My journey to shoot for the moon.

Arguing with Michael

Several days ago I warned the boys that they would be responsible for helping me clean the apartment after I got home from my interview on Wednesday.  Things have gotten quite out of control and my recovery from pneumonia has been very slow.  My energy seemed gone after doing a few little things.  This has resulted in me not being able to keep up with everything that needs to be done.  The laundry and dishes have suffered not to mention the organizing projects I started before I got sick and that I’ve been trying to do in small bits since then.

But my boys don’t like cleaning.  In fact, they hate it and will do almost anything to avoid it.  I sweetened the deal by telling them that if they helped me on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for several hours each day, I would give them a bonus.  They needed to do a good job and not argue or complain.  Of course, they asked how much of a bonus – and if they did as they were supposed to, I was prepared to double their allowance for the week.  This was met with happiness from both boys.

When I got home from my interview yesterday it was just after 12:30.  I told the boys I wanted to change my clothes and get something to eat and then we would get started.  I suggested that if they wanted something to eat, they should get it before we started cleaning.  David got leftover chicken tenders from dinner the night before.  Apparently, Michael wanted the chicken tenders and since he couldn’t have them (and we didn’t have any more) he was going to make me suffer.

When I say that he made me suffer, I mean that he began an argument with me.  Arguing with Michael serves no purpose as he will never give up an argument.  And he is so annoying that you want to tape his mouth shut.  There is no winning an argument with him, ever.

Michael:  Mom, I want chicken nuggets.

Me:  Michael, we don’t have any chicken nuggets.  We will get some when we go to the store later.  You can have corn dogs, soup, or peanut butter.

Michael:  I don’t want any of those.  I want some chicken nuggets nooowww!

Me:  We don’t have any.  You can have something else, or you can go hungry.

Michael:  But I’m hungry now.  David ate all the chicken nuggettssssss.  I wanted them.  And he ate themmmm.

Me:  You haven’t wanted anything that I’ve suggested.  I’m done helping you.

Michael:  If I don’t get chicken nuggets, I’m not going to clean.

Me:  (Purposeful ignoring – this is when I let Michael talk and I don’t respond.  Of course, he gets upset when I do this).

Michael:  Mommm.  I want chicken nuggetsssss.  Noooowwww.  And I’m not going to clean.  Why do we have to clean anyway.  No one cares about cleaning and it is just going to be a mess again anyway.

Me:  (Continued purposeful ignoring)

Michael:  Mommmm.  I’m not cleaning.  I didn’t make the mess.  Mom!  You’re not answering me.  Why aren’t you answering me?  Mommmmmm answer me!

Me:  Michael, I’m not talking to you until you stop arguing and whining.  If you don’t help clean, you won’t have electronics.  But I’m not discussing it with you.

Michael:  But Mommm.  I want chicken nuggetssss and David ate them all.

Me:  (More purposeful ignoring)

Michael:  Ok, then I’m not going to clean.  I won’t have electronics, but it will only be for a day.  It doesn’t matter anyway.  Mommm you aren’t answering me.  Talk to me!

Me:  (Still purposefully ignoring)

Michael:  Mom.  MOM!!!  I want chicken nuggetssss.  Why do we have to clean?  I don’t want to clean.  Mommmmm.

Me:  Michael, I told you, I’m not arguing with you.  If you don’t clean then you won’t have electronics and it will be for more than a day.

Michael:  But Mommmm it’s not fair.  I wanted the chicken nuggets and Davidddd ate them. I don’t want to have to cook the corn dogs.  I want chickennnnn nuggetsssss!

Me:  Michael, we don’t have any more chicken nuggets.  I cannot make them magically appear.  I told you we would get some more at the store when we go after we clean.  You can eat something else or wait until we get home from the store.  I don’t care.  But, I’m not discussing it with you anymore.  We are leaving in a minute.  You need to be ready to go.  If you aren’t ready, then I will go without you and won’t buy any chicken nuggets.

Michael:  I’m hungry now.  I don’t want to wait and have to cook chicken nuggets when we get home from the store.  Can we get some on the way?  (No whining)

Me:  I’m not paying for you to have chicken nuggets on the way.  You have your allowance and I will stop so you can use your own money and buy Wendy’s.

