Many vegetarians will describe their prevailing doctrine as eating "nothing with a face." I have a similar eater right here under my roof. His name is Joey and while he is very tall, a strong gust of wind could certainly knock him over. Getting him to eat is as difficult as convincing Gandhi to down a Big Mac. During a recent visit to Buffalo Wild Wings (60 cent boneless wings every Thursday!) I got to the heart of some of Joey's eating issues.
Our rarely-seen waiter delivered a kiddie basket for Joey. Inside the basket was a bunch of smiley-faced potato circles. Throughout dinner, Joey engaged in full-blown conversation with each of them. As I encouraged him to eat, he shook his head vehemently.
"Dey not food, mommy. Dey be my friends. Hi friends. It's me. JOEY."
After a lengthy battle of the wills that ensured our waiter never to return, I got Joey to take a bite of one of his friends. Unfortunately after doing laundry the next day, I discovered that Joey covertly planned an elaborate escape for his comrades by stowing them all in his jean pockets. Potato mush everywhere.
In addition to refusing to eat anything with a face, Joey also turns his food into toys. Last night as I cleaned up the kitchen after making Italian beef sandwiches, I heard Joey talking as though he was on the phone:
"Hi der, Nana.....How are you?......I'm having dinner........What?......Ok, Nana.....Bye."
I had assumed he had found one of his toy phones, but as I walked over, I realized he had eaten all the meat off his Italian beef and was using the Italian bread as his "phone" because it opened and closed like my cell. I told him to eat his bread.
"I can't eat my phone mommy....den how do I call Nana?"
Before I had a chance to argue, Joey raced over and dropped the soggy bread into his toy box. Of course I was out of my generic Clorox wipes.
One of my recent tactics is to assure him that the "family" he eats will be reunited in his stomach and throw a grand party. He countered that statement by insisting his friends would in fact be "all chewed up" in his stomach. I started going on about a magic stomach fairy before I realized the full depths of my madness.
So before I developed a whole subplot of stomach fairies and family reunification, I googled "anthropomorphism" which is the assigning of human characteristics to inanimate objects. I couldn't find anything online in terms of therapies or treatment. So for the time being, we will not be ordering the smiley faced potatoes at Buffalo Wild Wings. If any of my merry band of mothers has experience in this area, suggestions are welcome.