Tuesday, October 02, 2007

America's newest torture device

Zoe has decided that she absolutely hates her highchair at home. And at any restaurant her mother and father dine.

No, there was no apocalyptic highchair catastrophe, nothing out of the ordinary that would scar her for life against ever going near one. Nothing was said or done to dissuade her from using a highchair.

She simply decided that her highchair is the one place on earth she cannot go. Ever.

This began two weekends ago and become a regular occurance by this past weekend. She was fine in the chairs at her grandparents' houses, mind you. Unless I happened to be nearby, at which point the dramatics ensued.

All weekend long, M and I tried various methods to get her into her chair to eat. We coaxed, pleaded, cajoled, and tried bribing. We even ignored her, but she called us on it and simply refused to eat (see prior posts about sippy cup avoidance and her victory in that war). She missed dinner Friday night and breakfast Saturday morning, and she appeared none the worse for wear for doing it.

By Sunday, we were at our wit's end. The girl has to eat, and she's gonna eat in her freakin' highchair.

Sunday night, we made a decision (out of her earshot, of course). Like any good parents worth our salt, we plotted and planned on how to conquer our two-year-old. Decision: cram her in the chair and let her work it out.

Let me just say that I shouldn't have been suprised that it did indeed take both of us to stuff her in there. It's amazing how slippery a 24-lb human being can be. This was not a silent endeavor, either. It's hard to concentrate when your actions are accompanied by ear-piercing screams.

You'd have thought she was being interrogated at Abu Graib.

Once we got her in there, the tears did not abate. No siree. M and I ate our dinner without saying much, as it was impossible to carry on a conversation with the human siren sitting nearby. After several minutes of carrying on she apparently realized that the highchair was not going to eat her, and that she could actually eat some food herself. By the end of the meal, she had snarfled all her food and was laughing and having a grand old time. Not a care in the world. The meltdown from a half hour before was ancient history.

We, of course, played it cool and didn't make much of it, although each of us was pondering intently, "What the hell?!"

Monday we warned Grandma of the weekend's activities, and our "solution," giving her firm instructions to not baby the girl and let her work it out. Turns out our dire warnings were completely unwarranted, as Zozo was a perfect child at both breakfast and dinner.

Ah yes. Hearty congratulations to Mom and Dad for figuring this out, eh? Nope.

Same situation was repeated at dinner last night. Took both of us to jam her into the chair (amid much wailing and flailing), although this time it was easier since we had had one night's practice. And this time she quieted down in less than a minute and we all had a very enjoyable dinner.

Tonight will be interesting. M is in Austin, and I shall be alone with Zozo and the highchair from hell. Wish us (me) luck!


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