At this point Michael went and got his money, a shirt and his shoes.  He happily got into the car and we got Wendy’s for him on the way to the store.  At the store I wanted Michael to take a look around and see if there was some stuff that he would like that I could cook for dinners.  He has decided that he doesn’t like pasta and won’t eat it.  That creates an issue as Chris doesn’t care for rice and the boys will only eat potatoes if they are fries, baked or mashed.  So, what to go with dinner?  I haven’t got a clue, but it has to be something as the boys will eat meat and still be hungry without some “fillers.”  It is no wonder that white bread and butter were served with dinner in many households when I was growing up – it was the only way to economically feed a family!

So, Michael went looking.  He didn’t find anything except chicken nuggets and Nutella.  I didn’t think he was that picky of an eater.  He likes beef, chicken, fish, and pork.  He eats cheese and peanut butter and carrots.  He likes some fruit and breakfast foods (except for some reason he won’t drink milk anymore).  He will eat lettuce and other salad greens, but not tomatoes, cucumbers or peppers.  He does like onions.  It leaves me with an interesting mix of things I can make that he will eat.  And some of the things he will eat, David and/or Chris won’t.

He went to his “adopted” grandparents apartment last week and was excited that they were having macaroni.  I asked him, “Isn’t macaroni pasta?”  He replied that it wasn’t, it was macaroni.  I wasn’t going to argue with him, because there was no point.  But macaroni wasn’t pasta, go figure.


Comments on: "Arguing with Michael" (5)

  1. Great post today’s thanks for sharing. Visit Us anytime!


  2. Have you tried polenta? It is cooked cornmeal. You can thicken it up and make patties out of it, or slice it off the roll (you can buy it in a roll that looks like Jimmy Dean sausage, except it is polenta) and fry it fried. The dried milled cornmeal powder cooked up would have a porridge-like consistency, which would be better for breakfast (like oatmeal) or for a snack.

    Do you ever serve breakfast for dinner, like french toast or pancakes? With a dinner omelet, with veggies and meat in it. Would be a nice change, if you never do that.

    So for pasta, does he mean he doesn’t want spaghetti? How would he do with pasta shells or spirals or something?

    Another option is making rolls with dinner. Bisquick or Jiffy Mix mixed with milk can make cheapo dinner rolls, cheaper than buying crescent rolls or anything premade from the refrigerator case.

    And crackers, of course. Sometimes soup is more fun if you have oyster crackers with it.

    We make a lot of potatoes with a roast in the slow cooker, or a stew with meat, potatoes and carrots. The potatoes have a lot more flavor that way.

    Good luck!


    • Hi Melanie –

      Great suggestions! Haven’t had him try polenta. I’m not sure about that one. Michael may eat it, but I would imagine that David wouldn’t. I’ve only made it fried with a tomato-based sauce on top. What else do you do with it?

      We do breakfast for dinner on a regular basis. He will eat that – but an omelet with veggies wouldn’t get eaten. For Michael, pasta is anything pasta-like except macaroni (meaning macaroni and cheese). I’ve always varied the pasta I use, and none of it will make him happy at this point. Soup doesn’t get eaten. Rolls are a regular around here. Stew – won’t get touched by any of my guys. Potatoes with flavor are pushed aside.

      I’ve decided that if he doesn’t want to eat what I’ve made (and Chris and David will eat it) he can have peanut butter or something else he can make (and clean up) himself. I’m sure that will get old after a while.

      Thanks for sharing your ideas. I know that it will get better. He wasn’t so picky before and I’m sure that he will start eating again at some point.


  3. Melanie said:

    If you google “polenta recipes” you will get a lot of hts. Try it and see what you think they might eat.

    Also, do they eat sweet potatoes? Peeled, and microwaved in water (a little salt) and add butter and brown sugar if you like it sweet. No need to bake it with marshmallows and add so much extra sweetness ala Thanksgiving. If they are unaccustomed to straight up sweet potatoes, you might start with frozen sweet potato fries (McCains makes good ones that you can bake, but there are other brands.) We buy them in the spicy version (for the menfolk) and plain (for me.)

    I have good microwave cookers from Pampered Chef. We can microwave veggies and potatoes beautifully with those and not get steam burns.

    Homemade tacos,

    Gyros – I never liked store bought pita bread, it is so dry and falls apart. Pita bread from an actual Greek restaurant is always delicious. I found one restaurant where I used to live that would sell me their bags of pita bread (six pitas) but no place around here will sell me their pita bread. Boo hoo!


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