It’s Too Hot! …Unless…

Yesterday was one of those days when Summer says, “I’m not done with you yet, bitches!” From comfortable days and very cool nights to a day of 90+ temps and stifling humidity with no transition. A day, obviously, to stay home and hug your air conditioners more tightly than your children.

The wife and I managed to stay mostly out of the hellish wet-heat weather, but eventually, I had to drop her off at the air-conditioned neighborhood center she heads up and I had to go to the un-air-conditioned school where our little goddess has been attending third grade since just after Labor Day.

I park in the city library lot across the street and walk the roughly one-block distance to the back of the school, because I’m not trying to fight for parking just to get close. I can handle this.

The fans are going hard and heavy in the cafeteria where we pick up our kids if they don’t walk home or take the bus. It’s not cool, but at least it’s not stifling. I can handle this.

I get the goddess and we head out into the brutal heat. We walk toward the car, which will soon be air-conditioned. I can handle this.

“It’s really, really hot today, Daddy,” she tells me as we walk, her toasty hand in mine, and this is one of those rare times I’m thinking: I can’t wait to let go of your wee digits!I

“Yeah, it is,” I answer. “Brutal.”

“You don’t know, Daddy.”

“Oh, I do. I had to walk over here from the car. And your Mom and I went to the farmer’s market, so we were out in the sun for a while.”

“Yeah? Well I was in a classroom with no fans and outside for recess. You weren’t.”

“Believe me, I still know how hot it is. But you have an air-conditioned bedroom at home waiting for you.”

“Good!” she exclaims.

Then we approach the library parking lot.

“Daddy? Can we go in the library?”

I know the library’s air conditioning is sub-standard because of budget cuts. They operate at the bare minimum level to keep the books from suffering harm from heat and humidity.

“Honey,” I answer, “you know it’s not necessarily that cool in there. I thought you wanted to get home and…”

“Just a little while, Daddy?”

“Uhhhh…Jeez!…OK, sure, but we’re not staying long.”

I think I can handle this.

We get inside, and she plops down on a chair and sighs. Not what I expected.

“What’s the plan, kiddo?”

Another sigh.

“Yo! Daughter-of-mine! What’s the gameplan?”


“So, you’re just going to sit in a chair in just-OK air conditioning? I thought maybe you wanted to get some books.”

“Maybe later.”

I don’t know how to handle this. But at least it’s cooler in the library than outside. I plant myself in a kid-sized chair with my grown-ass butt to keep an eye on her while she’s in the children’s library area, and take out my iPhone. At least she’s not trying to play outside, which would mean I’d have to be outside, since for various reasons I figure I need to be in the vicinity to keep an eye out for threats…including threats she might pose to her own well-being with questionable impulse-powered decisions.

I don’t think three minutes pass before I hear, “Daddy?”

“Yes, hon?”

“Can Izabela and I go outside to play?”

“What? Didn’t you say it was way too hot today, even outside?”

“Yeah, but we’ll be in the shade.”

Oh, yes, the shade, where it’s only 90 degrees with high humidity instead of 92 degrees with high humidity. But I know this is a loser of a battle. If I say no, I’m a jerk for not letting her play like a kid and she’ll be poopy. If I say that it’s time to leave, I’m a jerk for not letting her have time with a friend her age.

So, I suck it up.

“OK, you can play outside, but not for long. Maybe 15 minutes, 20 tops.”

“Yay! Thanks, Daddy!”

When I get outside, all I can think of is: I can’t handle this. *sigh*

But still, I suffer it for at least a half hour, and hope it goes on my karmic credit card, because to her, it’s still too early to leave the moist-baking heat and she doesn’t grasp that she’s gotten twice as much time as I originally gave her.

I’ll handle this.

One Indignant Girl

Our eight-year-old girl’s latest thing: Indignant, hurt outrage.

In fact, one of her key phrases now if we mention that, for example, she has some attitude and isn’t doing what she should because she’s obviously still stewing about that special something that we have to delay a few days, she’ll cry out: “You’re accusing me!”

Dear God, I thought I had until 12 or 13 before I started getting that.

Several days ago, at a restaurant, we told her something she didn’t like. I don’t remember what it was, but I think it was a change in some plans we had originally made for the coming days and activities for her. In any case, she had this poopy face that was really annoying, and totally out of proportion to what was going on. I mean, whatever we had changed, it only meant a wait of a couple days, as I recall. So I told her to stop looking so miserable and downtrodden, since it wasn’t like we had canceled whatever the hell it was.

