Monday was a BIG day for me. I took Spuds to a pediatrician.
I know, I know, but please hold your applause until the end of the post. It gets better.
As we all know, I’m not a huge fan of doctors. It’s not that I don’t like them personally, it’s just that I have a difficult time finding doctors that I like professionally. It’s not even all their fault, though there are those doctors who are so arrogant I want to scream at them, “You aren’t smarter than I am, nitwit, you just have different, and more, degrees than I do. I could have been a doctor, too; but I pretty much hated every biology class I ever took, so it just didn’t seem like a wise career choice. See? I’m SMART like that!” No, mostly I blame pharmaceutical companies for my distrust of today’s doctors. Do you know how much of any given doctor’s medical education is subsidized by big pharma? Okay, I don’t know exactly how much, either; but my understanding (having both read lots on the subject and talked to actual doctors about it) is that med school is basically where the pharmaceutical companies train their best sales people: doctors. I may be exaggerating, but not by much.
Anyway, I needed to find a pediatrician who would work with me to wean Spuds off of his meds that we don’t think he needs. When we found out what all they’ve had him on and started researching it (because, in this day and information age, who wouldn’t do that kind of research when they know they are going to have to be dispensing medications to their kid every day?), oh my word, people! I had no idea how scary some of this crap is that we just shove down kids’ throats when they don’t behave in a convenient or even moderately easy manner. One of his medications was actually designed, developed, invented . . . whatever they call it when people in a lab coat mix things up in their cauldrons and then proclaim it to be medicine . . . as a blood pressure medication. Umm . . . so, you know, nice that it apparently has unintended side effects that can ostensibly help kids focus and all, but hello??? What else is it doing to my kid in the meantime? (Plus? Just between you, me, and the fencepost? It’s not helping him focus. He can be deeply involved in a conversation or activity that he initiated and . . . squirrel! And 15 seconds later? Squirrel!).
But that’s not even the scary medication, nor is it the hardest one to wean him off. No, the other one is much, much worse. Its list of possible side effects is terrifying, and some of those side effects can be permanent. But the best part? The BEST part?!?! The effects of that particular medication on children have never been studied. There is no pediatric dosing for that medication. The pharmaceutical company’s own website says it is not for children. Guess what? Doctors put kids on it all the time anyway, apparently, and Spuds? He was on the highest approved dose. That would be, of course, the highest approved dose for adults, because there is no official approved dose for children! In addition to the possible permanent side effects of this medication, there are many, many other possible side effects. Spuds has one that is listed as “rare” so, of course, he was on another medication to control that side effect. Brilliant.
GAH! Frustration. Terror. Abhorrence! These are all things I’ve been feeling for the past month as, night after night, I give him his pills because I can’t just stop these kinds of medications without working with a doctor to make sure everything goes okay.
Interesting side note: We’ve been giving him his pills at night because that’s how the other parents were doing it and how they told us to do it, but it didn’t make sense, because these meds are usually given to kids in the morning so that they are feeling the maximum effects during the day, when they are, you know, awake (see? the information age is informative). As the doctor was doing doctor stuff on her laptop while talking to me Monday, she kind of muttered, “It’s almost like they were using these as more of a sleep aid.”
Hmm . . . you think?
Anyway, we went to the doctor. I was nervous. Going to new doctors always makes me nervous. I was extra nervous this time because I just didn’t know if she would take me seriously, or if she would be a pill pusher, or what.
I could tell you a very long story about how the whole visit unfolded, but I’ll give you the short version and then get around to the point of the post title.
Short version: I LOVED her. When I gave her the backstory on Spuds and why we want to get him off all the meds and see how things go from there (he might need to go back on some meds, and I get that, but I have several other avenues to try first), and I finished up with, “I just feel like his body has been exposed to one chemical drug or another since before he was born, and I want his body to have a break,” she replied, “I agree. His brain needs a break.”
I could have cried tears of joy and relief right then and there, especially since I had come dangerously close to tears of mortification just minutes before.
You see, as I was first giving her The History of Spuds (he was in another room, playing with toys and being supervised by office staff so that we could talk freely without mortifying him — I asked him if he wanted to be there while I told the doctor about why he was on meds and why we wanted to try taking him off, and he was adamant that he didn’t want to be in the room), she made some comment to her nurse/assistant/whatever, who was typing everything into the laptop, that “foster mom thinks he needs weaned off his meds.”
