Hunger Strike

4 Jan

My kids are staging a hunger strike. Their demands are simple: they get to watch Barney or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse all day long. And, in return, they will eat a minimum of one meal per day, standing – not sitting – at their table, get their daily value of calories and protein from milk alone, and steal food off my plate at other opportune moments during the day. They will consider eating a yogurt pouch – in the car…if I’m lucky.

I know the first rule of life is to never negotiate with toddlers or terrorists, so I’m not going to do that. I’m writing those terrorists toddlers a strongly worded letter.

Dear children:

I know that you’ve been able to watch a lot tv the past few days. Mommy and daddy have been sick. Both of you have been sick. There was nothing we wanted to do less than to actually get up and attempt to entice you to play with a toy…any toy. Even Mickey Mouse. Or a ball. So we, mommy and daddy, have bent to every request to watch Barney (or the French pronunciation, Barnier, which you have been throwing out recently. I knew our boys were smart when at a mere 23 months they could sense that using the French pronunciation of a word makes them sound smart, a little sophisticated, and a wee bit snarky). We have been more than happy to acquiesce to your demands of switching from Barnier to, what Husband calls high theater compared to Barnier, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. In fact, we were much happier to change the channel from the purple dinosaur and his singing munchkin friends to ANYTHING else.

But now, boys, now…daddy is almost better. Mommy is on her way to good health. And you….you two. I can tell by your running and screaming around the house, by you playing with toys again, by you pulling the dining room chairs into the kitchen to play with all our vitamin bottles, by your general good mood, that no one NEEDS to watch Barnier all day long…no matter how much you point at the tv and whine and beg for more Barnier with the most pitiful voice I’ve ever heard.


So, hear me now…we will go back to watching tv on a limited basis so mommy and daddy can use it as tool; so we can have a few minutes to do something that will go much easier and quicker while you watch tv and are not chasing our heels. Watching Barneir all day, and listening to Riff, his dinosaur friend, and his super fantastic singing voice (please find the sarcasm in that) doesn’t allow mommy and daddy to use tv as what it is meant to be: a free babysitter an educational tool. Too much tv and it loses its effectiveness.

Finally, you are also going to start eating real food at your table again. None of this eating a random piece of bread while watching the purple dinosaur who will remain nameless from now on. I know no one has really been enjoying food recently because we can’t smell or taste anything. But that time is coming to a close. And you will eat. And you will eat something other than Meetmow (oatmeal) or hot dogs.

We are your parents, and we love you to the depths of the ocean and back. But we are also the adults…and we will win.

Mom and Dad



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