April 12, 2007

Why do people tell you to stay a kid for as long as you can, yet the moment you do something childish, they tell you to grow up?

First up: Oh my - an inhaler is loads better than a bong!! I slept last night like a baby for the first time in over two weeks. Ahhh.....Bliss.

Anyway.............in my last post, Jenny made the following comment:

I must admit, my inner Type A gets the heebie-jeebies when I read about you not using the high chair. How do you keep him from running around the house smearing food on the walls? My kids were so wild though, not calm like yours...If I didn't strap them down with a five point harness to eat I would have had spaghetti allover my house!

Um, maybe I didn't make myself clear in that post because Jenny is probably my Type A Twin. I can't stand messiness and grubbiness. Thus far, I've lucked out - when Arun's mouth or hands get dirty, he often hands the napkin to me so I can wipe him up. Oh sure, he'll happily dig in the mud outside, but as soon as he's done, he motions for me to clean his hands. Anyway, we are mostly feeding Arun ourselves when it comes to messy foods. That's why he gets to use a fork, which is used for solid objects. I had an interesting moment with the Parents as Teachers lady at the last meeting. She told me how one of her other families is Indian and she mentioned how they hand feed the kid. She asked me if that was a cultural thing. I was a bit dumbfounded and didn't know how to answer - hell if I know. In short, I am one lazy bitch, folks. I don't like to clean up messes, so I'd rather feed Arun myself. Furthermore, I started getting sick with all the pregnancy stuff in early November. When Arun wouldn't sit in his highchair to eat, I refused to fight it. I was barely hanging on as it was and just couldn't handle stressing about his food, too. If it's not messy, he gets his own plate. If it's messy, we feed it to him ourselves. I'm not too worried about his fine motor skills - he holds his crayons appropriately, screws the lids on/off his yogurt bottles and is pretty adept at unscrewing the knobs off of drawers.

Basically, Arun eats what we eat. Sometimes, if it is too spicy, he fusses, but is good at knowing he needs water. I tried once to give him some Chef Boyardee - I got it in my head somehow that's what kids eat. Right?? However, he figured out that my Red Hot Patio Burrito was better tasting, so I had to eat the damned Boyardee and he ate my Patio Burrito. I've only made that mistake once because that Boyardee is some nasty shit. Also, Arun drinks his yogurt/soymilk mix for breakfast and for his afternoon snack, but otherwise he drinks water. I just leave a can of sparkling water with a straw for him on the coffee table. He quickly figured out if he tips the can over, it spills and that's the end of his goodie. So, he's pretty careful with it now. I wish I could say I had a grand plan for getting him to drink out of a straw, but really what happened is the kid refused to drink out of a sippy cup. Period. And I gave up - Mama ain't nobody's fool. So, he drinks his yogurt out of a Playtex strawed cup. Everyone's happy.

And regarding spaghetti?? Um. I think I may have made that in college a few times. The meatballs at Papa Keno's weren't too "soupy" and didn't have noodles so the mess was minimal. We also fed him the veggies off of our pizza.

These past 5 months I feel as if I've been in survival mode. I do what I have to do to get by. I am pretty happy with the results - Arun is growing and will eat just about anything. He eats the hell out of spinach, beet, and green bean curries, for example. Is that normal for a toddler? I thought it wasn't, but maybe I am overestimating my kid (wouldn't be the first time. hee!) However, I still stress about the volume of what he is eating, but try to soothe my worries because I can't complain about the variety. However, I suspect that Arun is probably behind most of his peers, if anything, with his utensil usage (the official milestone per Toddler 411 is 13-20 months). I try not to worry about it because he will learn eventually, right? Gulp. I'm just trying to keep my level of insanity to the lowest level possible these days and besides, I was out of the running for Mother of the Year ages ago. I'll worry about Arun's inevitable need for psychotherapy later.


Erin said...

It sounds like Arun is doing great on the variety thing. I've heard a rule of thumb regarding quantity that kid's stomachs are about the size of their fist. Look at that little hand and relax... that's not a whole lot. And be happy that Arun still lets you feed him. Emily started flatly refusing to let us feed her at 11.5 months. We handed her a spoon (and later a fork) and pretty much told her to feed her own damn self. Sure it's sorta messy, but like Arun, Emily requests a clean-up when it gets too much for her.

