What Dad Said to His Toddler Who Didn’t Want to Eat

This is a heartwarming episode about her family by one mother in Japan.

I have two sons, a 3.5 years old named Taro and a 1 year old named Jiro.
“I don’t want to eat meals. I want a snack!”, Taro often whined and ate his favorite snack.

One day, I had a dinner with them. I was struggling to feed Jiro while I was watching Taro eat with his hands. Then my husband came home and joined us. They got very excited to see him because he often came home late from work on weekdays.
“I am full. I want ice cream!”, after a while Taro said as usual, even though he ate only 20% of the meal. I could not take what he said seriously because I was distracted by Jiro who spread his rice and miso soup around and had to clean. Then my husband slowly stood up from a table, moved to a sofa and talked to Taro.
“Taro, come sit on my lap. Let’s talk.”
Taro was very eager to eat ice cream and tried to get one but my husband did not let him do it. He got angry and cried as he could not eat ice cream so it took time for my husband to let him sit on his lap. After some struggles, Taro finally sat on his lap and they began to talk looking into each other’s eyes. I anticipated that my husband would get mad at him.

“Taro, you often make presents for your mom.”
“Yes. I picked a flower, wrapped with a paper and gave it to Mom today.”
“What did she say to you?”
“Mom said she was happy. She put the flower there!”, pointed out to the bud vase on the table.
“That’s great. So, how do you feel if Mom tells you she does not want the flower but something else?”
“(looked very shocked)… No way!”

His full lips pouted and tears shed from his eyes with his face getting red. I was amazed what a strong imagination a child can have to be hurt and feel shocked only by this conversation.

“Meals she cooks for you every day is presents for you. Mom cooks hoping you will be happy with the meals. That is the same feeling as you have for your mom when you picked a flower for her.”
“Every day Mom has to throw away the presents she made hard for you because you say you don’t want them. How does it feel for you?”
“I am sorry, Mom!” Taro cried loudly.

My husband’s words for him. Facing position. The power of the word ‘present’. Everything touched his heart. But then he added with his tears in his eyes,
“I wanted to eat with Mom! I want Mom to do ‘scoop’ for me.”

Now I was the one to be shocked this time. Actually, I was only concentrating to feed Jiro during the meals every day. I hardly sat back and enjoyed my own meal since I had to tidy up the mess he made with his meals.
“Taro, you are a very good boy so you can feed yourself, right?”, I kept saying that to him but deep down I meant “Don’t bother me, just feed yourself”.

I then realized that Taro stopped to asked me to do ‘scoop’ for him after we started to eat with Jiro. ‘Scoop’ is scooping scattered rice on a plate by spoon. I thought he stopped to ask me to do it because he became a big boy but I was wrong. I am very sorry, Taro. He did not like to eat meals because he could not have me anymore. I realized that thinking of him and eating with him is the biggest present for him than cooking elaborate dishes. He felt alone even though we three ate together.

After the conversation, I look forward to meals with him.
“I will eat all of Mom’s present!”, now he gets enthusiastic about every meal.

I am very grateful for my husband who takes care of us very much.

Source: https://www.facebook.com/sharekandou/