I don’t even know how to start this update off. Really. I can’t decide whether to start with the inevitable scenario that’s driving me crazy right now or the fact that I’m exhausted and have suddenly started waking up faithfully at 6, whether anyone’s awake or not. Or the fact that for the first time in 7 years I was gifted (by my dear hubby) the purchase of one winter jacket that actually, really, literally, excitingly… fits.
I guess I’ll start with the 6:00am wake up call, since it seems to be first in a literal sequence. Ever since the boys have started sharing a room, Littlest has woken up at 6. Exactly. Like stare-at-the-clock-and-it’s-within-3-minutes exactly. As a result, I have been waking up at 6 every morning. At first, I was like, “hey, my body clock is working. That’s awesome!”. Until this morning when I realize that instead of my body clock being exciting, it is now signalling my doom. I can say that on the premise that the last 2 days in a row, I have woken up, looked at the clock (5:59am), and listened. Get this… No one was up. Woooooo! I got excited, flipped over, snuggled down under the covers again and….
*murmle murmle murmle*.
I stiffen. No. It can’t be. Nope, I must be hearing things. (Or else.)
Lame. Littlest is now awake, and that means Biggest is going to be awake. I guess I can still claim a small victory, that being the first time in I-can’t-remember-how-long I’ve been awake first.
Which brings me to the inevitable scenario of the 6:00am beatdown. See, we’ve been working on Biggest’s eating habits since I started solids. Partly due to an endless supply of parenting books and an even more endless supply of google. Either way, I’ve thrown out book after book after search engine of how to feed your toddler and/or small creature. Why? Because at 6 months you’re supposed to be feeding some semblance of uninspiring paste in preparation for their discovery of food enjoyment. Start with avocado and broccoli. (Except that avocado is really fatty and doesn’t inspire easy digestion, and broccoli is probably one of those rare veggies that can single handedly give you more gas than a weekend camping diet of beans and bacon). Out the window. Once your child has made that brave transition to textures, then you’re supposed to feed them as many foods as you can get your hands on because it’s inevitable that they will HATE EVERYTHING the instant their first birthday hits. (After I tied myself in knots and bawled my eyes out in the organic veggie section at Stuff Mart 82 because nothing they had was any different than Stuff Mart 47, and the best Stuff Mart had to offer was back at the sweet potato section of Stuff Mart 15, I relegated myself to the fact that my child liked carrots, hated peas, and probably wouldn’t suffer culinary disaster if he had more than one helping of applesauce in his lifetime). Next “milestone” in the food division was convincing yourself (I read it thrice in disbelief) that it was ok that your kid was only going to have intense battles like “I’m only going to eat white food” and that it was completely fine and to let him do it. (I squashed down whatever feelings I had on the subject, and nervously prepared myself to feed nothing but goldfish crackers, relegating whatever upbringing I had on the subject of food waste to the darkest recesses of my shrinking skull cavity.) But there’s an end to my journey and it doesn’t have a finale in screaming tantrums loaded with fistfuls of macaroni.
Because, after all that, I realized something. Food is only a point of contention if you allow it. You are the parent. What you’ve prepared is what’s for dinner (although some tact will be required along the way, especially if your child has a difficult time with textures), and if they don’t like it, they don’t have to eat it, but that’s all there is. 90% of the time, they will eat it. If they don’t, then they can learn the concept of patience and wait until the next mealtime. If said child actually doesn’t like it, then it’s still what’s for dinner. However, I try not to put toddler-unfriendly food on the table (I still choose my battles!), and probably won’t make it until a much later date. I do have one solid rule that I try to stick to though, and that is in order to be disliked, it must be tried. That means being put in your mouth, chewed, and swallowed. (Obviously if it can’t get as far as “swallowed”, that will take the afforementioned tact, and quite possibly some serious cooking lessons.)
That was a bit of a digression, but in a roundabout way, it does tie in to the 6am crisis. Biggest has cheerios in the morning, has for quite some time, loves them, and it’s easy for me to do blindfolded while I’m waiting for the coffee to kick in. He normally eats his whole bowl. However, around the same time as the addition of the 10am snack (which was timed smack in the middle between breakfast and lunch, and is usually right about when he’s normally hungry), he suddenly decided that he’s only going to eat half his bowl, get bored, and be “done”. I’ve warned him every single time that snack time is at 10, and if he gets hungry sooner, he still has to wait, but he hasn’t listened. And as I predicted, he gets hungry sooner, and then whines for crackers (while also plotting my doom at the sight of the ones on my desk) until snack time. It is, however, doing remarkably well at taming mealtime, and pickiness is definitely improving.
On a completely different note, I got the first jacket in 6 years that fits me and isn’t a) second hand, b) maternity, c) my mom’s because none of my previous ones fit, or d) something I acquired in high school because it was bought for me while I was “still growing” at 16.
Now if you’ll excuse me, my husband has his first official tie for part of his classes next week, and I have to go help him get the length right. I also have to turn my living room into something resembling a dry cleaner’s thanks to my poor judgment this morning with the laundry timer.
I feel like I should reiterate the importance of 10am. If we feed Biggest snacks other than at 10, it throws lunch off. If lunch is off, dinner is off, and snacks end up being 4 times a day, usually consisting of crackers because supper’s not that far off, but still far enough away that he’s going to be hungry for a bit. When mealtime hits, he’s still partially full of cracker, and therefore doesn’t eat the real nutrients in front of him. Which causes a fair chunk of the “pickiness” battles. Just so you all understand that I’m not trying to make life ridiculously difficult for him by depriving him of his one true love (aka the cracker).
I also wanted to mention that I did not write my opinions with the intent to offend, but I figured I’d better clear that up just in case, since my culinary views concerning children are definitely in the minority.