Tag Archives: eating

Eating Out Midterm Warning

My husband and I, we have honed our skills, over the years, at eating in restaurants. We can occupy a table in a wide variety of places, three star and no star, of almost any ethnic sway, and hold our own. We have cultivated a pretty nice eating out technique and I think we’d be welcome customers in almost any establishment. A long time living in big metropolitan areas, plenty of travel, adventurous tastebuds, and a shared interest in trying new things has taught us a great deal. Not only are we pretty good at eating out, we enjoy it as well.

Well, our toddler is bringing down our Restaurant grade point average.

We went out tonight because for SOME reason our building shut the water off on our floor from 3pm to after 8pm, without warning. Cooking was out of the question. We went down the street to a friendly little Chinese place that always seems delighted to have children. They normally are very sweet to our daughter. But after tonight I think maybe they’ll reconsider that.

Things started off well, but then one thing let to another, and all of a sudden she was throwing chopsticks on the floor. The waiter brought clean chopsticks and handed them to her and she PROMPTLY threw them to the floor!

Appalling. I nearly left her with the bill.

I had to tell her that we’re graded as a TABLE. This is like a group project. And she’s bringing our GPA down. Not cool.
I tried to explain that if we don’t pass enough tests, we won’t pass the semester. And if we don’t pass the semester, we won’t be allowed to take Restaurants classes in the Spring. We’ll have to wait until Summer and retake Restaurants 101: Food Courts and Coffee Shops all over again. And frankly, mommy and daddy passed that decades ago with FLYING colors.

Someone needs to think of the good of the group and start doing their homework. I’d like to work up to 2 star sushi sometime this decade.

Mommy Hazing

I should mention that my daughter almost broke my nose with a maraca.

It was quite festive out today, the snow was coming down in a pleasing way, it was cold but tolerably so. People were out shopping. We went out to go to the fabric store (Fabricville, aka “Polyesterville”) and get lunch. Our daughter was SO good at lunch and sat in her highchair the entire time, I almost wanted to order more food since she was being so patient. Why can’t she be like this when I’m out with her alone and I really need her to sit still, when her dad isn’t there to take her out for a walk?

Oh yeah right, because she’s trying to break me down so that I’ll be compliant and a pushover in her teen years.

What’s brilliant about her plan is that she doesn’t just make it hard ALL the time, she gives me long stretches of wonderful so that I will be more confused and frantic when she shifts into impossible-mode.

Going to bed is a great example of this. The rule lately seems to be this:
If my daughter falls asleep easily, fast, and without any fight (eg. under 10 minutes, without tossing and turning and nursing forever), she will wake up many times during the night and be more difficult to put back to sleep each time.
If she takes a loooong time to fall asleep and makes me damn near lose my mind getting her there, and I miss all my favorite shows, then she’s going to have a good night.

I suspect that this is because the nights she falls asleep faster are when she is overtired and just crashes, not getting the adequate time to wind down. Therefore, when she wakes up about 40 minutes in, she thinks “I’ve been tricked, drugged, hypnotized! How long have I been out?! What day is it?!”

So generally, she likes to keep me on my toes every night, but in varying ways. And then she’ll go and create an exception to the rule, just to make me second guess everything.

She is brilliant. Did I mention she almost broke my nose with a maraca?

Green Frog thinks you should get mommy a drink

the rest of you can clean the house...

The crazy things we do to get our babies and little kids to eat their food continues with this installment of: “hey, the FROG ate it…”

I thought my daughter’s molars were bothering her tonight, so I whipped up a smoothie with banana, peanut butter, milk, and soy ice-cream. She had hardly touched her dinner. She had a little bit of smoothie but was mostly ignoring it. I was out of ideas. Until…

She has these puppets her grandmother made her (all the animals from “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?”) and her current two favorites are the “white dog” and the “green frog.” Green frog has a big mouth that opens and closes so, I put him on and pretend that he was drinking her smoothie.

