Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Picky Eater the Third

All of my kids are picky eaters. I was a picky eater. Ty was a picker eater. It's a family trait. I was that stubborn kid who refused to eat anything but the marshmallows from my Lucky Charms cereal and pretty much survived on bread and butter or mac and cheese until I reached adulthood. Ty got by on those candy machines inside ZCMI where you put in a quarter and get a handful of sugar. That was his big Friday night plan as a kid. Jump the fence to the mall and lock and load.

My kids didn't fall far from the turnip truck. I know other good moms who get their kids to eat healthy food all the time; perhaps they dangle a dessert threat to keep them munching on that carrot or make them sit till they eat it. Maybe it's the three bite rule. And then there's the old standby: If they don't eat tonight, they'll get hungry and Mom'll say, "I'm so sorry you are hungry. That's no fun at all! I will make an extra big breakfast in the morning, and perhaps you will remember to eat more tomorrow night."
Yeah. My kids don't remember. They just starve. Again. and Again... It's crackers and candy or nothing, as far as they are concerned. And let's just get one thing straight. I am cooking kid food, people. It's too "spicy" though, or it's too hot or cold or whatever. The other day Maddie told me that the Bug Juice we bought on the way up Provo Canyon was too spicy. It's a sugar drink. Come on.
Somehow, the survival technique of eating food when it's available did not genetically encode. Instead, they only want food when it's not readily available, and/or I just spent an hour cleaning up the food they decided not to eat at mealtime. It's a wonder they've lived this long on bread and water(not the crusts), but I just have to keep reminding myself that I did the same thing to my Mom. What a stinker I was!

And now the third girl of the bunch is showing her true family colors. She won't eat anything unless she can pick it up herself and put it in her mouth. No rice cereal, no jars of baby food, no applesauce, no kidding. I have to bake her sweet potatoes once a week and cut them up for her to eat. That or grapes, frozen berries, or cheerios. No bananas, though. That would be too close to baby food for her taste and too easy for Mom to keep on hand.

It really is funny, considering how calm and happy she is all the time. I guess I can give her this one tactical advantage. Besides, she lets me call all the other shots, so what's the big deal? Someday I'll have grown kids to cook for, and they'll appreciate what I can make for them. Until then...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

More Family Firsts

It's seems like the more you try to hang on to life as it is, the more it changes and slips away from you, like a river current bent on moving downstream. I keep trying to fight it, but walking upstream is hard work and I'm losing ground! Alli is in 1st grade. She takes a lunch to school and rides the bus all on her own. She eats meals without me? How can this be? She even wears glasses now, just like I did in 1st grade. In short, she's growing up, and I can't do a thing about it.
And those aren't the only family firsts. Ever since school started my life keeps dumping itself out and re-arranging, like my toddlers used to do with my purse. I agreed to teach Maddie and four other little girls from a pre-school system called Mother Goose, which takes two hours every Wed and Fri. In a couple of weeks, my turn will be over, and another Mom will take over, but for now, my entire living room is covered with signs and alphabet charts. We can guess the weather while we watch the evening news and wave a color wand whenever we want... My girls have spent hours pretending to play preschool using the visual aides I have tacked up all over, so just for that, it's been worth the effort. I'm mostly glad to spend some extra time with Maddie.

Then there was the "Hullabaloo" over Alli. That's what she called it the other day, so I knew it was time to take the conversation behind closed doors. I had her tested, and the school gave us the option to put her in second grade or leave her with her teacher, which is what she desperately wanted. I can understand why. Her teacher is awesome, and I quite agreed with her that second grade was "scary". After talking myself nearly to death with as many people as I could, I made a decision. Alli would stay in first grade and get some extra lessons at home to fill the gaps. I'm really lucky to have Ms. Oliekan teaching Alli, and I'm glad I didn't have to give that up. So, again, with the rearranged schedule. And I was so happy at the end of the summer with a simpler quieter life... I guess that will be postponed until further notice.

After making all these changes during the past few weeks, I'm thinking I need a nice quiet boring week next week. I'll hunker down and get it done-- forget about any extra anything that might pop into my head. That's the plan, but you know how that river current is. I could end up doing anything next week. The possibilities are endless and endlessly possible.