Baby to come this Thurday SO/SD issues...

mom2_1sm2_1February 22, 2010

It has been a while since I have been on this forum. We recently moved and struggled with black mold that has turned our lifes upside down for the last two months....

So in the past I had a hard time with SD5 not eating what I cook for dinner and then getting junk food like nuggets.... well I eventually got to the point where I stopped caring about it and things were easier for me. Just this last weekend when SD was over she pulled the "I'm full" after only eating a few bites and then asked for a snack less than an hour later. SO gave her potato chips to fill up like he does every time. In the past I bit my tounge because I do not want the conflict but this time I totally blew up - I mean really blew up to the point where it was like something else took over my body and I was watching from a distance.....Huge agrument followed.

Once things were all said and done I sat on my bed for a while wondering WTH just happened? I gathered some composure and apoligized for my behavior (I did not apoligize for the way that I felt.) Things were well for the rest of the weekend; we moved on or so I thought.

Last night about an hour after dinner and SD was returned to her mother, SO had a second helping which opened up a can of worms. He brought the whole situation up and blew up in my face. I tried to tell him that now was not the greatest time to discuss things since he was intoxicated, but each time I walked away he followed me telling me how wrong I am and that I am to not get so upset about it and he is the one to make the calls on SD.

Our argument intesified and other things came up. SO is so uptight when SD5 is here for the weekend and everything is DS3's fault. DS is constantly in trouble with SO for what he does to SD like traping her in a corner, sitting too close...ect. I told SO that SD5 needs to learn to stand up for herself and firmly tell DS to back off, afterall we can't be around 24/7 and it could come to a point where she needs to stand up to a bully but cant because she was never taught (this happened to me as a child - I was constantly beaten up by my sister. She wouldn't get in trouble and I was never taught to stand up for myself. I had very low confidence durning school years becuase of the inability to stand up for my self) I don't think that DS3 should get away with being a bully and I do make him back off, but how is SD5 to learn that way?

Anyway, SO is so angry at me he slept on the couch last nigh, didn't talk to me this morning as we were getting ready and didn't call me at lunch time like he does every day. We are 9 months pregnant and having the baby this Thursday. How am I to get things together before then and what if too much damage has been done to recover our relationship? How do I "like" SD again (after each visit SO and I argue about something)? Do I just let go and let him parent her? I just feel that I do so much for SD when SO is sleeping in and feel that when I do decide to dicipline SO frowns upon it. Just so lost and don't know what to do.

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why would you want to discipline her at all? you are due in few days, it should be your focus, don't bother arguing with DH (why is he arguing with 9-month-pregnant woman?), don't discipline anyone.

SO was probably upset that he only sees his DD that often and it ends up with frustration and fights.

If your son truly is a bully (and I met some angry little boys who bullied not only other kids but adults in the neighborhood like throwing rocks in adults backs, or sneaking behind them with a stick and hitting people on their legs, crazy stuff, and they were not more than 5 so i believe 3-year-old can be a bully) then you have to deal with it. You cannot blame SD for not standing up for herself.

if SD does not live with you and only visits why don't you let her dad to deal with her? let him cook and discipline. you can focus on your son.

and I don't understand your comment that unless your SD encounters bullies she will never learn to stand up for herelf, this does not make sense. she can learn standing up for herself without being bullied.

DS needs to learn how to play nicely.

good luck with a new baby! focus on positive.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 1:16PM
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First, best wishes for new baby.

Second -- dont sweat the small stuff, dont worry if SD snacks. My advice for all is keep healthy snacks around. Some chicken nuggets are all natural and fine, add carrrots, etc to keep in frig for snackers.

Third, you can not let DS3 bully. And be careful with him around the baby. Bullying should never be tolerated. All children should feel safe at home. Not certain that sitting to close is really bullying though, or more just annoying. But in any event, tell 3 YO to knock it off.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 2:00PM
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It might be easier to just change a few habits. Can't site too close if sitting in opposite chairs or across from each other. Work at giving them less to annoy each other with. Trapping in corner? Limit running/chasing games and activities that are too unstructured. And I agree, DS needs to know that any rough-housing will not be acceptable especially with a wee one about to enter the picture.

