I triple dog dare you

Is it not interesting how children will sometimes, just when you least expect it, give away the secrets to raising them easily and effortlessly?

I have a picky eater at my house. Well, maybe two (Maddie is 18 months, and therefore picky in the way all children entering their terrible twos are, but it’s too soon to make a permanent call). Cooper, I can say with great certainty, is a very picky eater, and after six years, I was out of ideas:

MOMMY: Eat your green beans.
COOPER: I don’t want to.
MOMMY: You have to eat some.
COOPER: (lip quivering) I REALLY don’t want to.

and so on. I had pretty much decided to stop asking altogether, to keep throwing half his dinner away without comment, since all my wheedling and cajoling over the years had been decidedly counterproductive. Then, the other night, this:

COOPER: Mom, aren’t you going to ask me to eat my green beans?
MOMMY: …cooper please eat your green beans.
COOPER: I am not going to. Unless you triple dog dare me.
MOMMY: What?
FERGUS: (looking up, with a mouthful of green beans): What?
COOPER: Triple dog dare means if you tell me it, I have to do whatever you say.
MOMMY: Or else what?
COOPER: Or else nothing, but you HAVE to do it. That’s all.
MOMMY: (tentatively) I triple dog dare you to eat your green beans.
COOPER: Ohhh-kayyy.

And he eats a few green beans.

I mean, are you kidding? Was this all I had to say all this time? For the last few days, “triple dog daring” the boys to clean up their toys and get dressed and go poop and eat their dinners has been working remarkably well. I can’t believe Cooper just handed it to me. Feel free to give it a shot, I hope it works half as well at your house.

But beware. It can be turned back upon you. As I was coloring Easter scenes yesterday evening, with the boys:

MOMMY: Fergus, I like those Easter eggs.
FERGUS: Fanks.
MOMMY: Do you like my Easter bunny I drew?
Fergus regards it for a few moments.
FERGUS: Well. If you triple dog dare me to wike it, I do.

image from tailwags.webs.com

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Cstargel April 10, 2009 at 3:20 am

I’ll definitely be trying this at my house! Keep you posted on if it works or not!


Beth April 30, 2009 at 3:04 pm

Hilarious and wonderful! Just found you through CNN, I have two boys and couldn’t be happier being surrounded by handsome young men who adore me. Am totally trying the triple dog dare to get them to pick up after themselves, brilliant!


Jaime April 30, 2009 at 3:36 pm

LOL! Totally hilarious! And secretly, he probably really likes the fact that you try to make him eat his beans.


Demi's Mom May 1, 2009 at 11:15 am

I just got here from cnn with tears in my eyes. When I was pregnant with our one and only child who is now 5 years old I wanted a boy more than anything in the world. Like you, I didn’t think I could handle a little princess girl or know what to do with one. 🙂 We also chose not to know the sex of the baby until it was born. When the Dr. said “it’s a girl”, my heart sank and both my husband and I had this look of fear in our eyes because we just didn’t think it would happen! We love her more than live itself today and it’s truly been a struggle for me, but I don’t think I’d have it any other way – I’m so glad to know there are other Women out there who didn’t want a girl! 🙂 Angela


Tara Parker May 1, 2009 at 1:37 pm

I was buzzing around the intertubes looking for ways to battle my 3-year old picky eater, and found your blog.

My son only eats fish sticks, chicken nuggest, and peanut butter-jelly sandwiches.

He might be a little young for the Triple-Dog-Dare, but it can’t hurt to try it. 🙂

I enjoyed your article on CNN also – if my husband and I decide to have another child, I dearly hope it would be another boy.

Girls scare me. 🙂


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