In our house, there is a magic fork.
Our magic fork looks more like a spork:
My friend T introduced us to the magic fork yesterday, telling a wide-eyed Mr 3, “When mummy looks away, the magic works. Fill the fork with food… Now quickly make the food disappear before mummy turns back around!”
And indeed the food did disappear — behind a giggling toddler’s grin.
As Mr 3 was finishing his lunch in record time, T added, “Do you know that any fork can be magic? All you need to do is wish it.” — although I doubt as to whether he actually heard this advice; he was too busy eating.
It has taken nearly 4 years for me to be inducted into this mystical secret that has my little one raring to devour his meal without prodding or spoon-feeding. Why did no one tell me about this before?
Maybe it’s because, until recently, the tried-and-truthful tactics still worked [see Toddler Feeding 101], or it could be the fact that I used to look at such games as ‘tricks’. I was sure there was a more honest way to inspire children to eat healthy, delicious food all on their own.
Now I understand that, even though Mr 3 usually enjoys the foods on his dinner plate, there are many reasons other than lack of appetite or enjoyment as to why a meal will remain untouched, or take more than an hour to eat. With a new tiny person taking up much of my time and affection, the latest reason is the need for attention.
The magic fork has given me a fun new way to encourage my little person to eat while engaging his imagination, and it’s also been a wake-up call for me. Sometimes the eyes I use to view life are too adult. Sometimes I need to take myself back to a time when I set my imagination free. And sometimes all that is needed for a non-compliant child is a little tenderness and focused time.
When was the last time you used the magic fork?
PS. Thank you, T 😉