On SD weekends, plan basically kid friendly meals. They can still be healthy and puts less stress over food fights at mealtime. Can't eat chips if you don't buy them. Like KKNY stated, keep kid friendly healthy snacks in stock ready in the refridge. With the baby coming kids are going to want to eat when they see baby eat even when not really hungry. Little boxes of raisins, peanut butter half sandwiches.

If SO wants things left up to him concerning SD than SO needs to forget sleeping in on her weekend visits. With baby arriving he especially needs to be up and ready, there's 3 kids and a baby.

I don't see how you could leave meals on SD weekends to SO and focus only on DS as suggested unless SO would be feeding both kids (and you) by preparing meals. Kids should be eating the same foods and at the same time, I'd just avoid foods you know the kids dislike or be certain that at least a good share of the meal is something the kids will eat.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 2:28PM
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justmetoo, LOL i didn't seriously mean that dad should cook for SD separately. I guess it was more of: well he doesn't like your ways let him cook for her himself. It does sound silly come think of it now. LOL I think it would be a bad idea.

there were similar posts before how kids refuse to eat meals and demand snacks. and OP described what wonderful meals she cooks for the family and how dare SKs dislike it. i pretty much eat anything but what she described made me nauseous to even think of it, some gooey, mushy sauces and gravies. one meal i think was chicken in cream cheese sauce. for a kid?

my DD eats everything but even she would not eat it. sometimes we demand kids eat gross stuff or something we consider tasty but they don't. sometimes it is better to make it simple. and kids don't like elaborate or mushy stuff.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 2:39PM
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Keep your focus on YOUR kids. Your son bullies at age 3, that is a problem that needs to be addressed before he enters kindergarten. Kids bully for a reason and you need to figure out WHY he is bullying. That is about your son, not your SD... he just has her to bully now. In a couple of years, he will have more kids to bully and you will have bigger problems.

Keep healthy snacks available. If dad chooses to give his child chips instead, that's HIS choice & his problem. Let go of that issue because your focus needs to be on what YOUR kids eat. When they ask why they get carrot sticks & not chips, you can explain to your kids what good nutrition is and why it's important.

and to rid yourself of the resentment that will build, do not get up to do things for SD when SO is 'sleeping in'. Tell him his daughter is up, she needs you, and that is HIS responsibility. If he complains... remind him that it's HIS daughter, after all he is the one to make calls on her.. he can do everything for her, including entertain her when she's there. Then maybe YOU can go back to bed and sleep in.

But, the biggest problem I saw in your post (and I am sure I don't know all the facts or details, just what you wrote) is that he waited until his child left, got intoxicated and THEN started jumping on you for it. Why would he wait until his child leaves, but your child is still there to witness it? Why would he wait until he is intoxicated? I smell abusive guy and I am sorry that you are having his baby this week, but I see huge concern for you, your child (who is 'bullying' probably because that is what the male role model in the home does) and now you are going to be tied to this guy through a new baby. I really think you need to figure out how to protect your children before you worry about how to smooth things over with Mr. Wonderful. Put your children FIRST!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 3:29PM
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may be my horrible suspicious nature, but I'm wondering if the 5-year-old provokes the 3-year-old to get dad's attention, since it works when she makes you the bad guy with food.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 3:49PM
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mom2, I agree with you that you don't want your son to be a bully. I don't think you actually mean that you think sd would benefit from bullying. I think you actually meant that she needed to learn how to handle the situation, and I am sure you want to know when ds is doing that so you can teach him better. Maybe, it would work if you told her to come to you when it was happening and you could deal with ds. And giving her examples of what to do when he acts up wouldn't hurt either.

As far as so, I don't agree with him picking arguements with you, being this far along. Maybe he is having issues with not seeing his daughter more often, but picking a fight with you, especially now is not the way to handle it. Maybe finedreams has the best approach for that. Try to focus on you and ds.

