Sheridan, Sher, Sher Bear, or Bunny as she's affectionately called is a very spirited, (or "spicy" as her preschool teacher in Israel liked to call her) child. She is full of life. She has more energy than two kids put together. She is truly a piece of work. When we announced we were pregnant with Grady, a girlfriend of mine sent a congratulatory message and asked me if I always knew that Sheridan was born a middle child. Take it one step further by looking up the meaning of her name... which is "Wild Man"... and you've got yourself a handful.
I've learned over time that one can NEVER trust when a room with Sheridan is quiet, for you can always guarantee that when she's bored she's up to something.... usually involving scissors, Kleenex, paper, and markers. One time, about two years ago I needed ten minutes to finish sewing a dress so I asked her to go downstairs to play in the playroom. Soon after she was back upstairs... naked. And why was Sheridan naked? Because she decided she didn't want to watch TV anymore, opting instead to color her nether regions with green marker ... "to make it look pretty."
One thing you can always count on with Sheridan is that she's funny. She does things, intentionally or not, that make people laugh... sometimes with her, sometimes at her. Sheridan has this infectious cackling laugh...a staccato-like giggle that's both full of life and mischief. When she does this look out, for as both my parents and Matt's will agree that nothing good comes out of it. Sheridan is also fearless. Of everything. Shots? No problem. She walks into the office, she looks straight at the doctor, she slaps her leg and tells him to give it to her "right there." Snakes? It's usually the first exhibit she wants to see whenever we go to the pet store or zoo. The swing can't go high enough, the Razor scooter fast enough, or pools deep enough for her to dive in and swim to the bottom.
Then it should have caught me by no surprise when the battle of wills came to a head last evening. Lately Sheridan's been complaining about dinner. Regardless of what I make, she will repeatedly tell me that she doesn't like it, she refuses to eat it, and she just wants to go to bed. Sometimes she'll whine over her favorite foods or after she's asked for a specific meal. Many times I give in, not wanting to deal with her shenanigans because I'm fed up with her antics or I'm too busy with the baby.
Not last night. Maybe it was the tireless hours of grating the cheese, sauteing the vegetables, making the sauce, and layering the lasagna that gave me the strength to enforce our "try everything" policy. Maybe it was because I just had enough of her stubbornness and wanted to ensure she eat a healthy dinner. Whatever it was, I was armed and ready to fight the battle, and more importantly, to win the war.
All I asked her to do was eat two bites of lasagna. That's it. Can you believe the audacity of me? She protested. She cried. She moaned. She arched her back like I used to do as a child and through clenched teeth she screamed. She complained. We heard every excuse known to man... the food was cold, she was cold, the pasta was disgusting, she didn't have enough napkins, her legs hurt, the lighting was bad, she doesn't like meat, she doesn't like vegetables, she's too full from the bread. While she ranted, I stoically sat there, repeatedly telling her she needed to take two bites.
Riley went to bed.
Grady went to bed.
Still Sheridan sat at the table, refusing to take a bite. One hour passed. Then two. Then three. I pulled out my iPhone and surfed the internet. I posted a status update on Facebook and had tons of people sending their support. I refused to cave.
At first, Matt and I tried the good cop, bad cop routine... which quickly turned into the bad cop, bad cop shtick... and after four long hours turned into the really bad cop, really really bad cop drill. At 10:30 pm, after all but
After 4 hours and 55 minutes she ate two bites of lasagna. Game. Set. Match.
Next up? Tuna. Wish me luck.