Hunger strike

            Benjamin’s hunger strike caught us unprepared.  He is our eater, the one who wolfs down chicken tikka masala, broccoli, or kidney beans, then rejects the cookie we offer for dessert because all he wants are clementines.  While we did not know how the stress of the move would manifest itself with him, we sure as shootin’ knew he would eat whatever we put in front of him.

            The lesson here is that as soon as we know something for certain about our children, they are duty bound to take a 97° turn.  Unable to starve himself completely, Benjamin opted for the closest alternative.  He stopped eating everything except strawberries.  OK, that’s a slight exaggeration, but his diet for the first week we were here was about 80% fruit, and that mostly composed of the large, red berries currently in season.   And, while he was getting his vitamin C, it made for some disturbing diaper changes.

            And so, while his brother tried new foods (almonds! hibatchi chicken!) and gloried in the giant sandbox of a beach, Benjamin struggled, overwhelmed by the new sounds and the new tastes and the new feel of the sand between his toes.

            And then, slowly, the child we once knew reemerged.   At the beach, he took off his shoes, gingerly placing his little feet on the sand.  Twenty minutes later, he was doing full-body sweeps, pushing the sand from side to side with the force of his entire body.  Clearly, we were over the fear of sand.

As I watched him munch on his pre-dinner asparagus while watching television, I wondered if perhaps he was ready to start eating again.  Then, we sat down to one of his favorite meals, a bean curd dish he fondly refers to as “toady!!”  I had made enough for two adults and one child, but it soon became clear neither J nor I would get our full portions.  It kept disappearing down the twenty-month-old’s throat. 

            Asparagus and tofu, it turns out, also makes for some interesting diapers.

17 responses to “Hunger strike

  1. I’m glad he’s eating foods beyond fruit again. And I’m so glad he’s found a love for the beach!!

  2. Sounds like he is well on his way. My boys would always manage to eat some sand too, which also makes for interesting diaper changes 🙂

  3. Fruit, tofu, asparagus. Go, Benjamin, go.

  4. Hehehe. Good for him. A juice only diet also makes for some nasty diapers.

  5. asparagus and tofu? i’d take a hunger strike if only the re-entry involves foods like this.

  6. Oh, yeah – I figured the draw of the sand would eventually outweigh any negatives. What fun!

    I so appreciate that you honor your kids’ food choices, even when they get whacked out. It works out long-term! : )

  7. totally what jen said

  8. My son would eat the sand on the beach before he’d try asparagus or tofu. Clearly, you did everything right from the beginning, food-wise.

    I’m so glad that he likes the sand now!

    Sara’s comment is hilarious.

  9. I must be the only one who doesn’t “get” tofu. Had in once in chili and mourned for the next 24 hours about what was going on with my friends. Yes it was one of the worst chili’s I have had. Emeril Lagasse (sp) is the absolute worst. I’m all about asparagus and smelly pee.

  10. Wonderful that he’s eating again, and also that he’s gotten over the sand phobia. Beaches are wonderful! 🙂

  11. haha, you are lucky that he´s almost two years old and soon won´t need them anymore 🙂

  12. know what else makes for interesting diaper changes? dahl and blueberries (Monkey’s new favorite foods).

    glad he got over the sand-in-the-toes thing 🙂 ain’t nothing better than beach fun!

  13. Glad to hear Benjamin is feeling more like his old self.

    And uh, ick!

  14. He turned the corner…YIPPEEEE!!!

    Hope all is well in grown up land. Take care of yourself…I know you worry about the children adjusting – but you need time and space to adjust too….HUGS

  15. Yeah! The boy is back! Glad to hear he is getting his appetite back.

  16. what i like is how you know to the precise degree which angles your children shall turn. i, on the other hand, am perplexed nonstop.

  17. So glad he has caught up with himself again, although I wish my son, on his pickiest days, would decide to eat something with a vitamin in it!