"Raising a kid is part joy and part guerrilla warfare."
~Ed Asner

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Battle of the German Pancake

Izzie has a love/hate relationship with a select group of food.  There are only a handful, maybe less, of things she'll eat.  One of them is pancakes.  On any given day that I serve her pancakes she may say, "I like pancakes" and eat them up.  Or she may say, "I don't like pancakes" and refuse to eat even one bite.  One day this week I told her I was making German pancakes.  Now if you don't know what a German pancake is you're missing out.  Imagine a melt in your mouth, buttery, fluffy, pancake.  You bake it in a 9 x 13 and it rises into this glorious mountain of all that is good in this world.  When it's done you squeeze lemon on it and sprinkle a healthy dose of powdered sugar.  It makes my taste buds tingle with delight.  It also makes my thighs tingle with numbness from being squeezed into my jeans, which is why I don't make it that often.  Everyone in my house loves it.  Kris will eat a whole pan by himself.  Noah loves it.  Izzie loves it.  She never refuses it.  So when I told her what we were having she replied, "Yah, I like pancakes…German pancakes, whoohoo."  Then she did a little song and dance about German pancakes.  Okay, maybe that was Kris.  She helped me make them and watched as they baked.  She smiled with glee as I sprinkled on the powdered sugar and she sat down in her chair with enthusiasm for what she was about to eat.  I set her princess plate on top of her princess placemat and handed her princess fork to her.  She looked down at her pancakes, looked up at me and said, "I don't want them.  I don't like pancakes." 

I never give up right away.  Sometimes, if I'm really tired, pinched for time, or don't want to deal with her moody, refusing to eat stand, I don't make too big a deal out of it.  If I can't get her to eat a bite after, say, five minutes, I will either give her the no-fail food (yogurt) or let her leave the table.  Today was not one of those days.  I felt brave, strong, and ready for anything she might say or do.  I mean, how intimidating and stubborn can a three year old be?  Where does she think she got her strong will from?  So I went in.  I sat down next to her and told her she needed to try it.  She picked up her princess fork, stabbed a piece of pancake and ate it.  She smiled and said, "I like pancakes."  She then proceeded to eat every bite on her plate.  Then she licked her plate clean.  Sound too easy.  Maybe because that's not what really happened.  First, I didn't have any troops to send in ahead.  I didn't have any back up.  I walked into battle alone.  And by alone, I mean Kris and Julie stood at the counter and enjoyed their pancakes while watching Izzie and I battle it out.  Izzie is normally a pretty agreeable child.  She has her moments but she's not usually stubborn about listening, cleaning up, doing something she asked to do, etc.; except when it comes to food.  That is where she challenges me.  On this day I decided that she was not leaving the table until she had chewed and swallowed at least one bite.  I strapped her into seat and put her plate back in front of her.  I separated a few bites and told her she needed to eat three bites and then she could be all done.  I tried this approach several times.  I was gentle yet firm.  And every time I was met with a, 'There is nothing you can say or do that is going to make me put that pancake in my mouth' look from Izzie.  I won't go into the gruesome details of what happened next, but after much resistance, gagging and choking, tears, battle cries, pancake massacre, and refusal to surrender on either side, I managed to get a teensy-tiny bite down her…And then it was over.  I waved my pink napkin in surrender and unstrapped her from her seat.  She jumped down and ran off.  I collapsed from defeat and ate an extra helping of German pancake to regain my strength.

The German Pancake (It starts to deflate a little immediately after you take it out of the oven.)

Squeeze some fresh lemon on it

Don't forget the powdered sugar

And you have heaven in your mouth. 


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