No, I’m not suddenly having Julia-Roberts-inspired delusions of grandeur. (Get it? Eat, Pray, Love…..Eat, Pee, Sleep…well, it was funny to this exhausted mommy! 🙂 )
Just a little update on the three situations that are foremost in the hearts and minds of every exhausted parent out there. This goes double for parents of twins…and triple for parents of triplets, etc…
Followers of this blog know that we’ve tried to do attachment parenting. In reality, it’s been more like we’re staggering our way thru it with all the dysfunctionality of the zombies from “Shaun of the Dead”.
Exhaustion to the degree of CIA-torture levels, resulting from chronic sleep-deprivation will tend to have that effect on a person.
And one of the things that dear Dr. Sears recommends is letting your children “graze”. A nibble here, a nibble there, heck – just set up a nibble tray for the kiddies and they’ll “graze” from it during the course of the day whenever they feel a bit peckish.
Dr. Sears has not met my twins.
I cannot leave food or drink in the room with my kids unattended. I’d have to perpetually spend my time in the same room with the kids to make sure they don’t commit heinous acts with the contents of the nibble tray, or the moment my back was turned, the aforementioned heinous acts would commence.
Some of their more recent antics they came up with when mommy had to pee or answer a knock at the door, or the answer the phone:
- Who knew that My Little Pony figures were partial to bathing in apple juice?
- Someone inform Martha Stewart of the miraculous carpet-color-changing qualities of ground-in mac & cheese! Edible carpeting!!
- And amazingly, organic tortilla chips, when crumbled to nearly dust, are just the thing to turn deep-pile carpeting into a roadway fit for matchbox cars? And also amazingly, that our Shark vacuum wasn’t strong enough to get it all out?
- And that different beverages leave different colors of stains on the sofa – during the course of a week, that sofa’s come to resemble the work of Jackson Pollock at his finest!
After four tortuous years of trying to get proper nourishment into the girls, and having them turn their (cute) little noses up at platefuls of tasty (yes, it actually is!) nourishing food, the mommy gloves have come off.
Mealtimes are now presided over by Drill-Sergeant!Mommy. We use a timer – 20mins for snacks, 40 mins for a meal. No mercy. If they leave the table to play, the food will go away. We rely heavily on the 1-2-3 Magic! system of counting to three before lowering the boom. Mommy uses her Drill-Sergeant!Mommy voice to bark the orders.
And surprisingly it’s worked!
No, I haven’t gotten them to eat everything on their plates – veggies and meat are still unwanted and uneaten (unless pureed and sneaked into the mac & cheese) but everything else they’ve managed to eat after an initial bout of face-saving protesting.
The only other alternative I could come up with was wrastling them to the ground and hog-tying them so they’d stay put while I spooned the food down their little gullets. Since I have things like morals, a conscience, and maternal instinct, I Know That Is Wrong and I Would Never Do That, No, Not In A Million Years….Really!