Meal times with small people are synonymous with bribery and corruption to the highest degree. There are negotiations tougher than any board room. Standoffs to rival the O.K Carrol. Not to mention a blatant disregard for any manners or social etiquette.
Here are the first three stages of mealtimes with small people:
It is amazing that a tiny human being can survive and thrive by just drinking milk. Milk and nothing else. But man can they guzzle that stuff down. I mean seriously, you can’t be hungry again can you? My first born was what they refer to as a ‘hungry baby’. That translates to ‘get comfy on the sofa, you are never leaving again’. He fed every hour. What I naively didn’t understand being a first time mum, was that you time their feeds from the start, not the end. So having a baby that feeds every hour basically means you fed for 45 minutes, then you have a quick wee break and make yourself a cup of tea, and by the time it’s cool enough for you to drink it’s feeding time again! The Gilmore Girls got me through those early days.
Then we made the transition to bottles and our lives revolved around sterilising and measuring and warming bottles. My son’s ‘hungry’ cry could bring you to your knees. One of us would rush to get the bottle ready whilst the other paced up and down with a screaming baby. Recriminations of “How long does it take to heat up a @!@**@$ bottle” were slung from all directions. Especially the baby’s.
Somehow you make it through those first 12 weeks. You emerge the other side of the newborn fog, stronger, more confident and looking about 5 years older. But you’ve got this gig sussed now. The feeding has settled into a routine. You have a system. Some days you have been known to actually wear something other than Pajamas. Enjoy these days, your life is about to become a whole lot messier…
It’s weaning time! Whether you spend hours in the kitchen pureeing every vegetable known to man and googling how to cut a butternut squash, or whether you take the less preparation but, “oh my god don’t put all of that in your mouth at once” baby led approach, the end result is the same. Mess.
Food will be thrown on the floor and rubbed in hair. Walls will be adorned with Weetabix. There will be actual arguments over who has to sit opposite your babbling bundle of joy with an aim Billy the Kid would be proud of. You will learn that banana has the bonding powers of superglue. Porridge can never be removed from anything, ever, and spag bol turns everything orange.
The mess is worthwhile when you see those gimme gimme hands and squeals of excitement when you produce the Petits Filous. And you can get your own back in about 18 years when you play the video of them trying something they don’t like.
Who knew you could live off chicken dippers and weetabix for a whole week. Welcome to the dictator toddler years. They may have loved your lasagna last week and asked for more. But this week lasagna is “yeuch”. Last week Babybels left them shouting for “MORE!” So you took advantage of the three for two offer and now they are just thrown on the floor.
So many rules with a toddlers teatime. Don’t forget to make teddy a portion too. Woe betide the carrots touch the peas, that is a tantrum inducing crime. Don’t think you can fool them into eating vegetables by making them look like something fun that you saw on pintrest. Your efforts will not be appreciated. And seriously, who has the time anyway?
This post was sponsored by Munchkin who help parents make meal times easier with great products. Munchkin are offering some fab prizes for my readers for eating with your small person on the go. To enter click here and follow the instructions.
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Leave me a comment. I like them almost as much as chocolate…