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Feel like the worst step mum ever

I don’t know if I have spoken about my stepsons eating habits or not but basically he won’t eat anything with flavour, won’t take a chance on something new (well he didn’t until recently) and won’t even go near sauces, this isn’t because he has anything wrong with him other than his mum letting him get away with having pretty much a beige diet and his mom hates pretty much anything that involves a nicely cooked vegetable that isn’t cooked to an inch of its life, so the poor boy hasn’t stood a chance up until now and now I’ve come along it’s all changed dinnerwise when he comes here, I’m not a pander type person, of course I don’t give gravy to my youngest or toad in the hole (he will eat sausage and Yorkshire just not when it’s made together, I get that he has autism and it’s a ‘thing’ for him but my eldest who is also autistic hates onion and mushroom yet we still make food with these ingredients, if cut very small he won’t even notice, I’m not a ‘two dinners’ mum, you either eat what is in front of you or go with out basically and my children have never starved with this method, anything they don’t like they just pick it out).

So anyway my step son, Gerald. He is a lovely dear little boy and a year ago their is no way he would eat a chicken korma or anything like this but this past year he has tried that and more, even asking for it the next time he stays, I’m so proud of him but Tuesday I let myself down big time, they came for dinner after school and instead of them having what we were having (pie and chips) and as it was a special day (there mum was at their great nana funeral) I decided to break my ‘two dinner’ rule and make pasta instead, but I didn’t have any pasta sauce so I used tomato ketchup and mixed a few things in it, like some garlic (which he loves) mixed herbs, four chilli (tiny) flakes and some diced up broccoli, I tried it and it tasted amazing. They get their dinner first and start and my stepdaughter Florence mentioned it was spicy but not blow your head off spicy, we tried it and it was again fine, remember this is Gerald’s favourite meal and I gave him a bigger bowl as he loves it, an hour later he is still sat there, complaining it was too spicy (he had an actual slice of garlic bread I made with real garlic and had chunks on top which in my opinion more blow your head off then the pasta yet he ate it), he still wasn’t half way through and we had to get them home as it was nearly seven (in an ideal world their go home for baths etc but that’s just a made up thing in their house) and after he criticised the broccoli (his sister said it was too hard ‘I agree Florence’ he said) I got up and removed his bowl and informed him that it was made entirely out of ketchup we asked if it sauce was that bad and he said ‘no, it was just too spicy’ (think of a really whiney voice and then triple it) again we tried it and it was the mildest thing ever, I wouldn’t mind but he tried korma, he had a very small piece of grilled pepper with cheese recently!

Thing is I got very offended, I honestly thought I’d make them a nice meal and all it got was criticised the whole time and if it was my children they would have been really thankful I made them their favourite, I went downstairs and waited for to take them home, Gerald came to say sorry but he has said sorry before over food and I know in two weeks when they come again it will be a battle (I’ve told Jim he can cook for them now, Florence will eat pretty much anything, well actually no, she asks for these things and doesn’t finish them, I’ve noticed it’s a habit lately it’s like she wants more than Gerald, she also does this thing when she doesn’t want to eat ‘can I go an make some room’ she goes off and comes back and rarely eats anything after, Gerald tried this will me a few times but I said ‘Gerald I have 16 years experience at all the tricks, you go before dinner or after, not during’. When they got to where they live Jim gave me a kiss and Gerald tried too but I said I didn’t want one and I saw the look on his face and I can’t get it out of my head he went indoors and burst into tears apparently and it’s all my fault, if I hadn’t of stick those four tiny flakes in he probably would have ate it, I didn’t need to tell him how the sauce was made and I didn’t need to treat him the way I did and I really wish I could give him a cuddle and know he is ok because it’s killing me thinking he might hate me now.

I know I should be more chilled out but when you go round someone’s house for dinner and he is all ‘I don’t likkkke ittttt’ really is irritating, he doesn’t see the bigger picture that someone has cooked for him and it’s hardly a gourmet meal, he doesn’t see that when they come round we want variety and he should have variety in his life, god knows what he will do when he has a hangover he doesn’t eat eggs and isn’t fond of bacon! 