“What do you want me to do? Pretend to be happy?! Put on a fake smile?!”

“No,” I tell the little goddess. “I’m just asking you not to so loudly and clearly advertise how much you don’t like one of our decisions, especially when you’re still going to get to do what you want soon.”

“I feel like you aren’t letting me express myself!”

“I’m sorry you feel that way. I don’t want fake smiles. It’s just that I also don’t want overblown, dramatic sad faces so that you can try to guilt us into doing what you want or make us feel awful for having to change plans.”

She remained unconvinced.

Then, just the other day, she asked that I remove some care tags from inside one of her shirts, because they were bothering her. I did, but pointed out that the washing and drying directions were on those tags, and I hoped I wouldn’t forget these directions and shrink up her shirt so that she couldn’t wear it.

She then tried to convince me she should hold on to the tags so we’d have the instructions. I declined to let her keep trash that would just end up littering her room, and told her that the shirt would probably be fine.

Massive poopy face, broadcasting her grief so much that I could feel it even when I wasn’t looking at her.

“Look,” I told her, “cut that out. It’s a shirt. You’ve had lots of shirts. You’ll outgrow it soon enough anyway. There are other cute shirts in the world. Stop looking so miserable.”

“I feel like this is the other night when you and mommy wouldn’t let me express myself!”

“You’re welcome to express yourself, as long as you don’t overdo it. What I’m bothered by is the way you obsess about things that aren’t that big a deal and act like it’s the end of the world. I don’t like that you get sad over things that haven’t even happened yet and probably won’t. I don’t want you to be finding ways to make yourself sad or upset when the world will hand you so many better reasons to feel that way already. Express, yes. Obsess, no.”

Again, her steely-eyed, Samuel L. Jackson-style glare told me that I’m going to be in for a long, bumpy ride even before puberty hits.

Hold me. I’m scared.

They Call Me MISTER Hairylegs

Several days ago, my daughter, in her recently minted 8-year-old glory, informed me I was no longer “Daddy.” Instead, my name was to be “Cookie.”

Now, while I do bake an incredibly fantastic chocolate chip cookie (I have this on the authority of both immediate family and in-laws), I’m not sold on being called Cookie. The little goddess was, of course, unfazed by my reluctance.

Tonight, while she, her mom and I were having ice cream treats at a local shop, she told me I was getting an “upgrade” in my name.

Cookie Hairylegs.

“No,” she immediately corrected myself when I told her that didn’t sound like a good name to me, “You’re Cookie Cupcake Hairylegs!”

I fail to see how any of this is an improvement.

Drive-In Me Crazy

One of the nicer things since moving out here to mostly rural/sometimes kinda urban Maine is access to a real, live drive-in theater. For those of you in New York City and such who didn’t think such things existing outside of being seen in 50s or 60s movies, sometimes as a place for some giant monster to eat a bunch of teenagers, they still do exist. Ours is one of the oldest in the nation, and has but one screen.

Last night, we went to see “Despicable Me 2″ but my wife didn’t have the stamina for the second feature (“Monsters University”) since it was a work night. Also, the wee goddess needed some sleep, since she had to leave out with mommy to spend time at mommy’s neighborhood center and distract mommy from serving the needs of at-risk youth. We tried to see the double feature over the weekend, but it turned out that for the first time in the drive-in‘s more than 70-year history, they sold out with 500 cars in the lot.

That’s a lot of preamble to get to the point of the headline “Drive-In Me Crazy,” of course.

Because, you see, our daughter takes full advantage of being in the car and not being able to annoy theater patrons (as at our multiplex) to make constant comments about the movie like how amazing something is or how funny something is or how cute it is, or…”Mommy, Daddy, what’s going on?”

It’s cute and endearing, but also, as my headline notes, drives me nuts. I like being with my family and enjoying the nostalgia (and cheaper admission price) of the drive-in, but it’s kind of hard to enjoy a movie sometimes when there’s constant chatter, and I feel like I’m tuning out my family at times to focus on what’s happening and not miss out on a good film.

I mean, it’s understandable with “Man of Steel,” since my wife isn’t a comic book fan and needed some explanation of Krypton and all that, and the wee goddess even more so. “Star Trek: Into Darkness” was easier because my father-in-law is a huge Star Trek fan, and so my wife had grounding in that already and enjoyed the film despite not being a sci-fi kind of person typically. So, I only had to answer my daughter’s questions.