Jenny said...



The reality is, my kids don't have a wide variety of acceptable menu items, and I probably did that without realizing it by not giving them things that are messy by default (as they got bigger and winter came and I couldn't put them out on the deck). Inner Supermommy strikes out again. *Sigh.*

Anna said...

OMG, I laughed about the bong! I had a nasty cough at the beginning of my last pregnancy and my doctor gave me a prescription for some kind of inhaler, and I had the SAME experience. Young, redheaded, male pharmacist (so squeaky clean looking it hurt) made quite the production of showing me how to take a hit off the bong. I laughed so hard I started to choke - not a good idea with acute morning sickness.

Re: the food thing, I think you're doing the right things. Arun's eating a wide variety of foods, and he's eating, so why sweat it? My daughter was much the same at his age, she's only just recently become somewhat picky (she's four now). I think she's acquired some of the pickiness from watching her peers at preschool. In North America we make way too big a deal out of feeding kids. Of course, I was raised by hippies, and my husband's half South Asian, so our definition of what's "normal" food was pretty warped to begin with.

Cagey said...

Yes - I try to keep perspective that he doesn't need that much food. It's still hard - especially when people insist on commenting how "tiny" your kid is. Overall, the post was really about our eating habits and his lack of utensil use - all the Wise Baby Tomes act like you are ruining your kid for life unless you eat at a dinner table as a family every night.

Um, it really sucks to laugh so hard - I can't use that inhaler thingie for a few more hours still!! Hilarious!

I did make a crack to the pharmacist. He laughed and I am sure my big ole baby belly added to the punchline.

Bethany said...

It took Ebaby a long time to get the hang of utensils. I figured she would get it eventually and she did (long after the 13-20 month guideline). Arun will too.

Chelle said...

You both are doing fine. Kids are individuals and should be treated as such. Milestones are somewhat arbitrary, in my humble opinion and I never did get too worked up over them when my kids were small. And look! Both my kids eat with proper utensils. For the most part, anyway.

Christine said...

Max refused the high chair about 7 months ago. He sits in his chair, eats what he wants and if he's done he's excused to play quietly while we finish up. As for clean up, and it's significant, I recommend dogs. Several, preferably.

P.S. If anyone out there wants a dog, I can totally hook you up.

Christy said...

You are a lucky woman to have such an adventurous eater. Porgie like only 1 thing at a time. ITS VERY ANNOYING.

Don't worry about the utensil thing. He can just eat with his hands like daddy.

Celebrate Woo-Woo said...

I think your dining habits sound wonderful. I eat on the floor quite often, myself. The dining table feels so formal.

While you may not think you're still in the running for Mother of the Year, I awarded you a Thinking Blogger Award;>

Blondie said...

After watching my niece eat, I'm VERY impressed that Arun is such a clean eater.

Monkey McWearingChaps said...

yeah it{s a desi thing..my sis and i were both hand fed. My sister...till she was NINE. LOL. Other than being potty trained by the age of 9 months my sis and I were both...well, let{s just say you didn{t think future doctor-lawyer back then. We{re just plumb half'witted.

Sorry I haven{t written...dude, I had sort of a crisis situation. I{ll tell you about it when I get back to the US. I{ve shut down my old cell phone and email on account of some super scary stalkage. Hope you are feeling better and I{ll write to you on Monday from my new gmail addy. I have to let the hotmail address lapse.

'monkey {sorry about keyboard, i{m in meheekoh}

Lisa said...

You always make me laugh. Chef Boyardee IS some nasty shit. We only bought that once too. (I ended up eating it at the time and he ate my pizza.) But I am envious cause my kid would NEVER eat a burrito.

I did the same things with Seth (feeding him the messy stuff) because I was too lazy to clean up a mess... And don't worry about the utensil usage thing. Its not like he's going to be in high school and not know how to use a fork. (ALthough for a while I was convinced my son would be the only kid in college wearing diapers.)

Lainey-Paney said...

Love the post title!