Soggy Cheerio’s

“Eat your Cheerio’s before they get soggy.”

After a brisk morning run, that’s how my day begins…every day.

We all endure tests throughout life.  They shape our character and reflect all the repeated quotations that have stuck to and motivated us throughout our lives.

“Be a leader.”  “Don’t Worry.”  “Just Run.”  “Don’t judge.”  “Be Happy.”

We accumulate all this knowledge and then start scheming on how to get our kids to catch on to it faster than we did.  And then the kids arrive…and everything we ‘planned’ to do becomes comical when blasted in the scope of reality. Things that were once fun now take so long to get ready and unready for that it swallows up the fun and spits it out into a poopy diaper.  Where’s the inspirational quote to deal with that?

Life’s beautifully challenging.

My latest?  Dinner.  And how to get my kid to eat it.  How about that one?  Isn’t there a famous mom somewhere that has a motivational quote to get your 3 year old to eat?  Bah. ha. ha.

Regardless of  what food I feed her, it takes a minimum of an hour and 45 minutes for her to eat dinner…every night.  Every single night I sit there and bother her…or ignore her…or bribe her…or threaten her…or whatever strategy I’m on that day…to get her to eat her mother loving dinner.   I cannot follow the advice of the parenting magazines and let her go hungry…or offer her an alternative to make herself.  Please…  Not. Going. To. Happen.

In light of her older sister’s poor example, my 11 month old (who started to refuse to eat mashed up food at 7 months) continues to eat everything I cut up into pieces for her…with one tooth.

My latest tactic is ‘The Take Away.’  No dinner?  No blanket.  No dinner?  No ballet.  Which at the moment is crushing for her…she dances all over the house in tutu’s and grass skirts and hasn’t even taken a class yet…surely a shadow of the toddler I was a short couple of decades (ok, a few!) ago.

In the midst of the chaos I try to relax the situation with some conversation, and asked her if that’s what she dreams of…being a ballerina one day.(…because I’m a mom, and inside  I am dying to encourage her to follow her dreams…which she’ll most likely read as me being too pushy…it’ll be awesome.)  She just looked at me puzzled, trying to pull the literal answer out of her butt…or her nose.  Then she breaks out into giggles as her little sister spikes her hair up with spaghetti sauce.  Her reaction made me think back a few months ago, when she told her then 9 month old sister to “Stop looking at me.”

Chill out, mom.

“Stop looking at me.” Isn’t that how we all feel, sometimes?

But lately when I feel that way it’s causing me to stop and look harder.  To sit back.  Calm down…and relish in the moment.  Just as fast as 11 years have gone by since I stepped on the track to do a workout (which I did this week…streak over…legs sore.), soon my daughters will be dating…and graduating…and leaving…and the quiet will cause me to take on such a flurry of hobbies that I’ll most likely go insane.  Maybe it’s just time to bump wine time up a little bit, and sit back and let the madness unfold.  So what if dinnertime is 2 hours of miniscule bites…giggle breakouts between sisters…15 spill disasters…and anything but eating…

I will miss this.

Happy Eating.

Megs

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