Every couple of weeks I see a recurring sentiment kicked around amongst the moms I follow on Twitter, and it goes something like this: having kids would be a breeze if you didn't have to FEED them.
It's a statement I agree with WHOLEHEARTEDLY, and not just because one of my kids thinks the food groups consist of Cookies, Cake, Frosted Mini-Wheats, and Apple Juice. No, I would dare to say that feeding the kids is the most annoying part of my job. I could handle the sleep deprivation (possibly because they were half decent sleepers) and the discipline (because for all my moaning they're actually pretty good kids) and icky stuff, like cloth diapering and potty training and cleaning up barf in the middle of the night. But thinking up, preparing, serving and, in my case, throwing out most of three meals a day has GOT to be the lamest part of my job.
Oh, you are thinking, don't be so SILLY. It's because you don't like to cook! It's because you have a picky eater! It's because you're an uptight, neurotic, insecure overthinker who daily publishes her parenting crazies on the INTERNET and food is an easy target!
True, true and TRUE. I do not deny it. AND YET:
- Molly needs fork for her chicken and ANOTHER fork for her noodles. Two forks. One meal. Three if there's something else stab-worthy on her plate, and she will not be swayed to the idea that one fork is sufficient.
- Phillip gets home at six. Molly wants dinner at five, or better yet, four thirty. Jack eats best at eight.
- They are not yet old enough to do the dishes.
- Sometimes Jack wants the blue cup and Molly wants the pink cup. But sometimes Molly wants the blue cup too and she will not be swayed to the idea that the pink cup is just fine, or the green, what about the green? The green is lovely!
- If there is something to sprinkle or drizzle or dip or smother or spread, they must do it themselves, motor skills be damned.
- It is a law of nature that half of whatever Molly is eating will end up in her hair or on her shirt or, mysteriously, stuck to her bottom.
- Jack thinks the cereal box, the garbage truck outside, the bills on the table, the chair, the blinds, the crumbs on the floor, pretty much anything within his field of vision is more interesting and worthy of his attention than the food on his plate.
- Whatever Mommy is eating, Molly must have a bite, and have I mentioned that she is un-sway-able?
I would like to point out that none of those things have to do with the actual FOOD. Those are just things about eating! Things that make Feeding The Kids such a huge pain in the you know what. And we do this three! times! a day! OH THE TRAUMA.
Then we have nights like tonight. Right now my kids are in the basement watching a cartoon and eating their highly nutritious dinner of chicken strips and grapes. I'm upstairs having the same thing, though my grapes are fermented and sipped from a pretty glass. My husband's out of town, which means I don't have to cook and I can spoil us with lazy dinners in front of our respective screens. It's an easy no-frills no-pressure night for all of us. Jack helped me bake chocolate chip cookies earlier today and we're all looking forward to dessert - that's one kind of eating none of us have an issue with!