So, we solved our picky eater challenges with one simple method: Dinner each night is to be eaten without complaint with no more than two bites of each thing remaining. If this challenge is met, then on Friday Said Pickey Eater gets to choose whatever he wants for the family to eat. It has worked like a charm and the torture that was family dinner has now returned to its former pleasantness.
But yesterday, after a full day of playing in THE REAL SUN, where the temperature touched 78 degrees (holy smokes!), my pickey eater was not hungry in the slightest for dinner (you know how a full day of activity in the sun can squelch the appetite!). He picked at his chicken, never did touch his green beans, and even complained about the taste of his roll with honey butter slathered on it. He finally gave up, pushed his plate aside and said he just couldn't eat any more. Since instituting "The Challenge," he has never done this. Never.
I immediately wondered how "failing to meet his challenge" on the very first day of the new week would impact the rest of the week's meals. I was not looking forward to finding out, and envisioned 5 torturous nights of fighting him on meals because the motivation to try was long gone. The next morning, however, I got my answer. He came up to me with humble eyes and said, "Mom, am I not going to be able to make my challenge this week since I did not eat my dinner last night?" I had a flash of divinely inspired brilliance and answered very softly, "You didn't eat you dinner last night but, sweetie, I am going to give you grace and we will just forget that last night happened. It will be a fresh start, ok Little D?" His countenance lit up and he said, "Thanks for the grace, Mom!" And added as he walked away, "...even though I don't deserve it!"