But, really, “Despicable Me 2″…you need to make running commentary, little girl? She didn’t really have questions, except wondering early on why Gru was being hauled away, but then we got repetition of dialogue, commentary on how wonderful something was or how she could tell so-and-so was in love with so-and-so because of how the eyes widened and glazed over.

Cute? Yes. Annoying? Also, yes.

But I wouldn’t give it up for anything, and I hope the drive-in can raise the funds it needs to get digital projection equipment and stay in business for next summer and maybe another 70+ years.

Because, really, it is kind of nice to be able to talk without getting shushed by several angry people in a multiplex.


Today was the last day of school for the little goddess, and a half-day at that. In a rare tag-team pickup, the wife and I were both there to get her, and we see this miserable little face looking at us from our vantage point in the pickup line. A face that bursts into tears as she comes over to us.

She’s leaving her current elementary school for a new one next year (just a few blocks away, but the district breaks up the K-2 and the 3-5 grades into separate schools), which means she’s leaving the teacher she’s had for two years now.

You’d think her teacher had died or we were moving to some distant nation, given that she cried for at least 45 minutes straight, not even consolable with the reminder that we have her teacher’s email address, we all live in the same town, and she can visit her old teacher from time to time before or after she goes to her new school.

Suffice to say that when the goddess gets sad, she insists on staying sad for a while and she has a remarkable ability to re-trigger herself to keep the cycle going.

The teen years are clearly not gonna be conducive to my peace of mind or sanity.

But for now, thank God for streaming on the iPad and her favorite kid-friendly sitcoms to distract her and turn the tears to hiccups and…finally…a mere memory.

Mr. Answer Machine

I’m not going to say my daughter doesn’t listen to me. Far from it.

In fact, it’s almost assured that if we’re running errands that require a drive of more than a few minutes and we’re the only two people in the car, she will start up a topic of discussion that will require me to answer a myriad of questions and cover a range of topics that I would never have anticipated, prior to her arrival in the world, that a 2nd-grader would need to hear about. This will usually result in me having a scratchy throat and being lightheaded from talking more than breathing.

However, at home or during short trips, chances are better than not that she will fail to listen to what I have to say on a subject and press me on topics of which I am ignorant.

For example, on any given day driving her to school (which takes less than 10 minutes and often no more than five), I can bet good money she will ask me a question. I will answer her, and while I am still in the middle of answering her, she will either try to answer the question herself (wrongly) or ask a whole new question. This will then trigger me asking her to let me finish and the cycle will somehow manage to repeat two or three times in that short span of time.

So, times like those, apparently I’m not a useful resource or I’m the village idiot.

But today, as the iPad is charging, meaning that she had to take a break from watching Netflix, she migrates to the TV in the parental bedroom and, after several minutes, comes to ask me what channel ABC Family is on.

This despite the fact she knows I don’t watch kids channels and, in fact, almost never watch broadcast/cable television at all.

So, if I know about it and it’s something I should be expected to know about, like why eating a live scorpion might be a bad idea or why the entire world shouldn’t be made of food products…I’m a know-nothing in her eyes.

If, however, she needs to know every cable channel and its corresponding network when I only watch Netflix and DVDs…or she needs to know how many children there are in the world…or how to build a functional robot with weapons and cleaning attachments…well, then, apparently I’m the Encyclopedia Deacontannica.


Six Degrees of…Utter Madness !!!!!

Remember the “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” game? You know, how many degrees of separation exist between any film celebrity you can name and Kevin Bacon (or some other actor via Kevin Bacon), who once jokingly claimed to have worked with everyone in Hollywood? Rarely could you get more than six people distant, and it probably works with any actor or other folks involved in films, I’d guess. For example:

Michelle Pfeiffer to Julia Ormond (via Kevin Bacon)

1. Pfeiffer to Jack Nicholson in “The Witches of Eastwick”
2. Nicholson to Kevin Bacon in “A Few Good Men”
3. Bacon to Brad Pitt in “Sleepers”
4. Pitt to Julia Ormond in “Legends of the Fall”

Linked in four degrees

If you have ever had a child with any level of serious curiosity about life and the kind of focus normally only seen in butterflies with ADHD (in other words, 90+% of kids) or spent plenty of time around a much younger relative, you will know that every topic has only a few degrees of separation from any other topic, no matter how illogical it might seem to leap from one to the other, and the speed with which the topic changes can be dizzying.