When so has cooled off, try talking to him about ways to handle the eating problem. It is nice that you try to help with sd, but she is first and foremost his responsibility. Maybe it wouldn't bother you so much if you had healthier snacks for her to have when she doesn't want to eat the meal. Please keep in mind that little bellies don't hold as much at one time as we do.

How would so handle you giving ds snacks when he gives them to sd? Maybe if he saw it coming from that perspective it wouldn't be okay. Maybe it wouldn't hurt to ask him.

I hope everything goes well for you with the delivery. Focus on you and take care.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 4:05PM
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"OP described what wonderful meals she cooks for the family and how dare SKs dislike it. i pretty much eat anything but what she described made me nauseous to even think of it, some gooey, mushy sauces and gravies. one meal i think was chicken in cream cheese sauce. for a kid?"

FD, that was me. Sorry my meals made you nauseated, LOL. The meals you are referring to were two meals I got out of Family Fun magazine in an EFFORT to find something my SS might like.

I don't cook anything strange or weird, we eat pretty basic meals. And I also disagree that kids don't eat things with sauces or that are "mushy." My SS LOVES Italian food---lasagna, any kind of pasta with a cream sauce, spaghetti, garlic bread with cheese, etc. Those are all sauc-y dishes. If it's mac n'cheese, he will gobble it up! He loves chili. In the last 6 onths, I found an awesome recipe for Mexican chicken served over rice (chicken breasts baked w/salsa, brown sugar & mustard) that he LOVES. ETC.

I was complaining at one point because he IS a picky eater and it's not any big secret, even SS would admit that. And as far as sauces go, he pretty much WON'T eat anything WITHOUT a sauce, which HAS caused problems for us b/c I normally do NOT cook with a lot of sauces--we do lots of grilled chicken and pork, steak, grilled fishes, burgers on the grill, etc. and if it's plain, he won't eat it.

Pretty much the only way we can get him to eat any kind of meat is to give him ranch to dip it in, or melt some cheese.

The two recipes you are referring to were both from FAMILY FUN magazine---one was baked chicken tenders with a peanut dipping sauce on the side; the other was chicken breasts in the crockpot with a cream-cheese sauce. Sorry if that sounds gross to you, but it's a semi-sweet sauce that IMO most kids would like. I was trying them out in an effort to find more meals that SS might enjoy, as meal times with him have been difficult at times.

I think kids eat what they are exposed to. Sorry to say, but when my SS is with his mom, he eats CRAP. She gets him Hardees biscuits several times a week for breakfast, hot-dogs from the gas station, and fast food all the time... fi he doesn't like his dinner, she has no problem making some garlic-cheese bread and letting him fil up on that...his snacks/lunches are chips, cookies, kool-aid, etc. So it's no wonder that when I make oatmeal for breakfast, or give the kids Rice Krispies and a banana, or I send goldfish crackers for a snack, he is not all that excited. He'd rather have a biscuit or donut or some candy!

We eat reasonbly healthy foods over here and it has most certainly caused contention in the past. It's gotten better because my DH has put his foot down over the last year with SS's eating habits.

OP, my SS used to do the same thing---eat two bites of dinner, complain he was full or didn't like it, and then want a snack later. Now, my hubs is pretty firm in that SS needs to eat ALL his veggies, and usually at least half of his main course before he can be finished with dinner. I don't mind anymore about the snacking b/c we never really have BAD snacks over here----goldfish or pretzels, oranges, bananas, yogurt, etc.

We've discovered some tricks of the trade with him, like I said before--any time we eat chicken or beef, he HAS to have ranch or ketchup or melted cheese to dip. Veggies he will choke down. He's not a big fan of fruits, but he will eat apple slices w/peanut butter, and occasionally, he likes this is all progress IMO.

OP, I am sorry for all the problems you're having. I feel for you, that you're so close to the birth of your baby and fighting with you husband. I hope you two can come to some resolution before Thursday.

