1. She’s not hungry. She is not now, nor has she ever been, hungry. Hunger is for the weak!
2. She doesn’t like it. Peas are yucky. She hates peas. Didn’t you know that? Never mind that she ate an entire plate of peas yesterday. Today, peas are poison!
3. It’s too hot. Owwweeee! That barely warm chicken just scalded her mouth. The pain is unendurable. How could you torture her like that?
4. It’s too cold. Can you put it in the microwave for five seconds? Another five seconds. Um, still cold. Five more seconds. Almost there…
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5. It’s spicy. Breaking news: Plain pasta is spicy. So is bread. So are green beans. Especially green beans.
6. She wants something else. Nice job on dinner, Mom. But she would really prefer pizza or pancakes or fish tacos or paella. Nothing fancy. Yes, she will wait while you whip that up for her.
7. She can’t sit in her chair. Her chair is so uncomfortable! How can anyone be expected to sit in that? She would like to stand up. No, she definitely can’t eat standing up. Don’t be silly.
8. She needs to sit in Mommy’s lap. No, Daddy’s lap. No, Mommy’s lap. You didn’t want to eat anything either, right? Kay, thanks!
9. She wants to paint. She is inspired. You are crushing her artistic expression.
10. She wants to sing. (See above.)
11. She wants to go to the park. It’s dinnertime. Everyone who is anyone is at the park right now!
12. She wants to go swimming. She needs to show you her swimming skills. She is really good at swimming. Don’t you understand?!
The dog is hungry! She needs to feed him. LOOK AT HIM. He’s at death’s door.
13. She wants to fly in an airplane. Grandma and Grandpa are waiting for her. Yes, she made her own plans.
14. She wants to eat with Leo. There will be no eating unless Leo is present. LEO!!!
15. She needs her stuffed animals to “watch” her eat. Yes, all of them. Yes, they must be sitting on the table.
16. She needs to call Grandma and tell her something really important. No, it’s a secret.
17. She wants sausage and pasta. Sausage. And. Pasta. She is aware that she had sausage and pasta last night. And the night before that. What’s your point?
18. She isn’t a person anymore. Clearly, she’s a kitty cat. Kitty cats do not eat broccoli. Kitty cats eat sausage and pasta. Everyone knows that.
19. The dog is hungry! She needs to feed him. LOOK AT HIM. He’s at death’s door.
20. She ate three bags of Cheddar Bunnies for snack. That was dinner too, right?
21. She wants to watch another episode of Daniel Tiger. “You can take a turn, and then I’ll get it back… You can take a turn, and then I’ll get it back…. You can take a turn…”
22. She needs to poop. Yes. No. Maybe. Ha ha! She was just pretending. Or was she?
23. She wants to eat dinner. Dinner now! Yes, she knows it’s lunchtime. At dinnertime, she will want to eat lunch.
24. There is a dog barking outside. Who is he? What’s his name? Why is he barking? Can she play with him? Who can possibly eat with these distractions?
25. She threw her plate on the floor. Game over.