“No,” I said. “I’m not the foster mom. This is a private adoption. It’s not finalized yet, but I’m the mom, I’m the legal guardian.”
So, of course, she was curious about how all that worked. “So, how does that work? Did his other parents just give him back to the state? How did you hear about him?”
No, they didn’t just hand him back to the state. They found an adoption agency that specializes in finding new families for adopted kids who, for whatever reason, can’t stay with their current family. Once they find a new family, then paperwork is done, the original adoptive parents sign away their custody, and the new parents get the child and custody. This agency looks for new families by posting pictures and bios of the kids . . . on Facebook.
I wanted to die. I wanted to crawl in a hole and die rather than tell the doctor and her nurse/assistant/whatever that I found my kid on Facebook. It sounds horrible. It is horrible. NO child should ever be listed on Facebook, or, more specifically, no child should ever have to be listed online anywhere. But the fact of the matter is that most people who are looking to adopt want their perfect, healthy, newborn. Kids like Spuds? There aren’t a lot of people out there looking for kids who have been hurt the way he has been hurt. And because people aren’t actively looking for kids like him, the agency actively looks for parents for kids like him. And in this day and information age? Social media is the most effective way to do that.
For the record?s We weren’t looking. We’ve talked off and on for years about someday adopting an older child, but we weren’t currently pursuing that, and I didn’t follow that agency’s Facebook page. Facebook would not have been the first place I would have looked if we were actively pursuing another adoption.
So, though social media may be an effective way to find families for kids like Spuds, it still kills me. On the one hand, I am so, so grateful to the friend who reposted the agency’s post about our new son. We wouldn’t have found him otherwise. On the other hand? I found my child on Facebook. This makes the story about getting physical custody of Tank Boy in baggage claim look like a happily-ever-after fairytale. It is a conflict I will live with for the rest of my life, but it is a conflict worth living with if it means Spuds has a better shot at life, and, right now? I’m pretty confident that he does. I suppose he could prove me wrong in the months and years to come, but I have lots of hope and reason to believe he does have a much better shot.
Anyway, I wasn’t the least bit surprised when the doctor and her nurse/assistant/whatever (they all wear scrubs — why do they all wear scrubs???? hows about only the actual medically trained people wear scrubs so that I can tell who is what?) . . . umm . . . I wasn’t the least bit surprised when their eyes popped out of their heads and they said in hushed, shocked tones, “But what about predators? Predators????”
They are right, of course. What about predators? All I could tell them is that this is a legal adoption, so there are agencies involved on both the sending and receiving ends, there was vetting, a home study (update), and there are and will be post-placement visits until finalization, so that really helps weed out the predators. I didn’t even bother telling them about re-homing because: a. that’s not what we’re involved in; and b. what would have been the point? They’d just had enough shock already.
Maybe I should have told them that one of the first things we did after getting custody was contact the placing agency and tell them that all information about and pictures of Spuds needed to be taken off their Facebook page immediately. I don’t know if that would have mattered to them, but it sure mattered to us.
It is a very different world we live in these days. I don’t always like it. I frequently don’t like it, actually, but, like everyone else, I’m doing the best I can to live in it and, hopefully, leave it a little better off because I was here. I guess this is where I could get all schmaltzy and pull out the story about the starfish and make maudlin statements about how we are making a difference to that one, because, God willing, we are. However, that doesn’t change the fact that we found our newest son on Facebook, and that is more than slightly mortifying. I have no regrets, though. The circumstances of Spuds coming to us are ugly, but he needed somewhere to land, and though I don’t think it will ever be easy to tell people about the Facebook connection, I’m glad he’s landed here.
Tewt the Newt is going to throw up in his mouth a little.
I hear this question all. the. time. Given that I’m an introverted hermit, this is saying something. Of course, there is being an introverted hermit and then there is living the introverted hermit lifestyle. I am the first, but not doing the second as much as I might like, especially right now. Okay, in all honesty I’m introverted by nature but not a hermit by nature. Living here makes me want to be a hermit. See? Still not over it. But I digress . . .
. . . And speaking of digressing, I just have to share something totally unrelated to the rest of the post:
Tank Boy has a friend over for the day/night, and this friend? His voice is changing! How did my little Tank get so old that he has friends going through puberty???? I will never understand how these things happen.
