The Worm’s got a bad habit.  He is a TV zombie eater.  (Thanks to me, it didn’t take long for the bad habits to start.  First, this.  Next month, it will be cigarettes and tequila for dessert.)  I have a huge pet peeve about mindless eating and this is quite an irritating conundrum…for me.  Worm doesn’t seem to mind.

When Worm’s sitting in front of me with a plate full of food, he picks at it.  I could sing and dance for him, but it hardly boosts his appetite.  Soon, boredom sets in and he’s chucking his sandwich bites at the dogs or letting them lick the jelly from his sticky fingers.  It’s not that Worm isn’t hungry, because he is.  Though to him, eating is pointless work with no real benefit.  (I tried to explain the notion of calories and how food gives toddlers energy, but Worm is certain he is powered by the sun.  Why else would he get tired at night?)

When I flip on the boob tube, cue up Curious George, and place the Worm anywhere near the TV screen, he locks in like a missile on target.  His eyes glaze over, blinking ceases, and his motion slows.  Worm’s alter ego, the TV zombie, has been channeled.  I pass a spoonful of cereal under his nose and the secret trap door drops open to accept the offering.  Access has been granted.

For the next 20 minutes, I don’t get flailing arms, pursed lips or the bobble head.  The beast is hypnotized and I am free to shovel hundreds of calories into its belly.  And Worm has no idea anything is amiss other than Curious George finding himself in trouble, yet again.

The Dual Eating Personalities of the Worm (TV Zombie Personality Shown Above)  Notice the Eyes…

I’m relieved that once the TV is shut off, the zombie disappears and everything is back to normal.  (One day this on-off switch may get faulty…but then there are medications that will fix everything!  I digress…)

I’m caught between a rock and a hard place.  I’m perpetuating the problem by feeding Worm in front of the TV, but I can’t feed him very well any other way.  Feedings are less than 30 minutes long when the TV zombie is eating.  Otherwise, I chase normal Worm around the house for 90 minutes coaxing him with anything possibly palate pleasing. (Say that three times fast!)  It’s exhausting.  (Chasing Worm around, not the tongue twister…)  I can only imagine at our therapy discussions how Worm will blame me for his poor eating habits and explain to the doctor how he sleeps in front of the TV with his pet monkey on a pile of Cheetos, Twinkies, and Bon Bons.  And as karma has a way of punishing us for our past misdeeds, his monkey will eventually eat my face and the cycle will be complete.  I am a horrible father and I will pay for it.

For this post, I can’t give either one of us a point.  We’re at a stalemate.  He needs to eat.  I need to use whatever works right now to facilitate that.  I can foresee that I will have to be smarter and more crafty to keep up with the evolving Worm.  It’s time to turn up my game a notch.

Gavin – 14; Dad – 7  (No Change)