For example, Pisces to flying cars via my daughter.

In the car last week, my daughter asked about Pisces.

This led to a discussion of the Zodiac and astrology…

…which led to a discussion of adoption and child abandonment (“What if a child is adopted, Daddy? They wouldn’t know the birthday to know what animal sign the baby was”)

…which led to me barely avoiding the still-too-early in my opinion “birds-and-bees” discussion, dodged by me simply clarifying that a man and a woman are needed for a baby to be made, but only the mommy needs to be present for birth (“Daddy, how could a girl have a baby if the boy wasn’t there”)

…which led to discussion of early human-like hominids/proto-people/cavemen, with dashes of evolution tossed in plus speculation on how fire was “discovered.” (“Daddy, the whole deal with cavemen was that they spent their time looking for fire or trying to make it, right?”)

…which led to a discussion of extinction followed immediately by advanced genomics and possible future cloning technology (“So scientists could have a person’s hair maybe and make a person from that? Like in ‘Spongebob?’ Or create a polar bear, which are going to be extinct soon, right?”)

…leading to a discussion of hovercraft and the fact we could make flying cars, but why it would be a really bad idea if most people were allowed to operate such vehicles (“Daddy, won’t it be cool when we can have flying cars and floating schools?”)

So that’s what…six degrees of separation (more or less) between an astrological sign and advanced transportation technology?

In any case, while I’m glad to have filled my daughter’s head with a combination of useful knowledge, trivia and a number of things that she will immediately forget about and ask me to explain again soon, this meant some 60 minutes or more (while driving mostly) of nearly non-stop talking on my part. By the time we got home from the errand we ran, I was literally lightheaded.

Moral of the story: If you can’t handle a police interrogation or intense job interview, do not have a child.

Oh, the Mouth On That Girl!

Thought I’d share samples of a few major kinds of maddening conversations I have with my darling daughter. By way of full disclosure, these are pulled (and slightly modified) from a post at my Holy Sh!+ from Deacon Blue blog, back when the wee goddess was about 6 years old. Honestly, the past year hasn’t seen these change much in tone or frequency.

The I Can’t Effectively Manage Time Conversation

Not that I expect my daughter to be an effective time-manager, but this kind of conversation is one she has been routinely coached against pursuing, yet she refuses to heed me. I estimate I have lost an amount of productive time due to these kinds of talks that is roughly equal to three-quarters of my daughter’s current age. Don’t bother telling me that’s mathematically and, practically speaking, impossible. Let’s just call it the new, new math, OK?

Daughter: “Daddy?”

Me: “Yes, Honeybunch?”

Daughter: “Can I ask you a question?”

Me: “OK”

Daughter: (long pause)

Me: “Ask the question, Sweetie. Please.”

Daughter: “Well, I was thinking…you see…[insert out of context transitional clause here]…what I was thinking was…you know how [insert situation with possibly relevant role in conversation but probably not]…So what I wanted to know was…[insert actual question here].”

Me: “Whoa. You’ve completely lost me. Try that again.”

Daughter: (raises voice to a near shout) “WHAT I’M ASKING IS…DO…YOU…KNOW…[insert actual question here, more clearly and succinctly stated than before, but presented in loud one-word increments separated by one full second between each word, thus causing me to quickly lose comprehension.]”

Me: “I could hear you before. Could you try just speaking normal speed and normal volume and just ask the question without giving me all the backstory?”

Daughter: [insert totally intelligible and articulate question here]

Me: [insert appropriate answer here.]

Daughter: “Thanks, Daddy.”

Me: “You’re welcome, Honey. You know, we could save a lot of time if you at least didn’t keep saying ‘Daddy’ and then waiting for me to respond and then saying you have a question and waiting for me to respond to that. You could just come right out and ask the question right off the bat. It would be way more efficient.”

Daughter: “OK, Daddy.”

Me: “Thanks.”

Daughter: (somewhere between one and ten minutes later) “Daddy?”

Me: “Yes, Honey?”

Daughter: “I have a question…”

P.S. The above kind of conversation most often occurs, and with more intensity, when I am driving and trying to concentrate on us not dying in an impact with one of the many clueless local drivers or, worse yet, the even more clueless out-of-town tourists.

