy – at least it isn’t going to waste.

Ashley
Ashley
13 years ago

Fuck food battles, that’s what vitamins are for. They won’t starve themselves.

:)

MelV
MelV
13 years ago

Oh man, the butter battle. In my house, the same boy who, when at IHOP, will spoon the scoop of butter straight into his mouth first thing(i know i know!!) had an epic meltdown the other night b/c he found out i put butter in his maccaroni. WTH!!
Food battles suck, i have no advice. However, I would be happy to come over and personally deal with the offending waffle. mmmm buttery waffles…. :)

Also – i know you are now weaning yourself from the bread gorging BUT i would just like to direct your attention to a recipe on Cooking Light – just search Chocolate Marbled Banana Bread…its DIET even! You can thank me later.

Lawyerish
13 years ago

Naan. NAAAAAAAAN. I’ve made a few curry dishes in my slow cooker, and they’re delicious but really they’re just an excuse to shovel naan into my face. Whole Foods naan is quite delicious (warm, with a little butter? hummina), so I can only begin to imagine how good homemade must be.

KKF
KKF
13 years ago

Haven’t read the comments but feel compelled to say the following: Wafflegate wasn’t about the waffle.
Also, I remember a few wafflegates from my own childhood and I’m a better person for them. Authority is as authority does, and everyone would probably rather learn that over waffles than, say, eating paint or playing with razors. Mom’s word must be solid. You underlined that – as unpleasant as it was – and that little boy of yours is learning and he’s a better little boy for it.
It wasn’t about the waffle.
And it was perfectly normal.
And you’re still the best mom I’ve never met.

Molly
Molly
13 years ago

Well said KKF. I agree – it doesn’t feel great but sometimes Mom and Dad have to lay down the law and the kiddos have to learn to respect that. It didn’t sound like a damaging lesson in the least, it sounded quite rational and appropriate actually.

Sunshyn
13 years ago

I’ve been craving the carbs big-time, too. And MY kid won’t eat butter if it’s melted; he wants to SEE it. He’d eat it right off the stick, too. I’m trying to dump wheat out of my life again; I think I have candida overgrowth in my gut, and that’s what creates the craving. It’s hard. REALLY hard. I felt best on Atkins, but that one is impossible to stick to unless I live alone, which I don’t. Sigh.

JCF
JCF
13 years ago

Oh, I feel you on the food forcing issue. We mostly take the stance that the two year old will eat if he’s hungry and won’t if he’s not. If he refuses a meal, he doesn’t have to eat it, but he doesn’t get anything else until the next scheduled meal or snack time. However, there have been times when he’s flat out refused to eat breakfast and it has taken us a couple of times to realize that breakfast must be eaten, or he will quickly dissolve into a low-blood sugared, tantruming mess. I hate myself everytime I have to force the issue, but I’ve realized I’ll hate myself more if I don’t.

Suzy Voices
13 years ago

Ditto what Ashley said. That’s what vitamins are for.

Now what is this naan you’re referring to? I must investigate…

Melissa
Melissa
13 years ago

Oh my God, I am pregnant and you had me drooling through the whole first part of your post. I love naan. No one else in my house would have had a bite because I would have eaten all of that shit up! Sounds fantastic…I too will be in detox about 11 weeks from now. My daughter pulls that picky crap with basically the only thing she eats these days. Bunny Pasta. If she sees a fleck of some other color other than white, she will not eat. This child will not eat bread, waffles, pancakes, any meat, grilled cheese, etc. Just oatmeal, bunny pasta and occasionally fruit. Oh and gummy princess vitamins. Drives me nuts. I know it shouldn’t but it does. Anyway – I totally understand Wafflegate.

Jenny
Jenny
13 years ago

I don’t fight my 4yo daughter on what she wears to school (shirt over dress over shirt over skirt over tights? Okay!) and I try really hard not to fight either of my kids on what they eat. Sometimes I find myself whining, “But you’ll liiiiike it, there’s nothing IN it except stuff you like…” and then I clam up. Usually. Mostly.

In both scenarios, I try to make myself responsible only for what is available, not for what they choose — i.e. I don’t have to fight my daughter for choosing shorts in the winter if there are none in her drawer. If I provide good food and she doesn’t eat it, that’s (usually, mostly) okay.

But sometimes I do what you did. And that has to be okay sometimes, too. We all get it.

Bachelor Girl
13 years ago

Look, dude, I understand your point about picky eating not being worth a fight and all, but my parents put up with ZERO bullshit on the food front, and I am forever grateful. They raised an adventurous eater, and there is literally nothing that is normally considered food in most cultures that I won’t at least try.

All of which is a long way to go to say kudos for making Riley eat his breakfast.

Maggie
13 years ago

I always think your posts are hilarious, but this: MO SASSAGE PEEZE. TANK YOU…. I am DYING here.