Yesterday, Carver got to his nap a bit later than usual, and when he awoke he was in a bit of a mood. Although he had not eaten in several hours, he refused to sit and eat, instead insisting on playing. The real problem was that Avey was waiting on Carver to finish a meal so that we could go swimming. We had abstained from swimming for the previous two Saturdays because of a schedule conflict and then due to my hurt toes. Avey was anxious to swim again, but of course, we couldn’t go with a hungry boy on our hands.
I tried everything shy of physical force to get that boy into his chair. I told him how we could go swim right after he finished. I offered him a chocolate chip as a reward to sit down. I described all of the yummy food he could have for his meal. Avey and I pretended that we were leaving without him. I explained that his body needed to have food in it or he would feel bad. Each time, he firmly turned me down, but still insisted that he wanted to go swim.
Finally, Carver seemed to arrive at a solution of his own. “I got a [sic] idea!” he stated confidently, with a big smile. I listened attentively, glad to have him meet me half way. He offered, “How about I not eat my food, and go swimming!”
As adorable as his idea was, I declined it. He eventually did climb into his chair and have a small meal before we went to the pool. The bargaining was worth it – we had a delightful afternoon.