The Please Drop the Subject Already Conversation

This conversation is about as close to verbatim as I can manage from an actual experience shortly before my girl turned six. Refusing to drop a topic that is annoying to me is a common feature of life with her, and many of them follow the same pattern as the one below.

Daughter: “Daddy, did you and Mommy say you liked that restaurant we just passed?”

Me: “No. In fact, about every second or third time we pass it and you ask that question, we’ve told you we couldn’t stand the place.”

Daughter: “Oh, I thought you liked it.”

Me: “You always say that. But we’ve never said one good thing about it, and you ask about that restaurant more and more often when we drive down this road. We don’t like it. At all. Not one bit.”

Daughter: “What don’t you like about it?”

Me: “The food is garbage and the service stinks and it’s not even all that inexpensive so it’s not remotely worth visiting.”

Daughter: “So you and Mommy don’t like eating there?”

Me: “No. I’m sure someone must like it, because they’re still in business after all these years, but we’re probably never going to go there again. So, there’s no reason to talk about it.”

Daughter: “What if someone forced you to go eat there?”

Me: “What?”

Daughter: “What if someone made you guys go eat there?”

Me: “Why would someone do that?”

Daughter: “Because…I don’t know. They need to pass a test? Or they’re really mean?”

Me: “Well, the chances of someone doing that…look, why do you always imagine these crazy scenarios? I mean, I like imagination and all, but why every time I give you a simple answer you have to counter it with some really off-the-wall scenario that doesn’t even make sense or just tell me the opposite of what I said is true even though it’s clear that I know what I’m talking about?”

Daughter: “I just do.”

Me: “Well, even if someone did try to force me to eat there, what makes you think I’d let them? Do you think I do things every time someone tries to force me?”

Daughter: “No.”

Me: “OK. Good. Look, we don’t like the food there, we’re probably never going to eat there again, and no one’s going to force us to. End of story. Cool?”

Daughter: “OK, Daddy.” (a few seconds pass) “Daddy, do you think the cooks there are bad cooks?”

Me: “No. They might be good cooks. But they have to cook the way the restaurant owners say to cook. And the owners probably buy crappy ingredients and don’t have good recipes and make the cooks rush to get stuff out instead of doing it right. I mean, if I buy a frozen meal from Trader Joe’s and cook it according to the directions and it ends up sucking, that’s not the fault of me. I know how to follow the directions and I know how to cook well from scratch. It was the meal in the box that stunk. The restaurant could have people who know how to cook when they’re allowed to use good stuff. But I don’t know. Frankly, I don’t care. I want to stop talking about that restaurant now. In fact, I don’t ever want to talk about it again.”

Daughter: “OK, Daddy.”

Me: “Cool.”

Daughter: (one minute later). “Daddy, what do you think I would think of the food at that restaurant?”

Me: [insert possibly inappropriate frustration-induced language followed by a fervent plea to just drop the subject already.]

The Zero Information Conversation

In this kind of conversation, absolutely no useful information whatsoever is conveyed to me, and I cannot for the life of me imagine how my daughter even imagined for a moment I would have any need to hear about the non-topic of conversation. In fact, some of these conversations impart so little information that I think it’s a “negative information” conversation and that information is being sucked out of my brain instead of inserted into it, increasing my chances of early onset Alzheimer’s disease. The conversation below occurred as I was trying to wash her hair before bedtime.

Daughter: “So, you said that someone you trust said ‘Zookeeper’ was a bad movie?”

Me: “Uh, yeah. I mean, I saw some reviews and some people I know online have said it was a totally worthless movie.”

Daughter: “Oh. You know someone I trust said there was some new superhero movie out and that no one should waste their money on it. Captain American something.”

Me: “There’s a Captain America movie that just came out. A lot of people say they don’t like it and a lot of people say they do like it. So it’s not a movie like ‘Zookeeper’ where most folks say it stinks.”

Daughter: “So some people like it and some people don’t. Well, there was a real person on TV who said we shouldn’t waste our money on it.”

Me: “TV? The ‘person you trust’ is a movie reviewer or something on the television? (long pause) Wait, wait…where would you have seen a movie review on TV? None of the channels you watch have movie reviews.”

Daughter: “I don’t know. I just did.”

Me: “When? And what channel were you on?”

Daughter: “At the beginning of July.”

Me: “Honey, the beginning of July was like three weeks ago, and the movie wasn’t even out yet at that time. So that couldn’t be true. Are you just making this up?”

Daughter: “No.”