As far as the eating, I would let your hubby do the meal preps when your SD is visiting. Given that you have two kids, you obviously cannot have separate meals, but if DH is preparing the foods, that might take some of the tension off you.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 6:46PM
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Love, my post came across rude, as I think of it now it was not nice of me, I apologize. Food preferences are totally subjective and also cultural.

if it is any consolation to you, we eat some ethnic foods that you would probably throw up even thinking about. haha We eat liver and onions and chopped liver, all European Jews eat it (although I didn't have it for a long time), then at parties we eat this jellied meat dish that people almost throw up by looking at LOL But we love it.

Then we eat cold soups in a summer (cold borscht, or this soup made with kefir), it gives Americans terrible gas and indigestion, but I can eat whole pot of it. We also eat (but only at parties, it is not good for you) cow's tongue.

Most people don't hesitate to tell me that these foods are gross and disgusting. LOL I usually laugh.

I do love all other meals you described though, just spare me those peanut butter and cream cheese sauces, sorry. LOL I am just kidding. Hope you are not offended. If i ever say something stupid again advise me to eat some tongue or liver. LOL

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 7:17PM
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A few things we do at my house for the picky little ones is they get the same food, but not maybe the same way.

If I'm doing say a chicken casserole, I'll set aside a bit of cooked chicken (leftover) and serve the plain chicken to my DD10 with a serving of veggies. She basically eats what we did, just not 'icky ol casserole' as she calls it. Meatloaf is not a favorite of hers either but if I set a patty of the meat aside and cook it and serve it as a hamburger on a bun, no problem. I just have to cook the burger a few minutes before I take the meatloaf out of oven.

Just little things that makes for a pleasant meal at the table without fighting and begging to take bites. She will taste a spoonful of something new, but I don't push her to eat it or do without as long as I can get her to eat the same actual foods. Pizza night is a favor of hers, she makes her boring pepperoni and cheese well I make a more adult crust and topping pizza for Dh and myself. She'll eat a porkchop if it's is tender but only with side of pickles to kill the taste, and yes, must be dipped in mustard (yuck, but she eats it).

Only when the kids were real small, young toddler, did they get away with chicken strips and fish sticks. I finally got around that by peeling off the breading and getting them to eat just the 'meat' and then they never noticed when I began to switch that for chicken tender strips marinaded or baked white fish. Oh, yeah, like Love said above, a bit of melted cheese and a dip can do wonders on getting 'icky' food down.

I've just found it's better overall to work with the kids and their true likes and dislikes than to ruin family meals. At times I found my kids to be as stubborn as my box turtle is. A turtle would rather die than eat what it does not want, luckily my kids are a bit better.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 7:33PM
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I am going to agree with sylvia on this one .... and I will also add ... maybe dad is pi$$y because he misses his DD... so he picks a fight with when shes going back to mom's because its easier than being sad over "a kid".

And all that is normal 3-5 behavior ... unless he is physically hurting her ... he is just trying to be her bud ... is she an only at mom's?

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 8:24PM
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Hope all goes well on Thursday! We've been in similar situations, and I remember another poster reminding me who was in charge of shopping...sooo..if it's you that does the shopping, buy different snacks for SD when she gets to your place, and 'forget' to buy chips etc.
Makes it a lot easier on everybody.

And I can relate to feeling so frustrated with it all, we've had similar arguments in the past as well, and we might have them again, who knows, but I try to keep in mind that the only person who feels frustrated is the person who wants things to be different. If you can accept, for your own sanity, that the situation is how it is, then you don't need to feel frustrated or angry anymore.

And I just read other replies quickly but did somebody recommend to let DH cook? Sounds like a plan, he'll probably see things in a different light if he's the one that bothers with the cooking :-)

Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 11:47PM
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I would find out how and what she eats at moms. Maybe she got used to moms food and just don't like what is served at dads.

DD ate everything (as long as it is not all mixed up together in gooey style) but only at moms, dads, and grandparents. she ate absolutely nothing anywhere else until she got a bit older. like wouldn't even touch. if we went on a whole day visit to anyone's house, like distant relative or a friend, she would literally not touch anything on the table. embarrassing. luckily she was not a skinny kid so day of fasting did not harm her. LOL

On the contrary when DD was 4-9 we had this neighbor girl who was picky eater at home, yet when she was at my house (which was a lot) she ate like there is no tomorrow. Up to ridiculous, adult portions, asked for seconds etc. My mom was visiting once and almost fell of a chair how much this tiny girl ate at dinner. haha

Same with my SIL, she always complains that DS20 and DD8 are picky eater, eat very little, never want to eat etc. It is the funniest joke in our houses because both DD and DS eat like there is no tomorrow when at my parents or my house. Not picky and eat large amounts and ask for more. and not out of politeness, they sincerely like it (my mom is a great cook but really i am not, I am just so so cook).

