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Open Letter to My Sons: Why Don't You Eat?

Dear sons,

Why won't you eat that? It's a question I never thought I'd have to ask a child of mine, yet it's the question I find myself asking you two every day. I love to eat. I have no problem eating. In fact, can I have something to eat right now?

You won't eat the meals I meticulously plan and spend hours cooking. You won't eat the thing that was your "favorite dinner ever!" last week. You won't eat what YOU JUST TOLD ME 10 MINUTES AGO that you wanted for dinner.

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You want a snack. Ten minutes before dinnertime.

You want fast food. Anything that comes with a toy inside, anything that comes with a side of french fries. Will you eat my perfectly breaded chicken cutlets if I promise to give you a small toy on the side?

You want hot dogs. I realize that you are too young to understand what nitrates are, but can you please take my word for it that too many of them is a bad thing? A very bad thing. And yes, I know that hot dogs are delicious. And, what's that? Yes, summer IS, in fact, coming and there will be a ton of barbecues. But let's get back to my point, shall we?

She lists the many scrumptious meals that I refused to eat over the years.

This is not a diner. You need to eat what's on your plate, or you don't eat anything at all.

I make you chicken nuggets. But then you want noodles. I make grilled cheese, and then you decide that you want pancakes for dinner. Is this some sort of drinking game, where you see how many entrees I will make in a night? Or how long it takes me to lose my mind? I can assure you, I am very, very close.


I would love to have family dinners each night where we all eat the same thing, everyone clears their plates, and we enjoy each others' company and bond. Growing up, my mother always cooked us yummy meals, and we ate as a family. Some of my favorite foods are still, to this day, the meals my mother cooked me when I was young. I have such wonderful memories of family dinnertimes. That's all I really want for my family.

Is that too much to ask? Well, maybe.

I tell my mother all of this and she laughs in my face. Loudly. She reminds me of the 4-year span in high school when I refused to eat red meat. She lists the many scrumptious meals that I refused to eat over the years. She tells a tale of a little girl who used to go to friends' houses, eat all of their junk food, and then come back home too full to eat dinner.

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Is it too late to join another family?

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Image via Twenty20/bhellenbrand

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