Thursday, July 29, 2010

Diary of a Whiny Baby

For clarification, that would be me, not my children.  I dread mealtimes, mainly the mess afterwards.  I'm three seconds from driving to Lowes and purchasing a huge roll of plastic sheeting--which I will promptly drape over the kitchen table, floor, walls and windows.

But then I envision the effort involved in putting the twins in the car, carting them through Lowes, then lugging my purchase and twins safely through the pea soup that is any parking lot in the coastal South right now and suddenly I feel sleepy.  Not to mention the fact I'd still have a mess after meal time, it'd just be on plastic instead of wood floors.

I've spent the better part of this week trying various approaches to mealtime management.  Here's a brief list:

  • If a cup is dropped, it stays on the floor (Bad idea, this just makes Finn mad and thirsty in 20 minutes).  So my new approach is to give them their cups, then ask for it back when they are done.  It's working so far.
  • The dogs stay outside while the babies eat so there are no distractions or encouragements to feed the dog (apparently no one liked this idea, including the dogs).  The new approach is to let the dogs sit on the floor and watch the babies eat.  The dogs learn their boundaries while the babies eat and the babies get to experiment with the freedom of feeding themselves and something else (everyone's a winner now).
  • Giving the babies one food item at a time to monitor how much they eat of any given fruit, veggie or protein (they were on to me and knew I had something else, possibly better, waiting in the wings so a lot of plates were dumped).  Now there is one plate with all their food choices and if they want more of one item they can attempt to tell me (no guarantees I'll actually understand).
  • Mealtime should be riddled with 'teachable moments' on good table manners and what is right and wrong (even I started thinking I was being a bore . . . not cool).   Now we just eat and play.
My new approach revolves around reminding myself these kids are barely 13 months old.  For them, mealtime should be fun and exciting because there are new tastes and textures to explore.  For now, we're going to shelve table manners, at least until they can talk or exhibit some clearer sense of understanding. 


Zoo Keeper said...

If you're up for teaching I know some adults that could use some lessons in table manners... ; )

WanderingGirl said...

Good job, Mommy! You're ALL learning!