We wage war, and our arsenal is stubbornness.
Our latest battle: peanut butter.
I’ve long since given up on making B a super healthy eater — he is simply picky and prefers starchy items to any nutrient-rich option. But every now and then, I try to make a slight change for the better.
So in lieu of Skippy, I bought better (peanut) butter — the kind that requires stirring and lives in the fridge.
Last Sunday afternoon, I made PB&J after church. I was careful in my construction, shielding the new peanut butter jar from view with my body. I stirred quickly, slathered the bread and slapped it all together. I set it on the table as if it was the same PB&J he eats every single day. Yes, every. single. day.
I hid the evidence in the back of the fridge and tried to act normal.
He and his brother sat down to eat. Here’s a key difference between them — Oli didn’t notice the change. (Also, Oli enjoys some variety in his cuisine.) Bronson, however, noticed immediately.
“What is this?!?!” he demanded, clearly repulsed that I would alter his daily cuisine.
“What’s what?” I asked, feigning confusion.
“It tastes weird. There’s too much peanut butter!”
“Hmmm.” I said, trying to avoid outright lies or a yelling match.
His furrowed brow and disgusted expression demanded an explanation, of which I didn’t offer any.
“Eat your lunch,” I said. Oli shrugged and kept eating.
Bronson pushed his plate around, and in that moment, he showed his hand. He watched Oli eat and looked at his own sandwich. I could tell he was going to keep eating! Again, I tried to keep calm and act normal, like me winning a battle with him is no big deal. (You see I had tried this very switch once before.) But just to be clear — I won a battle with him on January 21, 2018. Mark your calendars.
It took longer than normal, but Bronson ate his new PB&J that day. He made sure I knew he thought something was off, and he didn’t appreciate it. I made sure I kept a straight face.
For approximately 10 days now, I have been shielding his view of his PB&J construction and shoving the jar to the back of the fridge. One shouldn’t consider the war won in one day. But for approximately 10 days now, he has been eating PB&J everyday — the new and improved kind.
Don’t you dare tell him.
It’s taken me 6 and half years, but I’m slowly learning that the only way to affect change on this kid is to do so subtly and subversively. To try any other way is to be in a battle of wills. And man is he stubborn.
But every once in a while, I can still outsmart him.