I might be a terrible parent. You will have to decide for yourselves. I’ve made a discovery. My son eats when the he is parked infront of the television.
This is a new revelation for me. I grew up with a television in the kitchen where we ate our family meals. All seven of us would squish into the smallest room in the house, poking each other with our elbows and shuffling each other along the benches. There were tears and trantrums involving those who ate like an airplane and those who wanted to rest their feet on the bar underneath the table but didn’t get there in time. There were noses turning up at inconspicuous ‘meat’ and hands grabbing for more cake. It was chaos. But you can guarantee that the moment Neighbours came on the television, we all immediately sat transfxed. It was almost instant zombification.
It all ended when Madge put too much detergent in the dishwasher at the coffee shop and the bubbles ran into the street. My parents decided the news would be more educational and I *think* mealtimes went downhill from there. I remember blaming my little sister. She never ate. She watched television like she was posessed and so my parents decided after a while that there would be no television on Sundays and pretty soon that meant no television during any mealtime.
For a while, the silence was deafening. All of a sudden the sounds of seven people chewing and swallowing was all you could hear. It was all quite harrowing at the time. But we learned to live with it.
When I became a parent, it was a given that we would not watch television whilst eating. Every now and then we have dinner in the living room where our one and only set lives. But not often. It turns the big one into a zombie and she doesn’t eat…
So, getting to the point of this post. I discovered that the baby really likes Disney Playhouse. Then I discovered that he likes to sit at his little purple table for meals. And watch television…
Before you judge me, remember this is the child that two months ago was NOT eating a thing. Yesterday he even let me feed him whilst his sat transfixed by Mickey Mouse. He ate three meals! Today he has done the same thing. The question is, why do I feel so terrible? He still gets to sit at a table and use utensils so he’s still learning the values of table manners, right?
What do you think? Are TV dinners really so bad for a child who would not eat and prefers to perform dangerous stunts in his highchair rather than eating? Is it so bad that he actaually sits still and eats, even if it is with both eyes on the box?
For the meantime, whilst the baby gets used to new foods and this stage of enjoyng meals is developing, I’m not going to worry too much. But when he gets older and ridiculous soap operas are on the menu we might enforce a ban. I said, might….
This post is being entered into April’s Fussy Eaters Support Club over at Bod for tea. Why not check it out?