on Nature vs. Nurture. In which I become a bad example.
LG is my mini-me. He looks like me, he talks like me, he eats like me. Clearly the looking like me is nature. Not like he's had any plastic surgery. The talking part is nurture. If he'd been raised by wolves he'd howl (oh, wait, he does howl on occasion. That doesn't say much for our household, does it?) But the eating thing, which is it???
I should explain what I mean. Lg doesn't "sit" though a meal. He wiggles, he squirms. He kneels on his seat, or sits criss cross apple sauce. He gets up once or twice. He packs food into his cheeks, and some times you practically have to wrestle the next bite into his mouth. By his choice, he'd eat a few bites of everything on his plate each night and leave the rest. The best way to get a whole meal into him is to plan an hour and let him play while you poke it in a bite at a time. Reliably, you could serve him half a normal sized meal and he'd not ask for any more. At school it's a chore to get him to eat his whole lunch, but he always eats snack. LG is by no means adding to the childhood obesity epidemic, trust me.
And when I think back to when I was a kid, I was the same way. Even if I liked something, if I wasn't hungry I found it very hard to eat. Of course, I was never hungry at the convenient meal times. I'd fidget. I'd whine. At one point around the age of 8 my mother realized it was easier to let me eat off a TV tray while watching "Reading Rainbow" in the living room for an hour than have to suffer through dinner with me. Nice, huh? And yes, it would take me a whole hour to get through a bowl of ravioli. Most nights I'd even finish. It would disgust her (she's a good Italian, she always worried that even the healthiest of people wasn't eating enough. I was her nemesis...)
So, nature, right? LG has inherited my unreliable hunger mechanism. That's what I always thought. Until a few weeks ago when PB called me out on it. How would LG learn good table manners and eating habits from me, he wondered... I still fidget, and sit in an odd manner at the table (which I blame on chairs that are not made for smaller sized people- I can't get comfy!) I get up frequently (most times it's because someone asks for something- a good excuse). If I'm at a restaurant, I will ask for a box upfront, knowing that a restaurant sized meal will be way more that I can eat. If I'm not hungry, it is a struggle to get even a few bites in (though I do because I know that if I don't I'll regret it when I am hungry and I realize I've passed up a good meal!) Through the years people have worried that I have an eating disorder. Others will tell me they find it hard to spend prolonged periods of time with me because I make them gain weight (if only they would realize that when you eat 5 times a day you're supposed to eat LESS than a meal each time, they'd be fine...)
Sigh. Nurture. Clearly. He might have inherited the small stomach, but the rest I've clearly taught him. My bad. For a long time dinner was a nightly fight, a fiasco (and sometimes still is). I don't know why I expected him to be something he's just not. He's going to be a 5 meal a day person, just like me. Small meals, or big snacks, depending on how you look at it.
Whatever, he still looks like me.