Back to the reason I’m blogging today.
Before Spuds came home, McH and I discussed the whole “nobody in, nobody out for two weeks” idea. I really would have liked to follow this practice for the first two weeks Spuds was with us, but it just wasn’t possible. Between church obligations (McH is the president of the boys’ youth auxiliary, aka Young Men’s Program, and I am the president of the women’s auxiliary, aka Relief Society) (which is generally frowned upon in the church, actually, but it is what it is and we’re okay with it) . . . where was I? Oh, yes. Between church obligations, graduation hoopla, and the fact that we have six kids, five of whom have rather established lives here, we’ve been go, go, going quite a bit. So people are always asking us, “How is he adjusting?” I usually can barely murmur a non-committal response before the questioner then follows up with one of the following:
He’s getting right in there and playing with all of the other kids!
He’s so smiley and happy!
He seems to be doing just great!
It was so touching the way he was sitting on your lap and hugging you in church!
It’s obvious he just loves you guys!
He is so adorable!
You can just tell he’s happy being in a good family!
Well, first of all, he is adorable. He really is. The fact that he is the size of a six-year-old helps with that, but he doesn’t really appreciate it. Second of all? He wasn’t in a bad family before. I mean, things didn’t work out the way we’d all have liked to see them work out, but they weren’t a bad family. There were no swastikas tattooed on foreheads or used needles lying around the house. They were and are, actually, very nice, very likable people. I know that’s hard for some people to digest — how does one reconcile giving away one’s child with being good, or at least not bad, people? All I can say is that we’ve met them, and they are. They did their best. That doesn’t mean I agree with everything they did, every choice they made, but I can still see the good in them.
Anyhoo . . .
I tell people that Spuds really is doing great so far, because he is for all intents and purposes. Except? Anyone who knows anything about adoption, and specifically older child adoption, knows that what is happening so far is likely meaningless. Okay, meaningless is probably too strong of a word. The fact that he hugs us and sits on our laps and plays with other kids and smiles and all that is . . . promising. But? It’s also, to one degree or another, an act. He’s trying, right? He’s trying to fit in, trying to adapt, trying to do what he thinks is expected of him, which is good to a point. It means, in my mind anyway, that he’s not totally off the deep end of RAD (I won’t dwell on the diagnosis right now, but it’s there) and he knows what good behavior is and can behave.
So he’s trying, and trying is good, but I know that the chances of it lasting more than three or four months before the reality of his situation really sinks in and it all becomes just. too. much! for him are slim. It happened with Tank Boy, and he was a baby when he came home. It was almost three months to the day, and BAM! All hell broke lose. The biting, the screaming, the throwing of things — anything — the head butting . . . it was not pleasant. At the time, I talked to an acquaintance who is a licensed marriage and family therapist who specializes in working with children, and she told me that the three to four month time frame before implosion was very, very normal. I keep this in mind every day with Spuds. I see him doing so well, and I praise him for behaving and cooperating and all that stuff, but in the back of my mind I remind myself not to grow to expect it to last. I pray it will, but I don’t expect it to.
Shoot. I just ended that sentence with a preposition. Oh well.
But all the people who tell me how great he’s doing? They look at me like the people around here always look at me — like I’m from some weird planet where people refuse to be happy and optimistic, like I am the queen of gloom and doom, like I, personally, am trying to administer the Dementors’ Kiss. Or? Maybe I’m overreacting and they just look at me like they are really confused when I tell them, “Yeah, he’s doing great now, but chances are good that he will totally fall apart sometime around the end of the summer.”
People around here don’t like to hear reality unless it involves sunshine and daisies with a splash of glitter and a free buffet, but I don’t know how to not tell them the reality of the situation. He’s turning up at church and social functions and being all functional now, but his reality is too devoid of sunshine, daisies, and glitter to expect it to last (I do not tell them details about this). I’ve felt compelled to explain the concept of indiscriminate affection to a woman who literally had tears in her eyes because she was so touched by the way Spuds was snuggling on my lap at church a week after he came home. I have explained the concept of triangulation to people, I have given surface, mini-lessons on attachment problems and what that means in the context of hurt children who can charm the kiddies back from the Pied Piper. I keep telling people that, as much as we are enjoying the Spuds we are seeing right now, we are hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.
They keep looking at me like I need chocolate and a therapist.
