I knew I was in trouble when after serving Chloe her plate she did everything but eat it. Put her feet in the food, sang to it, tried to climb down from her chair, attempted to feed an invisible pet under the table.

When I asked her why she wasn’t eating, she replied, “This dinner isn’t special.” And so began the greatest dinner-time battle I’ve had in my tenure as Executive Chef here at Chez Stay-At-Home-Mommy, table for five, kitchen view.

I had promised the girls a chocolate popsicle after dinner. I’m not one of those parents who subscribes to forcing their kids to finish their plates because sometimes I don’t want to finish what is on my own plate and I think it sends the wrong message that they should continue to stuff themselves even long after they’re full.

I do however insist they try some of every item that is served. And yes, on occasion, I wave a tasty treat in front of their spinach to entice them to try just a little with a grand prize waiting for them at the finish line.

In last night’s episode, we had cauliflower, carrots, broccoli, roasted potatoes and turkey meatloaf.

With each bite of cauliflower Chloe became beet-faced and placed a hand strategically under her chin.

She would choke back tears, chew until the cauliflower became a paste and then squirt it onto her catching hand, each time asking, “Can I have my popsicle now?”

There were tears, threats of no popsicle, me walking away from the table, several soiled cloths after scooping up cauliflower goo and a lot of screaming.

“It’s NOT SPECIAL!!! This dinner IS NOT SPECIAL!!!”

She tried the broccoli but never actually swallowed any. I know what you’re thinking maybe she has a sore throat. Tell that to the cupcake she scarfed an hour before dinner after a delighted neighbour appeared in our backyard with a tray of treats and a pool towel.

With each bite her face twisted and contorted. Remember when cartoon characters used to be tricked into eating the equivalent of say ten thousand hot peppers mixed with gun powder and their heads would turn every colour of the rainbow followed by smoke billowing from their ears? That.

8 year old: Grab your book bag Mom. You just got schooled.

To top off a very frustrating event, Greg was away overnight at a meeting and I had just participated in the “look better naked in two days” quiz.

That was two days ago.

Now all I see is cauliflower.