“Note to self – never eat at Tshanina’s house.”

Those were the words that I heard from Jayden (my 7 year old neighbor friend) as he ate supper with us last week. No I’m not kidding! I couldn’t make this stuff up!

He’d asked to eat supper with us before so I invited him to join us. On the menu was a macaroni dish and veggies.

I’d never heard Jayden talk about eating veggies at his house, so I quickly let him know that it was on the menu for supper. Mixed veggies – easy enough.

As we sat down to eat and I started to dish up his plate I knew not to give him very much, especially because I didn’t want anything to go to waste. As I gave him half a spoon full of veggies he got excited and said that he liked those kind of veggies. I asked him if he wanted more than the meager serving I had given him. He excitedly shook his head yes.

We started to eat our meal and I could see him picking at his macaroni – I’m not sure which ingredient he didn’t like but there was no doubt that he picked around it. A few minutes later, after it looked like he’d pushed everything around on his plate, he looked up at me and asked if he did good eating his food.

After surveying his plate, I told him that there was still food that needed to be eaten – especially the veggies (since he’d asked for a double helping). He told me that he didn’t like the veggies, pushed his plate forward and said he didn’t want them. I told him that he needed to finish his veggies.

Here’s the kicker folks. He looked at me and said, “I don’t get forced at my house.” I held back any signs of a smile (and, boy, I so wanted to laugh) and said, “We’re not at your house.” It was at this point that I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. He could have easily gotten up and ran home. In fact, I fully expected him to.

I explained to him that there are veggies that I make that Trent doesn’t like but he still eats them. Then, I quickly changed the subject and started talking to Trent – trying my best to get his mind off of the situation. That’s when he said, “Note to self – never eat at Tshanina’s house.”

A few minutes later the subject of ice cream came up and Jayden perked right up. I quickly let him know that he couldn’t have any dessert until he finished his veggies. A few minutes later he pulled his plate forward and finished his veggies (no doubt dreaming of the ice cream he was about to partake in). Whew, crisis averted!

I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do if he didn’t eat his veggies. I mean, it’s not like I could force him to sit at the table until bedtime unless he ate his veggies, or not let him have anything else to eat until they were gone. There’s no doubt in my mind that he was just testing to see how far he could push me. Well, this is one stubborn girl and his tricks weren’t/aren’t going to work!

Jayden’s a very smart kid. He’s a great kid that’s just starving for attention. He knows right from wrong (just like all of us). But one thing’s for sure, he can’t get away with his shenanigans at our house. (I’ve even told him so, and he just grins!)

Thrifty T