I feel like we came so far and in that one split second of a stupid thought on my part that’s trust I built up with him and food will have gone. He tried korma and loved it, he’s tried Chinese and liked it, damn we even got him eating BBQ flavoured things the other day!! 

I hope he is ok and I haven’t turned into an evil step mum in his eyes, I only want him to enjoy meal times, enjoy the tastes, the smells and eat a little more healthy.

Until next time V x

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Food and the step child 

Dinner time with my step son has become something that I get in a little bit of a tizzy about, it’s not his fault it’s the way his poor mum has brought him up, she has done the best she can with him and with her own intolerances and dislikes for food, it’s rubbed off on him and thus far it has become something that has really consumed me far more than it should have, which is silly as it’s only food right? 

When a child only has what can be described as a ‘beige diet’ like pasta and super noodles, it is a bit of a problem and when you have five children the same weekend and the rest all eat ‘normal’ food and I am not one of these mums/step mums that will cook different foods (unless there is a real reason), so for the past eight months, dinner time with my step son has become something that is hard work, upsetting and sometimes horrible, even the most simple of dishes like a roast dinner was a massive, massive issue.

I understand the difference between  not liking something and NOT liking something because of texture etc (two of my boys are autistic, so things like onion, mushroom and gravy on food  is something that can’t be tolerated, even my youngest will have sausage and Yorkshire but NOT together and definitely no gravy!!) so I understand the difference, my step son simply won’t eat something because his mum doesn’t like it or he has never tried it, he has school dinners and quite frankly I have no idea what he eats at school because I look every week and there is hardly anything on that menu he will eat, so I’ve tried to introduce the meals he would have at school into our menu when they are with us because the difference with home and school dinners, he isn’t ‘made’ to eat school dinners (when I say made, I don’t mean force fed but when he has a choice he simply won’t choose, he will have just what he knows).

Over the past eight months he has eaten a variety of different foods and even though he embarrasses us with family members by saying he doesn’t like something when he openly said to us privately he does, he has come along way, he can now eat a roast dinner, he can now eat things like sweet and sour chicken, chicken korma and rice (that he absolutely hates!), like the last weekend they stayed he mentioned he hated the chicken korma at school so I thought we should try it at home, we changed our approach this week, we didn’t tell him what he was having and didn’t make an ‘issue’ out of it and he sat there and he ate it all up, he even said he loved the korma sauce and over the past two weeks since we mentioned it, I have been worrying to the point of having a mild panic attack over the prospect of tonight’s evening meal and he blew me away with how he ate it up, maybe it was our approach, I have no idea, all I know is something I got panicked over, didn’t need to be.

We still have along way to go with him though and by no means do I think that ‘this is it, we’ve cracked it’ because I know the next weekend they stay it could go completely the other way. He still needs to learn that if he enjoys something with us, he will still enjoy it elsewhere (he has had crying fits elsewhere over carrots), he needs to learn that some foods taste better with seasoning or for example hot dogs taste better with a little bit of sauce, which isn’t the most major thing I know but he is missing out on some awesome little tricks to make food taste even better!! (He will eat for example pizza, which is mainly cheese and tomato right? Try giving him cheese of tomato sauce separately and he won’t have any of it and just until recently he had no idea that a chip was made from potatoes, when he tried to tell us he didn’t like roast potatoes).

But for now, I will take tonight’s little victory that we have conquered one of the meals he said he hated, the next weekend when they stay we will look at his school menu again and serve up a dish from there and see what happens, hopefully he will then choose differently at school, be round someone’s house and not scream the house down he doesn’t like something and most importantly, just eat his dinner in a timely fashion (he can take up to an hour sometimes) and this is the most vital one, actually eat food without making a huge fuss and utter those words ‘I don’t lllllllike it’.

So now all we have to do is crack the  tying of the fucking shoelaces!!!!!

V x