She totally buys it. She “trades” back and forth with him until the entire cup is gone.

I move on to her now-somewhat-cold dinner. She eats almost an entire ravioli and some broccoli with the “I’m having dinner with Green Frog” method.

Whatever works, I say, BUT if I have to teach Green Frog calculus so that she will do her math homework, I am going to be cross.

Eating and shopping

That pretty much sums up the days preceding my body being overtaken by hostile sinus pressure and achey-ness. My mom and her husband came to visit for thanksgiving (read: to see the baby) and I made a vegetarian, dairy-free thanksgiving dinner. It was pretty tasty, if I do say so myself. This Butternut Squash Couscous dish was my favorite, besides the pumpkin pie. How I love pumpkin pie…

Anyway, my toddler sucked up the extra attention like we’ve never done anything with her in the history of ever. Toys that she had ignored suddenly became fascinating, books that she wandered off during were miraculously interesting, the mere act of running around the apartment gained a level of amusement not usually accorded to days when I just want to stay home.

I think you can safely say, my kid likes visitors, and especially likes it when those visitors are her grandmother whose patience and attention for her antics know no limits.

We went out shopping just a wee bit. Black Friday sales exist here in Canada, but aren’t as crazy as the States, since it’s a work day and all. We made crepes for dinner and also ate leftovers and sushi. It was very multicultural.

On Saturday, we checked out some local toy stores and took a long walk. For those of you who live in Montreal, our favorite toy stores/baby stores are:
Boutique Citrouille at 206 ave Laurier Ouest
La Jolie Boutique at 5623 ave du Parc
Bummis at 4302 boul St Laurent

Technically, Bummis is a cloth-diapering store, but it kind of has everything baby-related. Best of all, it has a small play area and a place to sit down and breathe as well as change diapers. It’s kind of my favorite store in Montreal because they are so nice and have saved me from some epic meltdowns by merely having a welcoming sofa.

After the shopping, my mom and I had a very late lunch at Crudessence, a raw-vegan place that is really very good. Their mango “lassi” made with cashew milk is kind of heavenly. My daughter is crazy about it.

When I got home that night, the sickness that had been only brewing descended in full force and the next morning my mom left so she could go back to work on Monday, which sucks, because I could really use a mommy to make me soup and bring me tissues about now.

And that’s the wrap-up.

My pumpkin did the painting, I did the cutting and letters.

BabyCenter’s remedy for Toddler Personality Disorder (TPD)

My name is Raawwrr and I'm hear for your sweet baby! I cannot hear you, because I'm going "Raawwrr" all the time, as that is my name. What's my name!!?

After three days of questioning what happened to my usually sweet baby, and why she suddenly has the disposition of T Rex with longer reach, I received this timely piece in my inbox from our informative friends at BabyCenter.com.

“New this month: A stranger among you?
You may not know from one minute to the next how your 13-month-old will behave. At this age, many toddlers begin to behave unpredictably. Yours may scream at the top of his lungs for no apparent reason, pull the tablecloth (and all the dishes on it) to the floor, or yank the dog’s tail despite your firmly telling him not to.”

Substitute “cat’s” for “dog’s” and strike the tablecloth bit for just the dishes and I’m totally with you, babycenter.

“Though this may be a trying time for you, remember that your toddler isn’t deliberately disobeying you — he’s just exploring his surroundings and figuring out how much power he has over you, his environment, and himself. Many of these “destructive” practices will actually help him develop a sense of independence and figure out which types of behavior are acceptable to you and which aren’t.”

I’d be more inclined to believe it wasn’t deliberate if she didn’t give me that LOOK every time, but sure, she’s trying to figure out boundaries, independence la la la… at the expense of my housekeeping. Lovely.

“What you can do”

I’m all ears (or rather eyes) BabyCenter!!

“You can help him channel his potentially destructive exuberance in safe ways. Pillow fights, for example, either outside or in a room where he can’t break anything, are bound to tire out your toddler. For totally wild but nondestructive pillow fights, make a set of 12 small lightly stuffed pillows about 9 inches square — they’ll be easier for your toddler to heft and too light to break much of anything.”

