Recent Adventures in Parenting

This Saturday past, my husband G. Grod was at a democratic convention to support a candidate for city council. It would take most of the day, so 5yo Drake and 3yo Guppy and I would be on our own.

We were basically just lounging about in our pajamas, until Guppy wandered in waving an empty gummy-bear vitamin bottle. One that had been at least 3/4 full that morning.

I grilled both of them. Denial, denial. So I called my dad, a retired doctor, to confirm what I thought I had to do:

Make ‘em barf.

Guppy seemed the likeliest suspect, so I corralled him and stuck my finger down his throat. Voila. Gummy-smelling barf. I had to do this several times, and then take a break, during which time he tried to hide from me. I tracked him down and did a second round to be safe.

In the meantime, I realized that neither boy could be trusted, and even if Drake hadn’t ingested the vitamins I might as well be fair to Guppy and possibly use this as a teaching moment. So he had his turn in the bathroom. Surprise; he barfed up a substance remarkably similar to Guppy’s.

I was very matter of fact, quiet and firm during all of this. Amazingly, neither of them bit me. They were screaming, crying, running. Kind of like Jurassic Park, where I was the velociraptor. After, though, I calmed them down, explained why too many vitamins were bad, and why they had to get them out of their stomachs. They didn’t seem to hold a grudge.

I, on the other hand, now know better than to buy candy-like vitamins for my kids. Both are lousy eaters. Drake would subsist on yogurt, bread and sugar if I let him. So the multivitamins were recommended by their pediatrician, and serving to fill in some of the gaping holes in their diet. Now, though, they’re on their own. Scurvy and rickets, here we come.

9 Responses to “Recent Adventures in Parenting”

  1. carolyn Says:

    forcing your kids to vomit: fun times!

    my mom claims there was a full year where i would eat nothing but hot dogs. and she means NOTHING. and i have no vitamin deficiencies. so i wouldn’t worry too much about it!

  2. Steph Says:

    “Scurvy and rickets, here we come.”

    Awesome. I whole-heartedly approve of this parenting method!

    (Seriously though, I think that it’s not uncommon for kids to be weird eaters when they’re young… Hopefully they’ll grow out of it. And you did say you had that recipe book where you slip healthy stuff into palatable food items, right?)

  3. Sydney Says:

    OMG I am laughing out loud at this! I think nixing the vitamins all together is harsh, though. We are talking about my dear NEPHEWS, for heavens sake! Instead, why not just HIDE the gummy vitamins? Or put them in a lock box? I am sure your friend Al Gore might have one you can borrow…

  4. Becca Says:

    Jon, as a kid, ate all the Dinos from the Flinstone vitamins and had to go to the ER. He was right, though — the purple ones are the best.

    I thought Guppy was a good eater! This is the kid who is Hobbit-like? Maybe he’s taking a page from the playbook of Drake.

  5. girldetective Says:

    Guppy used to eat well. But then he started acting like he was three when he was about two and a half. Ever since he is acting his challenging age, plus following the example of his older, Aspie, oppositional, picky-eater brother. So it’s kinda like I have two three year olds. Ergh.

    As most parents will confirm, two is nothin’. Terrible twos? Ha. For me, it’s the I-Wanna-Throttle-You-Threes.

  6. girldetective Says:

    You don’t seem to understand how wily and agile they are. I hide things; they find them. If they’re up high, they climb up on things, endangering themselves plus getting them down (vitamins, sharp things, long sticks, glue, etc).

    No vitamins is the way to go. No vitamins, no temptation, and no confusion with candy.

  7. girldetective Says:

    It is very common for kids to be picky, and to avoid veggies because they’re not sweet, and mixed up foods because they don’t like the texture. Conventional wisdom says to do stuff like feed kids veggies before fruits and offer them a wide variety of foods to develop their palates. Simple in theory, not so useful in practice when Drew wouldn’t even eat sweet veggies like carrots or sweet potato as a baby, and then he did eat pad thai and brats, but later wouldn’t. Pickiness and oppositional behavior of about 2 seem to go together.

    I do sneak veggies into things, like pureed cauliflower into banana bread and tuna salad. Another challenge is that they’re picky in different directions. Guppy will eat eggs, Drake won’t. Drake will eat burgers; Guppy won’t. Guppy will eat noodles; Drake only eats mac and cheese. And to top it all off, they get ketotic hypoglycemia if they skip dinner, which makes them throw up the first thing they eat in the morning. Feeding these boys is a PITA, which is why I used the vites, and was encouraged to do so by their doctor, to patch in the many bare spots.

  8. Jack Vinson Says:

    Lovely. So far, the boys are content with their ONE vitamin pill a day (for basically the same reasons). It helps that the pill bottles are “child proof” and they haven’t gotten past them yet. But maybe they need to go on a different shelf.

    My G_ has taken to claiming that he “doesn’t like it anymore” when he used to devour it. If he had his druthers, he’d be down to waffles, grilled cheese and mac n’ cheese (from the box, not scratch). And pears. Passover has been entertaining. H_ has been a bit more adventurous, even partaking in soup the other day: for some reason he decided two spoons were better than one (two in one hand).

    We were just in Eagles country. Hope winter is thawing in MSP.

  9. girldetective Says:

    Guppy was able to consume so freely b/c Drake had climbed up on a stool in the pantry, extracted the vitamins from where I’d hid them, taken off the child-proof (ha!) cap and left them on the counter in tempting view. Oy.