Monday, February 4, 2008

Eating Struggles

I had always sworn that I would not raise picky eaters. I grew up eating a large variety of food, I still enjoy diverse tastes, and find whiny eaters incredibly frustrating. I thought that I could determine this characteristic in my children by making both usual and unusual foods, and not giving in to their limited whims. Ha. Goes to show what you think you know ahead of time about parenting!

Naomi started out a great eater. When she was one, she ate anything put in front of her.

Not so anymore. Now it seems we battle over at least half of our meals. Do you know how tiring that is? Today she decided to just hide during our dinner so that we wouldn’t make her eat. I actually enjoyed the first few quiet minutes of our meal, minus her whining and arguing. Unfortunately, I concluded that I really should make her take a few bites before rejecting the entire meal, and thus ensued yet another noisy struggle.

It would even be preferable if she would just say “no” and then sit there refusing to eat. But instead she goes on and on, either asking us questions (Does this fish have blood in it? Does it have its eyeballs in it? What’s that black thing?) or giving us reasons why she can’t eat something. Today her brother jokingly said there were bugs in her oatmeal, and wouldn’t you know it, she refused to eat the rest of her bowl. Unbelievable.

Five years into parenting, I’m becoming a little more relaxed about my responsibility for my kids’ eating habits, but also a bit more determined to not give up yet! I allow that people will have all kinds of preferences and dislikes for various tastes, but I insist that dishes be tried before opinions are formed. It sure would be easier to not care and just give her chicken nuggets for every meal.

Zookeeper Josiah

My 4 year old son wants to be a zookeeper when he grows up. He’s been saying this for a couple months now. His favorite activity is taking all his stuffed and plastic animals, sorting them, and giving them all places to “live” in his own homemade “zoo.” The lions might be under a chair, the water animals behind a box. He’s very particular about his arrangements. And if someone else (like Ethan or Naomi) tries to take an animal away to play with it, Josiah gets upset, saying that his animals are REAL.

Josiah looked like he had a mustache tonight, after drinking a mug of cocoa. I commented on it and said that one day he’ll have real hair on his face and need to shave like Daddy. He didn’t reply at all to the issue of hair, but said adamantly that when he was older, he was going to be a zookeeper. I said, “Okay, you can be a zookeeper who shaves!” He answered by saying that he was going to scoop up poop when he was a zookeeper. The kid thinks of stuff like that and still wants the job. Wow!!! He must really like animals.

I’m Thankful For…

My patient husband, who has put up with my clutter for 8 years!

The way light changes color at sunrise and sunset

Jesus’ love and compassion for the unlovable – the demon-possessed man, the “sinner” who poured perfume on his feet, the woman who had bled for 12 years

Mom’s recipes which are yummy and remind me of her

New friends, Nancy and Tony Nix, and a fun double date with them, bowling and eating fantastic food together

My friend Kit’s successful knee-replacement operation (in Edinburgh)

Public libraries – I wish I could get locked in by accident some weekend!

Books on tape, especially good mysteries


God’s stunning creation, and video footage to help me see it

Fragrant smells

My daughter’s pictures drawn for me

Mentors and good friends who encourage me and model holy living

A quiet neighborhood

My cheap piano and the lovely sheet music Mom Gertz gave me

Josiah’s enthusiasm for my cooking

Ethan’s easy and beautiful laugh. I love one-year-olds!!!!

2/3/08 Restful Weekend

As much as I love being with people and having company over to our house, I’ve really enjoyed the relaxation and solitude of this weekend without guests or plans. Spending Friday night and Saturday at Gertzes’ house was very restful. I wasn’t faced with my own never-ending chores, but could enjoy their treadmill, Jacuzzi bathtub and deck with a mountain view.

Even today, which for most people involved SuperBowl plans, was peaceful. We took the kids to a favorite playground after church, which they loved. We took naps. We taught the kids an “adult” game called Carcassonne and had a nice time playing it as a family. We ate popcorn, drank candy-cane cocoa, and the kids said that it was a “special night.” I don’t even know who won the SuperBowl. Who cares?!