I think SIL cultivates the myth how they are picky eaters, she also cooks some weird stuff and then of course they'd rather eat something else.

so there could more to the trouble of kids not eating

    Bookmark   February 23, 2010 at 5:57AM
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Thank you for the responses.
I feel I do need to clarify that DS's "Bullying" is not much more than sitting too close, following SD around the house all the time, and a little of rough housing that goes a little too far for SD - like being traped in a corner. I don't over look it and I do stand up for SD when I feel she needs the support. But I also feel she needs to stand up for her self and tell anyone who is annoying her to stop, instead of just standing there waiting for an adult to come to her rescue - there will not always be an adult around.
SO and I discussed this and he agrees that it would be best to encourage her to be more firm. Her temperment is very sweet and we can't expect her to always be firm but providing her with the tools to be firm in a time of need could help her in the future. When I hear her quiet sweet voice telling DS to stop, I always peak to make sure he does and if he doesn't I demand it myself. In the future we decided that we would encourage SD to speak loader and more firm to get it across - having her try herself at that time as well.
We also agreed that DS temperment is stubborn, and we need to be firm with him to play nicely - intervien when we feel things are starting to get out of hand. But we also need to remember to be compassionate and instead of yelling at him to leave be, we need to use it as a teaching experience to show him how he SHOULD play with others.
As for the meals.... DS does not know how to eat so he is not a problem when it comes time to cook, but we did compromise on if SD asks for a snack an hour after meals she can have fruits or veggies, if it is two hours or more, then she can have junk food.

sylviatexas... I do feel she instigates and I have seen it first hand, but that is a whole new post. When I bring it up to SO he get upset like I am making it up or something. I feel in his eyes SD is an Angel and DS is the Devil - she never does anything wrong and he is always in the wrong. He difinately has his blinders on. It is something that we talked about last night and needs to be worked on to provide a fair enviroment for all the children. I am not too sure that he actually heard me though.... What I did get out of the discussion was that he feels DS thinks SD is there for him and he has a bit of resentment that he doesn't get to spend time with her. He himself offered that maybe he needs to get down on the floor with her and play more. I agreed and told him I could do something DS to keep him busy - and that maybe once in a while we could switch it up - SD with me, DS with him.
There is a sense of urgentcy here and the issue needs to be addressed immediately. Every third weekend we have the children, DS will go to my mom's which will provide me with a bit of a break and give SO one on one time with SD -not to mention how much DS would love to see his Papa for the weekend. It's a compromise that we both are happy with. Once things have improved we can then reassess and decide if it is something we want to continue with.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2010 at 8:15AM
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I am glad you came to some sort of comprimise and discussion. The idea of giving dh some one-on-one time with his daughter is wonderful! All kids need that alone time with their parents sometimes.

I too was thinking that your sd acts out to get daddy's attention. It is something I see with my ss who lives with us full-time. DH's work schedule gets pretty busy sometimes and on his days off ss tries to complain about food, cry about chores, whine when he has to do anything, and even make up fake pains to avoid trips to the store or anything that is not "fun". What I notice is when DH does not tolerate the behavior it stops, when he coddles it then it continues.

I love justmetoo's ideas about giving the child the same foods, just more plain if thats the way they like it. I know my ss loves things plain and will dip almost anything in ketchup!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2010 at 12:10PM
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Just thinking of you today and wishing you a speedy and safe delivery...

    Bookmark   February 25, 2010 at 9:36AM
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as am I. Best wishes!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2010 at 9:54AM
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oh my it is Thursday! Hopefully things went/go well! best wishes!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2010 at 8:44PM
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