This evening, for dinner, one of my boys ate the end of a cucumber and an apple core, both intended for the compost bin. That's all. Yes, really.
The context? Well, first I must share that I have a firm policy on eating at dinnertime. If my kids do not want to eat dinner, that's okay; but once dinner is over, the kitchen is closed until breakfast. With four young boys, I do not wish to open myself to becoming their personal short-order cook, on-call at any time.
Tonight, one of my three-year-olds was not interested in dinner. Fine. After our bedtime routine, and as I was carrying one boy to bed, the three-year-old in question announced he'd wanted to eat dinner.
He ran downstairs while I was bedding the others. When I followed him into the kitchen, he pointed at his empty plate (I'd put the leftovers away already). I explained that dinner was done and that he must wait for breakfast.
Upon registering this news, he --screeching all the while-- grabbed the only edible morsels still on the counter: the butt-end of a cucumber and an apple core.
I felt a strange mix of emotions as I watched him gnaw at the cucumber remnant and nibble at the apple remains. On the one hand, I was horrified that my stalwartness was causing one of my darlings to consume table scraps in lieu of a meal. On the other hand, I admired his resourcefulness and was thankful that he had landed on a solution that allowed us both to "win."
He did accept going to bed relatively quietly after that. And, he probably won't try for dinner after-the-fact again... Or at least not for a long while...