I want to feel as hopeful and optimistic about it all as everyone else does, but I know, you know? And in three or four months, if things do go crazy? I don’t want people to be saying to each other, “He was such an awesome kid when they got him! What on earth did she do to cause all of THIS???” So now I’m just raining acid on the glitter parade, and in three or four months, if things do go crazy? I’m sure everyone will be muttering things behind my back about self-fulfilling prophecies.
It almost makes me wish I had video of him helping McH pack his stuff up in our car just minutes after his last mother told him that he was going to live with us. That was an experience I never expected to have. I didn’t even want to go to their house to pick him up — I wanted them to bring him to our hotel so that they would be the ones walking away rather than us being the ones taking him away, but that’s not how it ultimately happened. They didn’t tell him he was going until we were there. I walked in knowing that’s what was going to happen, but I didn’t know what I could possibly do about it because, until he was ours? He wasn’t. I couldn’t call the shots and make those decisions. But the point is, when they did tell him? He was like, “Okay! Let’s start packing!” He gave those parents each a big hug, then ran out the door to load up and buckle up. Maybe if people here could have seen that, they’d understand the reality I keep gently trying to explain without betraying Spuds by explaining too much.
So, yeah. Attachment issues for sure. On the up side (as if there really can be an up side in this ugly game of hot potato/child), he does ask about his previous family. He asks when we can go to visit. His eyes “itch.” My heart breaks for him and all the change and loss he’s going through, but my heart sings and hopes for him because there was and is some attachment there, and some is far, far better than none.
How is he adjusting? He is adjusting in his own way, at his own pace, and in his own time, and it will last for years.
Tewt the Newt thinks that is the best anyone can or should expect.
There are so many things to document along this process, I don’t even know what should be next. My original plan was to write about the alphabet soup of diagnoses and labels that this kid has been swimming in for the past few years of his life, but then this evening we had one of those perfect family evenings where nothing was planned but everything and everyone came together, and it got me thinking about love and loving an older child that has only been in my family for a few weeks.
I guess, because I don’t want to forget it, I will share one alphabet soup story before I ruminate on love and the older child.
This story is brought to you by the letters ODD (oppositional defiant disorder). We had been told Spuds has ODD. We were told he doesn’t do well in team sports because of his ODD. He was on a team once and intentionally ran the ball the wrong way down the field “because of his ODD,” so that was petty much the end of team sports for him. I think they said he was six at the time. Maybe younger. Maybe older. I don’t remember.
“I bet he thought he was hilarious when he did it?” I asked. I was right. I’d met him twice at that point. I could just tell — that mischievousness kind of oozes out of him. So a child doesn’t take a little league game particularly seriously and has his version of fun with it rather than trying to impress all of the parents on the sidelines who probably are too emotionally invested in the game anyway. Hmmm . . .
But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have ODD, of course. That is only one incident, and I haven’t lived through that incident or whatever all the other incidents were. Here is what I have lived through so far:
We were at a park yesterday for a church activity for all of the young kids. Unfortunately, the part of the park with all of the playground equipment had been reserved for a graduation party, so our little group had to meet at the far end of the park with plenty of fields but not play sets. About half way through the activity, Spuds ambled over to me with longing in his eyes and said, “Mom, I want to go play over on the playground. Can I go over there, please?”
“No,” I said. “I’m sorry, but we have to stay here with our group.”
“Ok,” he said, and he went back to play with the other kids on our less-colorful side of the park.
Again, I can’t overstate that I realize we are in a honeymoon phase. But ODD? This kid can behave, listen, follow instructions, etc. I realize that he can, and probably will, break down emotionally once the reality of his new living situation really sets in, and when/if that happens he won’t be in the mood to be so cooperative, but does that really mean we should stick a label on him and say he has this problem. That’s just not the way I see it. He has problems, none of which are his fault, and feeling too overwhelmed to deal with even the most minor disappointment maybe has been, and definitely could become, a symptom of those problems, but why label it? Why make him feel further broken, more defective? Why make him feel limited by three letters? Why limit him with three letters? Why look at every mischievous little boy behavior and use it to justify the label? Why not just let him be the hurt little kid that he is, have compassion for that, embrace that, and give him hope that he can get through it, give him the knowledge that he is more than his past and definitely more than a label? I don’t know. We haven’t seen him at his worst yet; but we because we haven’t seen his worst I can’t view him or treat him as his worst self. And when/if we do see his worst? I am going to do my best to remember that his problem is fear, fear born of more trauma than anyone should ever have to endure in an entire lifetime, not ODD.
