Not quite literally, but he's nearly there.
Ranting about kids being bonkers was not the express purpose of this blog when I started it, but today, argh, it needs to happen.
This is what dinner time, and breakfast time (but not necessarily lunchtimes as Pip isn't a massive fan of lunchtime foods, whereas Sally thinks cheese sandwiches are the best things to eat) look like:
Pip is plonked in his high chair, picks up his spoon, scoops up some food and directs it somewhere in the viscinity of his face, most of the food goes in his mouth, some goes everywhere else and he keeps going until all of it is gone. He loves pasta types things, fish fingers are great, he doesn't really like chicken but that's ok, most things go in and he loves it.
Sally on the other hand often needs to be dragged to the table and normally starts by telling me that she doesn't like it. There are two exceptions: pizza and fish fingers. Anything that I make is at least initially a problem. Once she is sat down a number of routes and responses present themselves, getting the first mouthful into her tends to be the major hurdle, once this is overcome then at least half of the dinner usually goes in before she remembers she is supposed to be being obstinate. Sometimes, I get away with just asking nicely and waiting for her to get on with it, sometimes I have to confiscate her toys. The times I have stood holding her beloved Twilight Sparkle or new book over the bin and counting to three whilst my bawling daughter hurridly shovels a spoonful of food into her mouth do not count among my finest moments of parenting, but it does seem to be an effective means to get Sally to actually put the fork in her mouth and eat it the damn food.
Oh, and ice-cream, there is never any trouble getting Sally to eat ice cream. On this occasion Pip was most cross until I gave him his own bowl, sharing with mummy was not an acceptable state of affairs. But look how happy he is with his own spoon...
This, however, has not been the experience of the last week.
Let's start with the positives: Sally is about to start school, the first packed lunch needs to be sorted and ready to rock in 8 days time. As food and Sally are not the best combination in the world, I am a little worried about how successful the feeding my daughter element of school is going to be. Nursery is great, they have yummy hot lunches and there Sally happily eats all kinds of exciting and nutritional food that she'd never eat for me at home. When nursery finishes (she has four more lunches to eat there) I am suddenly going to be in sole charge of her nutritional intake. I've been trying to introduce some new things at dinner time - I've come across a nice website called myfussyeater.com which has a bunch of nice ideas and things that aren't too tricky to make. The very odd bit of it all is that Sally is actually eating a lot of it, yesterday at her Grandma's she ate cauliflower - sure I had to bribe her with a roast potato for her first mouthful and then she ate the rest all by herself. while I tried to not fall sideways off my chair in shock. She's also happily been eating chicken curry and even some vegetable nuggets that I made. I'm sure I've got plenty more dinner times to come where I have to bribe and cajole into her into eating, but at the moment she seems to be happy to come and sit at the table and actually eat her dinner which, for however long it lasts, is bloody wonderful.
I'm not sure how much my children organise things amongst themselves, they do often seem to be in cahoos - photo for evidence. Something is certainly afoot at the moment... Sally is eating, so Pip is not.
I've been telling people that Pip is 18 months for a while now, it seems an easy number to say and I have a tendancy to get a little annoyed with people who tell me their child is 26 or 38 months old, a) having to work out the maths bugs me and b) that is more than two so stop already. But Pip isn't a year and a half anymore, that was a couple of months ago, Pip is now 20 months. Whilst this is closer to two, it is not close enough to really say 'nearly two' and 'one and three quarters' is too long and makes me sound like the parent excusing their child for poor behaviour/performance in year 9 because they're young for the year. My issues with the number politics seems to be of no issue to young Pip though, Pip has decided he is two and thus he should get his own way - the significant flaw here is that his vocabulary is still relatively limited and is not able to accurately impart the nuances of his whimsical heart's deaires, so I have to guess - this makes him cross as I am not amazing at it. I watched a couple of episodes of Magic for Humans last night, Justin performed amazing feats of mind reading. I don't know how he does the magic, but I know it is a trick really. I think a more amazing feat of mind reading would involve toddlers. This would be truly amazing telly.
I digress - back to Pip. Strange new rules seem to have entered the regular equation, some of them are:
When he will or will not sit in the high chair.
If he has chosen to sit at the small table whether you can help him tuck his chair in.
What should be in his cup.
Whether his cup should have a lid.
If it is the right time to eat at all.
If he should wear his bib and if so, how it should attach itself around his neck.
Whether he has the biggest piece of cake.
This morning's breakfast went something like this:
Got into the kitchen with Pip, Sally was still faffing upstairs. Pip points at his cup on the draining board and says cup. I fill it with water and give it to him. He screams and doesn't want it. I roll my eyes, finish making myself a cup of tea and then refill his cup with squash which he normally loves. He shouts cup, starts crying and throws the cup across the room. I put the cup on his highchair, and go and find Sally.
When I get back downstairs Pip is still cross, so I cave, rinse his cup and fill it with milk. He still wont take it and starts crying. I give him a cuddle until he stops crying then put him down and put the cup on the little table. I get the cereal out whilst Pip resumes crying, picks up his cup and throws it across the room. I should probably note at this point that Ed is in Finland, I have a meeting with headmaster at school at 9.30 which I am slightly nervous about, and it is already closing in on eight o'clock. (I know I could have got up earlier, but I do like sleeping.) Sally asks why Pip is crying and tries to give him his cup again, it still doesn't work.
I make everyone their normal cereal selection, Pip has Rice Crispies and Sally likes Jordan's Country Crisp, presumably because it is more expensive than other cereal. Sally sits down and pretty much gets on with it, Pip refuses to sit in his high chair, refuses to eat and starts crying again whilst trying to get forks out of the cutlery draw. I give it a couple of minutes and then scoop him up and put him on my knee while I eat my cereal. He doesn't want his, he doesn't want mine, and then Sally puts some on her spoon and offers it to him and voila mouth opens and in goes food. Ah, so you want the expensive cereal too. I'm suprised children's clothing companies haven't made comedy prints for little t-shirts featuring fistfuls of money and a toilet.
I have now managed to eat almost half of my breakfast, so I get up again and make Pip a new bowl of yummy Jordan's Country Crisp with Strawberries. I put it on the small table and Pip come running with his bib. I put it on, clearly this was wrong as he immediately takes it off again before he sits down and takes a mouthful. The bib then gets put back on by the infant tyrant and Mummy releases a foolish sigh of relief. Some milk drips into the bib (he has one of those Tommee Tippee plastic ones that catch 50% of the food that fails to make it into their mouth), apparently it is no longer acceptable for his bib to be dirty. So, whilst shouting 'cake' (not sure why, but he does love cake) he gets up, goes to the drawer where I keep the cheeky wipes and cleans it before he consents to down again. With a little help, about half the bowl is eaten before that special concentrating look comes across his face. He gets up. 'Poo poo', 'Yes Pip, let's go change your nappy', 'Bowl', 'Ok, you want your breakfast?' he has another bite, 'Poo poo', I try and pick him up, 'Bowl' - this went on for a while. Eventually I dragged him away, changed his nappy, gave up trying to put a jumper on him and took my half dressed, half fed child to nursery. Next week I'm going to have to do all this, make a packed lunch, plus a trip to school and then go to work. Yay.
But sometimes they play so nicely together that you think, 'No, nope, not having it. You two are not allowed to grow up another millimetre.' Then they do and I have to buy them more new shoes.