Me: “So when did this happen and what were you watching on TV?”

Daughter: “The middle of July.”

Me: “Honey, the middle of July was a week or so ago, and the movie still wasn’t out then, so no one could have known whether it was a good movie or a bad one. The month is almost over. So could you please tell me once and for all when this happened and where you saw it and what it was about?”

Daughter: “I don’t know.”

Me: “So, you’re telling me that at some point in time you can’t remember when, you were watching some channel you never watch but can’t remember what it is now, where you saw someone say ‘don’t waste your money’ seeing a movie that you don’t know what it was. You basically started a conversation based on absolutely no information I could possibly make use of or make sense of. Are you trying to drive me insane?”

Daughter: (shrugs)

My Table, My Battlefield

I’m actually stealing…er, recycling…this material from my Holy Sh!+ from Deacon Blue blog. Mostly because I still think it’s funny but also because there are tiny signs (and gradually growing in frequency) that my daughter may actually be starting to develop some actual taste buds and maybe some breadth in her food choices. So, I’m not sure how much longer this post will be true and might as well get more use out of it while I can. For what it’s worth, I first posted this in January 2012. I don’t think anything below has changed in the year-plus since then, except that she won’t eat the shells and cheese anymore as of a couple months ago (but she’s slowly warming to the wife’s homemade baked macaroni and cheese).

If there is one thing that might make me snap as a parent, causing me to fly through the house punching holes through walls and tearing down wallpaper with my fingernails, it will be my daughter’s eating habits.

My wonderful, artistically gifted, verbally advanced, sensitive darling is the pickiest damned eater I have ever had the misfortune to live with and be unable to employ threats of horrendous physical violence against.

If she had her way, her diet would consist of the following, and probably only the following:

  • Milk, chocolate milk and orange juice
  • Strawberries, blackberries and raspberries
  • Bacon and hot dogs (occasionally supplemented with chicken or steak)
  • Green apples, grapes, mandarin oranges and the occasional banana
  • Annie’s Shells & Cheese
  • Tootsie Roll lollipops and gummy anything
  • Ranch dressing
  • Processed cheese sticks and extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • Hot fudge sundaes
  • Yogurt
  • Corn, but only sweet summer corn and only on the cob, heavily salted
  • Gravy (mashed potatoes are considered an inefficient delivery device that merely impedes her ability to drink the gravy)
  • French fries
  • Salt or soy sauce, with or without food that requires it, and preferably deposited thickly enough that you cannot see the food beneath it

Now, of course, I give her credit for eating fruit. More power to her. But she’d still rather eat her weight in bacon instead (with the exception of fresh summer strawberries). Also, she occasionally has good taste in cheese and likes yogurt. But as you might notice, the emphasis is on grease/salt/sweets and there is nary a vegetable to be found except for the corn, which is available for only a month or two during the year.

I get that kids can be picky and might eschew veggies. But this is a child into whom we must struggle even to get “normal” kid foods sometimes.

She eats hot dogs, but without any bun or condiments. She will grudgingly eat a hamburger, but just the patty. She hates spaghetti.

This is a girl who recently dipped her French fries into her chocolate milk and declared it delicious, yet won’t eat pork cooked in a sweet mandarin orange sauce even though she likes both of those foods, too, individually.

We can’t get tacos in her. Or sandwiches (except for jelly sandwiches). A banana chocolate chip muffin is acceptable, but rarely is blueberry, and never is a cinnamon-crusted one, much less anything that trends toward pretending to be healthy. She professed to like scrambled eggs for a while but I don’t think she really ever liked then, and I suspect they were just an excuse to have something on which to pour salt so that she can hasten her arrival at gross hypertension before she reaches college, because she always picked at them and dawdled when eating them. She’ll eat pancakes, but mostly to get the maple syrup, which she will try to scoop up as often as possible while avoiding the pancakes.

This is a girl so stubborn about eating that if you give her a meal she doesn’t want to eat, she will feign being full or ill and go to bed starving rather than eat a single bite.

It’s maddening.

And to top it all off, if you give her food she adores, she’ll beg to eat it in the living room while watching TV rather than sit with her family.

So many parents wish their kids wouldn’t eat them out of house and home.


I’d give my left nut for her to make us go broke buying her organic zucchini, Brussels spouts, mixed greens, broccoli and green beans.

But for now I’ll settle for her eating her hotdog with a bun or shoving some spaghetti in her craw.