And with that, I’ll end this edition of Alphabet Soup and move on to love.
Every day, several times a day, I tell him that I love him. McH does the same thing. He tells us he loves us, too. But in some ways? It feels hollow. I think part of the reason it feels hollow is because he looks at me when I say it, and I can tell that he questions it. I can tell that it doesn’t have the meaning for him that it has for my other kids. Let’s face it, if someone you’d only met a couple of times took you home one day and just started telling you that they love you, would you believe them? You wouldn’t. I wouldn’t. He doesn’t. Not really. He goes through all the motions, but he doesn’t really believe it yet, and I don’t blame him. I don’t blame him for lots of reasons, most of which have nothing to do with me, but I also don’t blame him because I know that I don’t yet feel the same love for him as I do for my other children.
Big confession right there, but don’t judge me for it yet.
This evening, as we were all outside as a family doing sparklers and other non-firework fireworks, and I saw all of the kids running around, cooperating, having a good time, and the sun was setting and a slight breeze was blowing, and everything just felt so perfect, I felt my heart swell a little with that love that only a mother knows, and that swelling love was for Spuds. He was having such a good time, and he seemed so carefree and joyful, and it made me so joyful (but in that quiet, grateful, contemplative way that feels like true joy to me), and my heart just swelled for that little boy who has gone through so much and is still going through so much as he adjusts to his new life, and I knew I loved him a little more than I did just moments before.
I do love him, I would take a bullet for him, but I have been acutely aware that my love for him is different than the love I have for my other children, and that difference is born of time. I’ve had all kinds of time with my other kids. I’ve had just over three weeks with Spuds. In those three weeks I have read to him and played with him and baked with him, etc. to create shared experiences that will help us bond. I have prayed that my love for him will increase, I have worried that I don’t love him enough when what he needs most right now is what everybody always needs most — complete and unconditional love, mother-love. But I can’t cram eight years into three weeks, and time will take time.
Love is a choice, and I’ve known that for a long time. When we adopted the other boys they were babies, and we got pictures, and I fell in love with those babies in those pictures, and by the time they came home I was fully invested with every ounce of mother-love I had. But they were babies. Older babies, but babies nonetheless. They came to me not tabula rasa, I don’t really think anyone really comes into this life that way anyway, but they came to me young and babyish, without as much background and with more need to be loved and mothered than to be cautious. They came to me, in short, easier to love. But love is a choice, and every day I choose to love Spuds, and every day I do love him, and I know that with time that love will grow to equal the love I have for all of the others. So I need to be patient with myself and keep working toward that goal, and when the honeymoon ends? I need to be even more patient with him and keep working toward that goal.
I am so grateful for that perfect evening we had tonight as a family. I am so grateful for that peaceful, joyful moment wherein love for my newest little boy overtook me. I am grateful for that experience not only because I now love him more, but also because it reinforced in me the knowledge that I can and will continue to love him more. Time takes time, and I can’t manufacture shared experiences to speed it up.
Adopting an older child is not the same as adopting a baby. Love takes a different course, or, at least, it has so far. I don’t think there is any way around this, but I know we will make it through.
Tewt the Newt’s heart grew three sized today as well.
As in a new son!
Right???? I know!
There have been a lot of things going on around here lately. New son, oldest daughter graduating high school, me trying not to spend too much time crying in the bathroom because the oldest daughter is heading off to college on the other side of the country in two months. Lots, and lots of things going on here.
But right now? Today? In this, the first post on LFG in for-freaking-ever? Let’s talk about the new son.
It was a whirlwind domestic, private adoption. We first heard of him in mid-March and had him home by the end of May. Crazy, no? Yes. But no. He’s almost eight years old so he comes with quite a story, at times horrific but always sad. I’m not going to share a lot of his story because it’s his, but there are a few things I want to document as we go along on this latest journey. I thought about starting a new blog, a slightly more anonymous blog, to write about all this. I even set the blog up. But people! A new blog? It was too much. Voice? Tone? I just couldn’t figure it out. I couldn’t write it. I don’t know how to do non-LFG blogging.
So here we are.
