Saturday 25 May 2019

What I'm Really Thinking ...fussy eating

Why can't my parents let me make my own food choices? I won't starve myself!
Why can't my parents let me make my own food choices? I won't starve myself!

I don't see what the big deal is. When I say I don't want a particular kind of food, I mean I don't want a particular kind of food. So, I don't understand why my parents make such a huge fuss… EVERY mealtime. You'd think they'd be used to me by after seven years of this stuff.

It's not that I don't get hungry. I do. I just don't like the feel of some kind of foods in my mouth. They make me want to gag. I actually think I might throw up. That doesn't stop them. Especially Dad. He sits there watching every tiny nibble and I know he's watching me and it makes me really anxious and really angry too.

I've heard them speak about me to other people. They are always telling people that "he's so fussy about his food". That annoys me. It is none of the business of the other people. I wish they wouldn't keep saying it, because it upsets me that they'll think badly of me, maybe even before they know me.

I don't remember a time when there wasn't some issue about me and food. My parents have always been trying to "persuade" me to eat. I say persuade, but I mean force. They don't think of it as forcing, but how else can you describe giving me no choice but to eat what they give me or there is some consequence? I've lost out loads over the years. Things like TV time, the iPad gets taken, I've had to sit at the table for hours while everyone else was in the sitting room. I've been sent to bed early. I've been given the same dinner over and over again until I've eaten it. The bit they don't seem to realise is that I don't care about punishments!

When I was small I remember one day my Mam was feeding me and I didn't want the food and I spat it out. She smashed the spoon down on the table so hard that the dishes jumped. I got a big fright and I started crying. She was all apologetic then, but I still know, even now, that dinners could turn ugly any time.

But I don't want to give in either. It's my body, my mouth, and my stomach. Why should they get to tell me what to do with any of them? I don't think they should. I think it should be my choice. I don't tell them what to eat, or when to eat it, or how much. My dad hates boiled eggs and I don't shove them under his nose and tell him he isn't leaving the table until he's eaten "at least one…"

But apparently I'm just a child and they know best. I don't think they know anything. I'm as tall as my nine-year-old sister and I'm a faster runner than her. I play hurling and football and I bounce on the trampoline whenever I can. I'm not fading away! I'm not going to die!

That's the thing. Like I said before, I do love to eat, but I like things like cereal and crackers and yoghurts and toast and waffles and I do like bacon too. I just don't like vegetables or mashed potato or sauces. It'd be cool to be able to just eat whatever I wanted. Like my Mam lets me eat cereal if I'm hungry, so I don't know what the problem is with just eating other stuff when I need it.

I'd love if they listened to me and trusted me to sort myself out. I think I know what I need. Not that I'm great at buttering toast, I do like help with that, and cooking the bacon too. But you know what I mean, I just want to able to make my own decisions. Like, I won't starve myself or anything. I'd never do that. I want to hurl for the county. You'd never be able to do that without eating.

* As imagined by David Coleman

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