This won’t last forever

This is what I say to myself in moments of complete exasperation, exhaustion, frustration, you name it. It is what I said to myself when DD used to cry for hours as a baby. And I was right. She still cries at the drop of a pin, but it doesn’t last for hours. It is what I said to myself when I would hold her for an hour to sleep or when when she would wake up 3-4 times a night. And again, I was right. Now she tells me after 5 minutes of holding that she’s ready to go to sleep and she sleeps through the night 99% of the time.

The one point of exasperation that hasn’t ended is meal time. The only thing she used to eat well was the bottle, BM or formula. She was not picky. Once solids started, it was all down hill. Then meal time became a time of games; “Look, it’s the airplane! The train is coming!”; of bribing, “If you finish this, you can have some dessert.”; of begging “Can you please eat something? I’ll make whatever you want, you haven’t eaten all day!!!”; and bargaining, “OK, if you eat a piece of chicken, then you can have a tater-tot.” I have even resorted to threats. “If you play with your food one more time, you’re going to the time-out chair!”

During the week, we have to contend with just dinner. Weekends are hard because now we are talking about 6 meals. I can’t tell you how much I dread a long weekend when I think about meal times. We have gotten into all kinds of bad habits. When I have to feed DD all by myself, we’ll eat in front the TV half the time. We eat in the living room. We eat on the kitchen floor. We have forgotten all about table manners. Drinking glasses, cutlery and food items are interchanged constantly. There are times when I find myself eating with my hand because I had just fed DD with my finger a moment ago.

The latest trick to add to our repertoire is using toothpicks. DD loves to eat the samples that are served at our local supermarket. She’ll eat all kind of stuff that she would never eat at home, grilled fish, NOT covered in breadcrumbs and fried, sausage, crab salad to name a few. In fact she loves the sausage when we are at the store. So, DH bought some to try at home and of course she refused to have anything to do with it… until we put toothpicks on the little pieces. Then she gobbled them up like they were candy.

Last night, I was putting toothpicks on not only the sausage, but the pasta. Then the bananas and the grapes also had to be put on toothpicks. Of course, towards the end, I had to make it a game, “Chomp, you bit the head off!”, then the bargaining, “OK, finish the bananas and Mommy will eat the grapes.” It just is never easy, but this won’t last forever, right?

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