First things first (and this is the whole reason I originally considered a new blog): this is a re-adoption. I know, I know. I know there are a lot of strong feelings out there about re-adoptions, and I even have a lot of my own feelings about re-adoptions. You think it’s a horrible thing, I think it’s a horrible thing. But at the end of the day? When you have parents who have given up to the point that they hire an agency to help them find a new home for the child? Well, that child really needs a new home.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Hell no! That child needs for his parents to stick by his side, figure it out, tough it out, be the forever family they promised to be.” I won’t argue that point, but when the parents have reached the point that they are saying, “We won’t do it anymore — can’t do it anymore — take our money, let us pay you to find somebody else to take our kid,” when the parents are that done, the kid pretty much needs out. The kid needs another shot at a family.
So. Here we are. And I want to be very clear: it is not my intention to pass judgment on the previous parents. They did what they knew how to do. They did the best they could. There are things we have done differently so far, are doing differently, and will do differently. That is not meant as an indictment against them. It is merely our best, and our best is different. We think it will be better for him, but only time will tell.
Well, actually, time is telling us a little bit already, but we also know we are firmly in a honeymoon period. So, there’s that. I want to document what is going on, however, whether it’s a honeymoon thing or a permanent thing, in case our experiences can help anyone else (whether that means sharing ideas of things to do or sharing ideas of things to not do).
At this point, you’re either mad about the whole re-adoption issue (just keep your nasty comments to yourself, because I won’t approve them if you’re new here and I will delete them if you’re not), bored to death, or wondering what we’ve been doing differently already. Maybe there is another option, but I’m not a mind reader.
Before we made the final decision to go through with this adoption, before we took custody of our new guy, we were told that, among his many difficulties, he uses food as a control thing. We saw it firsthand as we visited back and forth. They would tell him to eat, and he wouldn’t. At one point he was eating, albeit very slowly, when one of his non-parental family members told him to eat. He didn’t touch another bite after that. Not at that meal, anyway.
Fast forward to the day we picked him up, as in took custody of him. We took him out to lunch and let him pick the restaurant. He ate. We took him to the store to get snacks for the trip and let him pick out the snacks, but within my parameters of what is and isn’t acceptable road trip food, and he ate. We got pizza for dinner. He ate. The next morning, as we were getting ready to head down to the hotel lobby for breakfast, he informed us that he didn’t want to eat. We told him that was fine, but he had to come with us because he couldn’t stay alone in the room. Het ate three quarters of an orange. Then he ate some snacks on the road. When we stopped for lunch he told us he didn’t want anything. After double and triple checking that he was sure, we didn’t order him anything. Then he wanted McH’s fries. They shared, and he ate more snacks.
When we finally got home, the other kids were waiting with their grandparents. While the new guy (he needs a blog name, no?) was riding bikes with the other boys, we made some side dishes and started a fire to roast some (nitrite/nitrate free) hotdogs and make s’mores. We called all the kids over, and our new little guy — let’s call him Spuds for now — said he didn’t want eat.
“You don’t have to eat,” I said, “but if you don’t eat dinner you don’t get s’mores.” I could see him weighing his options, so I added, “And, dinner time is family time. You don’t have to eat anything, but you can’t ride your bike right now. You have to stay here with the family. But the eating? Totally your choice.”
He ate dinner. Lots of it. And s’mores.
We went into this knowing that food was a battle for him and knowing that it was a battle we wouldn’t fight.
He hasn’t told us he doesn’t want to eat since that very first meal at home. He eats all the time. He asks me to make strawberry smoothies for breakfast. If I put grapes out for the kids to snack on, he devours them. He eats meals. We let him choose which cereal he wants for breakfast (he does not get to choose the cereals I buy, and he has heard “no” many, many times already in the grocery store), we let him choose what he wants for lunch (within reason — I don’t cook lunches, but if he wants carrots and blueberry cream cheese? sure!), and we let him choose his dinner greens if he doesn’t like what I’m serving (broccoli). He informed us one day that he won’t eat broccoli, so we let him choose spinach instead. At first he didn’t want to eat that, either, so my trusty husband gave him the Popeye speech. Spuds shoved the stuff in his mouth after that. Our rule is that you have to eat something (naturally) green at dinner, but we let him choose his green, and it’s all good.
I know we’re only a few weeks into this brand new realm of parenting, but for now I think the food control issues are a thing of the past.
Tewt the Newt is knocking on wood.