When Role Modeling Doesn’t Work …Just Start a List

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They say the best way to teach your children is to model the behavior you want them to have. Clearly that doesn’t work with mealtimes, because regardless of how clean and well “normal” my husband and I eat, like using our utensils, putting the food in mouth, politely chewing it and swallowing, our kids clearly aren’t getting it. And no my kids aren’t that little, it’s not like I expect an 8 month old to use a fork properly. Now my 2.5 and 4-year-old, hell I’m just happy if they use their utensils. Today’s lunch was a running commentary of things we DON’T do with our food, mostly directed at that 2.5 year old. So in case you weren’t aware here’s 10 amazing food revelations we covered today at lunch:

1. We don’t feed the dog our food.

2. We don’t try to put peas in our straws, it messes with our ability to drink (and someday when you’re a mommy and secretly drinking wine from a straw that will really really matter).

3. We don’t pretend rice is glitter and shake it all over and put it in our hair, it’s not pretty or sparkly.

4. We don’t make our food rain, we eat it, it’s not coming from the sky it, we’re not going to use it to prove gravity.

5. We don’t use our utensils to rapidly stir our non liquid no stir needed foods, I know how mixer works thank you very much.

6. We don’t eat with our fingers or when Pippa’s in an especially awesome mood with her mouth like a dog, we’re a smidge classier than that.

7. We don’t smash our rice into clothing, hair, the table, really anything within arms reach, yes rice is soft, yes it smashes easily, you figured that out the 1st time nothings changed by the 10th please move on.

8. We don’t dump our food off our plate, just for funsies.

9.  We don’t try to see how many pieces we can break our piece of cheese into, while I’m all for setting records we’ll assume this one’s taken.

10. and last but not least, let’s take more than 2 bites before yelling “ALL DOOOOONE”.

This was not an area that I expected to still be this much of  a challenge. Yes some days are better than others but really does anyone else out there have a 2-year-old they basically have to feed if they want them to actually eat the food? And no for you people thinking that I’m cooking them crazy concoctions, lunch was a total kid meal of white rice, peas, cantaloupe, crackers and cheese, all things they generally like, it’s wasn’t a try something new day, gourmet food or anything on the weird side. Just lunch, meant to be eaten.

 

A Blender Full of Lunch!!!!!

 

 

My Daughter Eats Crayons

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My first child had unusually particular tastes. He never ate anything that was not edible, and refused to eat several things that were. You don’t have to believe me but it’s true, although we routinely vacuumed and generally tried not to give him small objects to test this strange set of circumstances, he was not a child who learned through taste. He never picked things up off the floor, rarely chewed on toys unless he was teething and after so long it just became a non concern. I didn’t wonder about him eating small parts, I didn’t worry about toys with small pieces he was just completely uninterested. And then came his sister. Everything goes into her mouth and has since she was old enough to put things into it. To my knowledge she’s never swallowed a hard object, although she has eaten a dishwashing pod and licked lotion and suntan lotion off her hands/arms. She’s tried to eat her butt paste and frequently takes bites outs of crayons. I think she’s either licked or chewed on nearly every toy we own, she even likes to chew on the corner of books. Once while we were painting in the bathroom, she walked in, dipped her hand in the paint can and licked it. I feel like the poison control lady may know me by name. Please don’t think we’re careless, poisonous liquids/cleaning supplies are in a locked cabinet or beyond her reach, with the exception of the one time she got ahold of the dishwasher pod. One doesn’t generally think their 2-year-old will eat the paint while their painting. Or perhaps I’m just naive. Thankfully we use mostly natural products so we’ve never had an issue. But when does it end? This strange phase has lasted nearly two years, she is 2.5 next month and today, she unwrapped her crayon and took a massive bite out of the middle, chewed it for a bit and then decided nope not something to swallow and spit it out. As I’m typing this she’s chewing on my iPhone cord. Do I have two different extremes or do most 2 year olds just like to eat crayons? Also do you think the Crayola ones taste better?

 

Please substitute Crayons for Dirt

 

Today’s Swear Word begins with the Letter B!

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I walked into a very dramatic scene yesterday involving lots of cars and trucks, crashing sounds (Boom, Bash, BAM), yelling and then the ultimate slam when the transformer swept in and told the weakly digger to “Move over you big boo boo”!!!!

