Thursday, January 10, 2013

Choices

It has always been important to The Hubs and I to eat dinner as a family. Even when I am gone for work, or he works late, the kids and whichever parent is around all sit down at our dining toom table and eat dinner. Together. At the same time.

The Hubs and I have been doing this since we were married, and it was important for us to continue even after having kids.

Even when one - or both - would throw tantrums or food. Many a dinner has been filled with globs of peas tossed across the room and "just eat your food. Just one bite. Just ONE." repeated again and again.

But no matter how frustrating the time, we are all in it together, every time.

And usually it works well. We get to talk and laugh and play a little, without anymore distraction than the food on our plate.

I never really understood how most Moms complained about never eating a hot meal. Our meal process is an orchestrated play of movement and timing, all engineered to bring everyone's meal to the table at the same time. My meal was always hot.

Until lately.

About two months ago, at the ripe old age of 16 months, Peanut began to boycott sitting in her high chair.

It began with the throwing of food (which we are used to), but quickly escalated to screeching at a high tone only dogs, dolphins and parents can hear. Then came the rigid back arching whenever a parent brought her within two feet of the high chair, and kicking, screaming and clawing if they attempted to latch her in.

Eating became a nightmare.

The only way to calm her down was to hold her in my lap while we ate, where she would eat everything on her plate happily and then totter off to play. Only then could I eat my food, so, for only the fifth or sixth time since I had kids, I ate my food cold.

And I didn't like it.
Not one bit.

We didn't know what to do. Bjorn had happily sat in that high chair until he was 2 1/2 and we needed it to feed Peanut. But here she was, only 16 months old and throwing a fit the likes I had ever seen about sitting in a freakin' high chair.

The solution came to me suddenly.

Do the only thing you can do with a girl sometimes. Let her choose.

We had told Bjorn he was moving from his high chair to a booster, and then to a regular chair. Maybe this time, we could let Peanut choose what she did next. Which chair made her happy. Which would then lead to better meal times, which would then make us happy.

I put the high chair, the booster, and a regular chair at the table and told Peanut,"If you would like to eat, go sit at the table and I will get you breakfast. "

She looked at me, looked at the table, and hustled on over.

I'm a BIG girl now

She's been eating this way ever since. Happily.

And my meals are hot again.

1 comment:

Melisa - Mommy This & That said...

I think having an older sibling, they are in a rush to be just like that sibling. T also hates the high chair, as she rather sit at the kids table with her brother! Which means most food ends up on the floor...