Okay, so I'm not really going to write one. But if I were...
My first chapter would be entitled: Starvation: It really works!
Today I stumbled across this truth: If you starve them, they will eat. It may not sound profound at first, but repeat it with the same whispered reverence as the famous phrase in Field of Dreams. That's how my revelation felt to me.
Of course, I would never actually starve my children. I just don't think I allow them to become hungry enough to really appreciate their food, and I never realized that until this afternoon.
Today when I woke them from nap we immediately became so engrossed in our pirate adventures, we forgot to have a snack. Then we went outside to play. Parker drenched himself (and everything else within range) with the hose, Maddie pushed her stroller, and I cleaned out the van for the third time this week. We were just too busy having fun to be bothered with food.
When Aaron got home we all stayed outside playing frisbee (or "tuzzbee" as Parker likes to call it) while our dinner was on the grill. I ran in to set the table and give them a few extra minutes of play. Then, bracing myself for the inevitable onslaught of protests, I called them all in to eat. What happened next was nothing short of amazing.
Parker jumped into the air and exclaimed, "Yay! Dinner!" and ran inside. [That was it, in case you were waiting for more.]
Aaron and I just stared at each other as Parker ran past us into the kitchen.
You must understand how atypical this behavior was in order to appreciate the enormity of the situation. On a daily basis, I hear the same whiny responses from him regarding dinner:
Can you please set the timer for two more minutes?
I'm not hungry.
That's too spicy.
I don't like that.
That green stuff is yucky.
I don't want to eat.
Can I just drink my milk?
Imagine my surprise and delight when he expressed joy at the announcement of dinner, promptly came in, and actually ate!
I say it again, starvation: it works!