life

Meal Time with Toddlers

One of the greatest (and scariest) things as a parent is watching your child become more independent – except for meal time. There are so many things about toddler meal time that just make it a fun and exciting adventure every time you sit down to the table, whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snacks you’re never entirely sure what you’re going to get.  We have been very lucky with my daughter, she is a good eater and has been from start.  She was trying to eat foods at 3 months old….so we let her (that’s what baby lead weaning is all about right?!?!) but that brought a whole new set of challenges to parenthood.  

There are some very interesting things that happen when you allow a child to feed herself and most of it has to do with where the food ends up.  When the Munchkin started getting annoyed with meal time around 10 months we started giving her the spoon/fork to feed herself or just pick it up with her fingers and that’s resulted in finding food in various places, especially when we go to change her for bedtime.  She’s had cheerios in her diaper, yogurt in her eye, peanut butter in her hair, and peas in her ears.  It’s gotten to the point where dinner time almost always ends in a bath now because she attempts to feed herself and it tends to go horribly wrong from an adult standpoint.

She has also become aware of the fact that there are dogs in the house who will conveniently eat anything she drops or throws to them.  As a result of her meddling the dogs have put on a few pounds and for the time being I’m really not sure about what to do about it, because how else would I keep the floors clean if they weren’t around to eat up all the food that falls to the ground or clean her high chair when she’s done?

Lastly, she can’t communicate with words.  She’s saying some words but she’s not reciting the Gettysburg Address just yet.  This makes it difficult to decipher exactly why she isn’t eating something that she ate just fine yesterday.  We’ve been very lucky with the Munchkin, she eats pretty much anything and everything we give her.  She’ll never quite give up on a food, she’ll try it and spit it out multiple times and then you can get her to try it the next day.  I’m hoping this trait sticks around but it can make it difficult to understand why she doesn’t want to eat something, especially when it’s something she’s had multiple times before so this leads to a whole lot of me sounding stupid trying to get to the bottom of it: “Mommy doesn’t understand, does your mouth hurt? Are you not hungry? Do you not like green eggs and ham today?”
If you have ever wondered what it was like to feed a toddler, go look at some abstract art and imagine talking to the Swedish Chef and then I think you’d have some clue of what meal time looks like in our house!

life

No Tech Tuesday Rescheduled Until Further Notice

I am a tech person, I like tech, I use tech, my life is wrapped around tech in some way shape or form.  I still use hand-written paper calendar and to do lists but I also have a gazillion lists on my phone (some I even share with the Mr. through the Wunderlist app), my calendar is digital on my phone (the Mr. is supposed to look at it but that doesn’t often happen), all the phone numbers are now in the phone (I have learned exactly 3 new phone numbers since getting a cell phone almost 20 years ago), and of course the social media aspect of things.  I was on myspace when it was big (who else remembers the drama of when you could rearrange your top 8??) and now facebook, I also use twitter and instagram but there I’m generally more of a lurker/stalker type but I love my tech.  I regularly check my fitbit, I use my laptop for practically everything; I find there are a lot of things I can do now that I never would have dreamed up and a lot of things that I don’t have to do now because of the tech.  Who balances a checkbook anymore?  I look at the online statement and move on!  But the point of this rambling paragraph is that I love technology.  It’s here to stay so we might as well learn to harness it’s power for good instead of evil and deal with it.

That being said, however, I also realize that it is becoming so ubiquitous that it can be a problem.  I have seen the damage it can cause when children are actually addicted to it; every day there are articles out there about the ‘heroin-like’ addictive nature of technology for our children and I can see that.  Obviously some of these articles are clickbait and their headlines are more attention grabbing that some of the science would suggest but there does seem to be a link between phones, screens, and the pleasure sensors in the brain; potentially similar to gambling.  The Mr. loves his phone as well so I had a brilliant plan to implement “No Tech Tuesday” and today was going to be our first attempt.  The rules were simple, from the time the Munchkin got home from the sitter’s we wouldn’t use any tech until she went to bed.  It would be about 2-2.5 hours of time that would just be all face time, all quality time of doing something together.  I thought we would go to the park (since the Munchkin is walking she enjoys parks now), make dinner, play in her room and then she would go to sleep and it would have been a blissful 2.5 hours of quality family time!

Enter in real life, what happens when you’re making plans?  As I was driving home from work with my carpool buddy I started thinking about how I felt like today hit me like a ton of bricks, what could I cook, the Mr. is at the other house working on stuff for putting it on the market and how long would that take, how long would it take to cook something, am I going to pick the Munchkin up right away or am I going to go home first and take these god-forsaken heels off, is it too damp and chilly to go to the park, and so on…you know, the litany of thoughts that start running through your head whenever you have a quiet moment to think.  I decided I wanted to go out to eat, I didn’t feel like cooking and wanted to go to our local haunt which is basically a low key bar, I would even go so far as to call it wannabe gastropub.  

We get to the bar, sit down to eat, order drinks so the Mr. and I both need to log our beers into UnTapped (which by the way got me a badge and a toast from the brewery), the TVs are playing ESPN and they’re everywhere, a friend starts texting me about an issue she’s having (communication and connection, doesn’t count right?!?!) and then it just devolved from there.

Moral of the story?  Don’t make plans!  I am going to continue to try for some no tech time at some point during the week but I’m a mom trying to do the best I can and usually my best is far from perfect.  I can’t feel guilty about all the things I do wrong or only half-right, I have to do the best I can from moment to moment, all I can do is try to get it right the next time.  Here’s to a successful No-Tech Tuesday next week!