I.DIE.

I had to walk away so as not to keel over laughing then and there. I really should be thankful, we can be sorta potty mouths over here, but if that’s the best he’s got at 3 1/2 I’m thankful for that, once preschool starts I feel like his vocabulary will grow extensively and not in all the ways we want.

So in the meantime, “You big Boo Boo” whatever that is, works for me.

I may have to try it myself some time!

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If I had a day without kids…

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If you asked me what I would do if I had an entire day without kids…

I would sleep in and then have a leisurely casual breakfast at my favorite coffee shop with my husband while reading the newspaper and enjoying a latte.

We’d spend the morning poking around downtown shops and plan our next vacation before stopping somewhere new for lunch.

In the afternoon, we’d catch a movie and snack on candy in the back of the theater, head home and read a book over a glass of wine/beer before trying a new recipe for dinner

We’d meet friend for drinks and then come home and fight over the remote in bed while catching up on tv and talking about our day.

That’s what I would say I’d like to do if I had a day without kids, but if I had a day without kids…

I’d wake up at 6:30 a.m. frantically wondering where the screaming alarm clock was and why there were no yelling demands for cereeeeaaaal and MAAAAMAAAAA, and I’d be wide awake and unable to sleep, wondering if they had already woken their babysitters. I might get that latte and coffee shop where we’d talk about the news and briefly enjoy the quiet and then wonder what they were up to and if they were behaving. We’d go shopping in the morning where I’d involuntarily turn around to the sound of every random child’s voice and be constantly looking for my small companions even though they weren’t there. Lunch would be somewhere completely child unfriendly where I would savor the ability to eat a meal at a restaurant without having to entertain anyone and then we’d head to a movie preferably devoid of children all while trying to avoid the nagging sensation to check in on them. Dinner conversation would eventually turn to the kids, what stages their going through, who needs what, what funny things they did, then with no one to tuck in and say good night to, we’d fight over the remote and wonder when we should pick up the kids.

Lies Parents Tell Themselves Before Children

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“We’re never going to sit in a restaurant while our children scream”

“We will never ever bribe our children”

“My children will never have snotty noses, where are all the tissues?”

“Our children will never be that naughty”

“If our kids cry like that, we’ll leave the store IMMEDIATELY”

“We’ll never let our children sleep with us”

“Our kids clothes will always match”

“I am absolutely going to have a natural childbirth” (Major props to you that do!!!)

“I will never quote my mother”

“Our house will never look like that”

“Our kids will never have that many toys”

“Our baby will sleep through the night, and if she/he doesn’t they can just cry themselves to sleep”

“We can do all the things we did before with kids”

“Our kids won’t fight like that”

and the list goes on and on and on…I mean it this could be like a 10 parter!

It’s like from the moment you recognize that you want to or will have children, you start mounting this little righteous front about how you will be a superb parent. Most likely setting yourself up for complete failure. Maybe you are the supermom who can do it all but if you’ve never bribed your child in a moment of weakness/emergency or forgotten to swipe the permanently dripping green snot off their nose in a sleep induced coma after two weeks of circulating the flu around your house, I will be amazed and perhaps inspired to reach a new level of mothersainthood, that even the church doesn’t recognize.

So we tell ourselves these little lies and they build up into this attitude. Then we have children and we become completely fucking unglued. That’s okay though, as long as we can bend, stretch, flex, adjust and grow in our attitude towards parenthood we’ll be okay. The biggest thing is to not be too much of a critic on yourself. If you bribe your child the moment you walk into Target, 4 days a week, you’ve got a problem. If you pull it out occasionally in times of emergency or just to retain your sanity (as long as your sanity doesn’t require it 4 days a week) so what. If your toddler spent the better part of her first 1.5 years sleeping with you, I’m sure there was a reason, we sure had ours. It’s not like most people take a perfect crib sleeper and toss them in their bed for funsies. So don’t get down on yourself if you told a few lies before this whole adventure began. Look back on them, recognize them and laugh at them.

And remember, I’m only writing this post so I can feel better about myself, not make you feel worse, no judgment over here. What’s the best lie you told yourself before kids?