3/5/08

The Sea-Saw - How feeding your kids can take you for a ride!


The sea-saw was never my favorite piece of playground equipment. It required two people, and you really had to trust the other kid not to jump off and leave you like the look of the Coyote in the Road Runner cartoon when he realized that he was running with no ground under him. Wide eyed you'd fall to the dusty ground with a disappointed thunk. Now me, I much preferred the swing, smooth, easy to control and you could do it alone but it was even better when a friend was swinging next to you. You could practice jumping off in mid swing and get good air, something to be proud of. Not like the run and dump of the sea-saw.

Feeding your toddler can be something like the sea-saw, first off, it takes two. One is usually very excited (that would be you) and proud of the food you made for this little experiment with a taste-bud studded tongue . "Let's take it for a test drive you say, this kid will love the elaborate recipe I have prepared, I am sure of it." So you set up, the kid is swathed in plastic so you can be sure not one drop of food will touch the tiny pristine shirt. You have worked so hard all day to keep it clean, it would be a shame now to get a stain on it, so close to bedtime. You have a wet cloth and a dry one close at hand, in case a drip or g-d forbid a morsel falls to the floor. You have spent the proper amount of time blowing on the entree to cool it perfectly for your little ones mouth. You approach the hungry one and place some of the food on the tray of the space ship capsule like highchair. You stand back and wait, nothing happens. You try again, snubbed, "don't like it mamma." You are flabbergasted, you feel the mercury rising, the look in her eye, she is going to get off the sea-saw and leave ME wide eyed in mid air. Don't you do it, don't get off, you think to yourself. The flurry of thoughts are bouncing around your head, no, what will she eat...how could she not like this...this is a personal attack on my culinary skills...maybe there is to much oregano, that's it to much oregano. You find yourself tasting it, "hey this is good, what is your problem kid this is delicious." Although you would never say it you are thinking it. (#$@!@#!) Ok, compose yourself, remember you are not on the playground, you are not eight and Jimmy didn't just leave you in the dust.
This is your child, they need to learn how to taste and enjoy food. You can't expect them to just eat every vegetable, or sip every soup just because you made it with love. They need interaction, remember the "airplane, open wide here comes the plane, " that works for a reason. The child needs contact, so put them close to you in a similar chair or even on your lap.
Swing with them, you go up, they go up and you can pass each other on the way down. Make eating like recess, play, talk enjoy and share.

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