Ava, Stubborn Is Thy Name!



If you read that definition carefully, I swear you’ll come across Ava’s name somewhere in there. While Hannah is the bad tempered child, Ava is the stubborn one. Even in a bout of rage, I can bend Hannah’s will… Ava… NOT A CHANCE CHINA!

Ava Smooch

Case in point… dinner time, Tuesday evening at around 17h30. Our new house has a lovely LARGE kitchen with a built in eating area which I’m thrilled about. Since before we moved we’ve been explaining to Ava that from the time we arrive there, she will be required to sit at the dinner table and eat her food and not run around the house like a lunatic with either Walter or I running behind her with a spoon of food desperately trying to get her to eat SOMETHING, while begging, pleading, bribing & threatening her.

On Tuesday she just decided that absolutely no way in hell was she going to obey this instruction, she was going to sit in her chair in the lounge and watch TV. I got Hannah into her high chair in the kitchen, got everyone’s food ready and still no Ava. I called and called and threatened/bribed/begged/the usual with zero reaction from her. Eventually I had to go into the lounge and turn the TV off. She then threw a hissy because I’d turned off said TV but still refused to come to the kitchen. Fine, so then you’re going to sit on the naughty step. I took her to the  naughty step, did all the new age parenting stuff, got down on her level, explained why she had to sit there blah blah blah and returned to the kitchen to start our supper and feed Hannah.

After the required 4 minutes I returned to the naughty step to find it empty! Called and called and was flat out ignored! Went upstairs and found madam merrily playing in her bedroom where she explained she simply did not feel like sitting on the naughty step. Take her back down to the naughty step. Tell her that if she gets off the naughty step this time she will not be allowed to watch TV for two days (this is the end of the world in Ava speak) and left her for the required 4 minutes. Returned, got down to her level, reiterated why she had had to sit there, got the required cuddle and apology and off we went to the kitchen to start actually eating supper. By now like 20 minutes have already past and Hannah is having a melt down because I’m not getting the food into her mouth fast enough!

She climbs up into her chair and happily sits there but still REFUSES TO EAT ANYTHING! By this stage my patience is seriously wearing thing ( Ava is stubborn, Hannah is bad tempered & I’m the impatient one, not a great combo)! I then explained to her that I was counting to 3 and if she hadn’t put a spoon of food in her mouth, I was going to spank her! (gasp) Now we don’t spank, like as in not ever so I really thought this would get a reaction from, but it wasn’t really the reaction I’d hoped for…. While I was half way through counting to 3, she pipes up:

“Actually Mommy, I don’t care! Spank me!”

Which resulted in me yanking her out the chair and giving her the spanking she apparently didn’t care about. The world apparently came to an end at this point. There was much howling, crying, snot & tears and she resolutely climbed back into her chair but still refused to eat. So off back to the naughty step we go………..

Follow all the parental steps again, get down on her level, blah blah blah…..

To which she responded:

“I’m still not going to eat my food!”

So I left her there for the required 4 minutes again. I returned and asked her if she was going to come and sit in the kitchen and eat her supper, her response… NO! With an emphatic shake of her head. Fine, I told her that she could then continue to sit there until such time as she was prepared to come to the kitchen and eat her supper and that she could call me when she was ready to co-operate.

TEN minutes later she eventually relented and called me to tell me she’d come and eat her supper in the kitchen. She then proceeded to bounce off into the kitchen, sit in her chair and eat her food as if nothing had ever happened! And complain she was still hungry after she finished eating and wanted a peanut butter sandwich.

It took FORTY FIVE MINUTES from serving her dinner to eventually getting the first spoon of food into her mouth! FORTY FIVE MINUTES!

Stubborn! Willful! Ava is thy name!

Mealtimes at our home are a total mare! Hannah is an eater, Ava is a non-eater. One is crying from the second she see’s the food getting dished because you can’t shovel it into her mouth fast enough, the other one is doing everything she possibly can to avoid having to eat. But I will win this war! I will!



  • cath

    March 27, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    Gaaaaah. I feel like you just wrote this from my life 5 years ago.

    Getting C dinner to eat WAS HELL. I eventually took to leaving her on her own on the outside table on our patio to eat. I think I did this ten times in a row, and then suddenly she stopped acting like dinner was a carnival.

    My sympathies!

  • paddatjiesema

    March 28, 2014 at 8:41 am

    Sounds exactly like us. I know you must be consistent but some days I fight that she should eat and some days I just let her be. And I’ve sent her to bed hungry because she refused to eat, and then later said she’s hungry. 2nd born, a boy is an eater. But lately he is copying his sister in everything. He’ll start eating and then she says ‘I don’t want it’, then he’ll repeat what she says and push his plate away.

    What seems to work best though is to dish up and just leave it. We eat our dinner in peace and quiet, then usually after their bathtime they go and nibble on their food. Not an ideal situation, but it does seem better without the screaming and fighting.

  • Heather

    March 28, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    Shame, I feel for you. At the moment I let Nicky walk around with his bowl. There is also a definite improvement in having his own chair and tables vs the high chair. My mom used to feed me on a step in the kitchen. Good luck!


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