My oldest son barely eats anything at all. He eats like the proverbial bird, except that most birds seem to have a healthy appetite. Not my son Colin, I'm afraid. It was very stressful when he was younger. He has almost always been the smallest and shortest in his class. He's just not that interested in food. I have tried everything I can think of and everything other people think of, but nothing really worked.
When my second son Ryan came along, I was afraid I was going to experience the same thing. Right from the beginning he was in the 90th percentile for weight and height, however, a number I can only dream about for my eldest son. When Ryan started solid food, he ate everything, in large quantities.
My husband and I watched him in amazement. We gave him pieces of avocado and mango with hopeless looks on our faces, and when he would happily eat every piece and look for more, we would be astonished. We avoided eye contact so as not to jinx this incredible phenomenon. Finally we couldn't deny any longer that he was a fabulous eater. Jerry reached out and took my hand. "Honey", he whispered, "I can't quite believe it, and I could be wrong... but it looks like our son is ... eating!" We looked at each other with tears in our eyes. "Isn't it wonderful?" We observed a moment of silence. It was an epiphany; it wasn't our fault that Colin didn't eat very much. It was just...Colin! And Ryan was just Ryan.
When Ryan started eating sand in the sandbox, my husband let him do it, figuring that he would realize it didn't taste good and would stop. After he ate five handfuls, Jerry realized he wasn't going to figure it out. He has also eaten bark, a bite of library book, grass, dirt and toilet paper. I'm surprised he didn't get to the big floor plant; he tried for months to eat it. Don't misunderstand me; I'm not complaining. If he could eat sand with total equanimity, it's no wonder that vegetables don't faze him in the slightest. I love it!
As my doctor says now, "Well, Colin will be the runner and Ryan will be the football player!"
Colin is a wonderful, sweet, thoughtful, smart and very active boy. So is Ryan. And he'll be able to take out his older brother any time now.