In the wake of the holiday season, long after the decorations are finally down and the brown wreath is composted, some of us still feel the pain. I'm not talking about the bills or the extra pounds around the middle. No, I am talking about Tired Child Syndrome, or TCS.
TCS normally strikes for the first couple weeks of trying to get back into a normal schedule. Causes include too many holiday events, late nights, travel and sleeping late. Symptoms for children include tantrums, exhaustion accompanied by an adrenalin rush that prevents sleep, restless sleep, and erratic behavior followed by extended time outs. Treatment primarily consists of toughing it out and getting things back on schedule. Side effects of treatment (for parents) include; ringing eardrums, exhaustion, lateness to work, and an increased desire for a glass of wine. With consistent treatment, TCS should resolve itself within two weeks or at the thinnest point of parental patience.
Wow. What a night. The storm began brewing on arrival at home, built with a rejection of dinner and peaked at the point Mommy got hit with a fork. As our child wailed, face down in the time out corner, my spouse and I achieved a truly parental Zen moment and had a nice adult dinner conversation and leisurely meal. Once the storm subsided, Hurricane Kiddo joined us at the table, and not only tried all the vegetables on the plate including the kale, but had a bit of salad as well.
It's pretty easy to see how any tired parent could mistake a bout of TCS for a food issue. Thing is, the food had nothing to do with it. The dinner table just happened to be the first object in the path of the storm. It's hard to batten down the hatches, lower the sails and ride it out. Especially after a long day at work.
Just like dealing with other forces of nature, sometimes you have to wait until the storm blows over and salvage what you can. Kids', at their best, have erratic food preferences. No wonder moments like these can cloud the issue. We were lucky enough to see a bit of sunlight this time, but it just isn't always the case. If dinner is a no go, don't give up, just try it again when your child is not in the throes of TCS. The rejection of your menu may have nothing to do with food at all.
Looking for this recipe? It will be part of an upcoming book with Ali at Cleaner Plate Club.
This post will be part of the next edition of Carnival of Family Life at Write from Karen.