Wait, you want me to do a crafting project? While my toddler does what? And then, you want me to have a pillow fight with her? You want me to encourage her to throw things at my head? The self-same toddler who likes to throw dishes and food and car keys? And we’re worried about the weight of the pillows for her little arms?! Gosh, I was thinking if the pillow were heavier she might not be able to throw it so hard!

“Playing with modeling clay — pulling, kneading, and rolling the squishy stuff — is another good outlet. On the next rainy day, put on your rain boots and go jump in puddles together. If you’re constantly admonishing your child to “keep the water in the tub,” he’ll love the freedom to splash around and make a big mess.”

Oh, BabyCenter… I know you mean well, but the last time she played with modeling clay, she pretty much ate it twice, looked revolted, and moved on. Granted, it was a very nice home-made, fresh batch, so actually pretty food-safe! But my point is, have you SEEN our puddles?? Whenever there is a bit of water on the ground, my dear daughter likes to pet it. Seriously. Pet it. Sure, she’ll run through it, but eventually, she’s going to want to touch it. And around here, the parks have Biohazard boxes for drug-users to put used needles. I’m no germ-o-phobe, but I am also pretty sure our puddles have Tetanus.

“Other developments: Picky eating
Does your 13-month-old seem so busy he can’t even make time to eat? That’s because he’s so preoccupied with moving that sitting still for five minutes, even to munch on a favorite food, may be more than he can manage on many days. Even if he eagerly ate everything from applesauce to garlic chicken when he was a baby, he may suddenly turn up his nose at every morsel you offer. Both behaviors are completely normal.You may think that because his activity level has increased so much he should be eating more, but a child’s growth rate slows dramatically during the second year and that accounts for some loss of appetite.”

Well isn’t that nice to know! My toddler not eating is completely normal! I can stop trying to feed her! Oh wait… So earlier tonight I made a nice Mushroom Bourguigon (courtesy of Smitten Kitchen) and she pretty much only picked at the noodles. I make her delightful things all the time. Julia suggested that the more effort we put in, the less likely they are to eat something, that they can “smell the desperation.” Well, I can’t very well feed her cheerios every day (oh, but we are close). Sure she eats fruit, so I guess I should count myself lucky in that regard, but vegetables, protein? A battle almost every time. It’s not like I get to give up, so where’s the hot tip?

“Experts say it’s a mistake to turn mealtime into a battle. The harder you push your child to eat, the less likely he is to do it. Offer him a choice of two or three nutritious foods at each sitting and let him eat what and how much he wants. (Be sure to offer him healthful snacks between mealtimes, too.) When he starts to throw food off his tray or otherwise play with it, take it as a sign that he’s finished and remove the food. If he refuses to eat anything you put in front of him, wrap it up, put it in the refrigerator, and save it for later (but don’t force him to eat the leftovers if he doesn’t want to).”

This is basically what I already do. A small bowl of two or three different things is set before my darling Pumpkinsauce, each night. Her first step, dump the bowl onto her tray and toss the bowl aside. I believe this is so that she can examine the contents in better isolation. Next, she tries to determine if any fruit is present. If not, she moves to the most nutritionally-devoid content of the assembled foodstuffs, usually the carbohydrate. She tries one or two bites and then begins to deposit samples on the floor (presumably for further study? eliminating the outliers?). If I took this as a sign she was “finished” then all she’d have for dinner each night is equivalent of one noodle.

Our fridge has a number of small containers at any time. I actually had to buy MORE small futzy containers (this is what we call them around my family, the ones that never seem to have lids) since we kept running out of them. After the food has been suitably stored, it’s basically a contest between her mind changing and the mold. The mold is winning, my friends.

I’m just gonna keep doing what I’m doing, unless any of you have suggestions. Sometimes they are super helpful, but this week, BabyCenter, you got nothin’.