Since Mom Babble was so kind to feature my Toddler’s List of Grievances yesterday, I thought I’d share my latest attempt at figuring out what in the world goes on inside that little head every day.  Meal time is becoming increasingly difficult around our house – here’s the latest from the mind of G.

toddler's list of meal demands


Dear Momma,

I see you are going to continue insisting on this ridiculous dining endeavor at least three times a day in spite of my efforts to break your spirit.  I must commend you, you’ve held out longer than I anticipated.  A lesser woman would have been reduced to a puddle of tears and despair months ago – and I’ve only seen you cry at dinner twice.

Because I’m impressed by your efforts, I’m willing to work with you on this whole eating charade.  I’ll sit down for meals and, if you’re lucky, I may even put food in my mouth and not immediately spit it out again.  But I have a few demands.  Just work within these rules and we’ll be dining like the Brady Bunch in no time.


  1. You are required to at least pretend to taste each bite of food before I put it in my own mouth.  I like to feel like royalty and this procedure makes me feel like I have my very own cup-bearer: I will hold out a piece of food and you will chomp at it with glee. Sound effects are optional but definitely preferred.
  2. You will let me feed myself – no matter the mess.  You won’t be there to feed me yogurt in kindergarten, I need to learn at some point how to get food from plate to fork to mouth. Stop babying me. 
  3. You will feed me – why would you make me do this myself?  Do you know how messy it gets and how difficult these stupid utensils are?  I’m still practically a baby, momma.  Why are you trying to make me grow up so fast?
  4. I will throw the sippy cup to the floor.  You will retrieve it.  The limit on how many times I can do this will be infinity.
  5. You will allow me to hold food out for the dog to sniff at but under no circumstances is that beast ever to actually eat the food I am taunting her with. It’s your job to make sure that doesn’t happen.
  6. Don’t serve anything green.  Don’t try to sneak it into something else or scoop it up on a bite with something else.  I will find the green thing in my mouth, retrieve it, and throw it if you try to be sneaky or conniving about this. NO GREEN.
  7. I want meal times to be a bit more like dinner theatre.  Please stand up and break out into interpretive song & dance every few minutes for my entertainment.  You can sit down again once your food is lukewarm.
  8. If you try to eat at the same time as me I’m going to need bites of food off of your plate.  I know you claim that it’s the same as what you served me but you’re just not that trustworthy.  I have a sneaking suspicion that the “bubble gum” you give me before bed every once in a while is actually medicine.  I need to taste test your food to make sure I’m not missing out on something fantastic.
  9. Stop asking me if I’m “all done” or if I want “more” with those ridiculous hand motions.  You know the answer: It’s more. And if I’m all done you’ll know because I’ll either arch my back and screech like a feral cat or I’ll start throwing food at your face.  I’m not one for subtlety.
  10. Meals should be served at exactly the moment when my hunger strikes and I am no longer interested in playing with my toys.  Too soon, and I’m going to LOSE MY MIND because why are you taking me away from my beloved toys? Too late and I’m going to FREAK OUT because why are you trying to let me starve?  In either of these scenarios I’m not going to eat at all, even if you follow through with demands 1-9 perfectly, so get this part right.

Momma, at this point you might be asking yourself, “What is this, a hostage negotiation?”

But I’m not going to answer that.  I think it’s just important to remember which one of us is required to sleep behind bars each night.  You’re lucky I’m still complying with the crib situation, but time is running out there so consider yourself warned.

I have high hopes for this arrangement, and I hope you do too.  And hey – if it doesn’t work out, no big deal, right? It’s just my health and well-being we’re talking about here.


Your Toddler.


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