Dinner time! or, How to keep your ego in check

I'm trying really hard not to make myself a daddy blogger, even though by pure definition I am just that. But it seems that when 20 hours a day (at least on the weekends) you're playing the daddy role with your infant and your toddler, it's nearly inevitable that you'll say, "oh, i'm SO blogging this". An example from my weekend:

Have you ever wondered what it's like to try to feed a toddler? If you answered "yes" to this question, consider putting yourself in the shoes of the parent in these basic simulations.

SIMULATION 1:

1. Choose a dish you really like to make. Hopefully you've already decided on something that either you've had past success with, or is sure to be a hit with your little one. Note: if you're an experienced / good cook, your results from this simulation will be improved.

2. Start preparations well in advance of dinner-time or, even better, plan to have it ready just in time to serve to your toddler at what you deem is a reasonable hour for dinner.

3. About ten minutes before dinner, begin warning / announcing to your toddler that "dinner time is soon...dinner time is soon... yes, those cars are fantastic and yes that is a red Jaguar that your uncle Claudio sent you for Christmas, no now would not be the best time to start reading the extremely musical Elmo Sings book, and oh have I mentioned that dinner time is coming up soon?"

4. When it looks like there's a break in your toddler's attention, attempt to usher him/her into the kitchen and buckle them into their booster chair/high chair.

5. Serve "cooled just enough" dinner to them in their favourite bowl with the bunny rabbits chasing each other around the rim. Fun!

6. Assure toddler that dinner is in fact "not hot. really.... it's not hot, just try it. It's good, you should try it. No, it's not hot. I assure you, it's very yummy and no it's not hot and you really like it!"

7. Take a bite to illustrate the yummyness and not-hotness of said delicious dish.

8. Maintain patience as toddler closes eyes and looks away from your offerings (The only saving grace here is that our toddler does a fabulous Stevie Wonder impression).

9. After toddler allows you to put one spoonful in their mouth, do not be surprised if they spit / cough it back out, or remove it with their fingers, rub it in their hair, or drop it over the side of the high chair.

10. Attempt to let them hold the spoon or back away to lessen the pressure on the toddler. Watch as your efforts are rewarded by them slowly pushing the entire dish towards the edge of the tray.

11. Offer milk, juice, gin, applesauce, raisins -- anything to get things rolling.

12. Give up and serve bread and butter instead. Watch as toddler devours it like a hungry cheetah at the feet of a fallen antelope.


SIMULATION 2*:

1. Make your favourite dinner.

2. Serve one portion. Allow to get ice cold in the dish.

3. Throw it in the compost/garbage one cold, untouched portion at a time.

*no toddler role required for this simulation

Posted bythemikestand at 9:00 AM  

5 stepped up to the mike:

sween said... 10:43 AM, January 09, 2006  

Two links for everybody's favourite new daddy blogger:

Somewhere On The Masthead:
http://masthead.blogspot.com/

Long read, but very worthwhile.

Parent Hacks:
http://www.parenthacks.com/

Lifehacker for parents.

Enjoy, DB.

joy said... 2:09 PM, January 09, 2006  

just came to your blog via sweetney--found the simulations to be especially illuminating. Have never thought about trying the procedure *without the toddler* Can't wait to try this at home!

themikestand said... 2:35 PM, January 09, 2006  

I should be so lucky as to get some traffic from sweetney.

(just realised I have a Sweeney and a Sweetney mentioned in my comments today.... heck darn, does it get better than this?)

As for the "without the toddler", it should be said that I do not advocate the starving of toddlers -- only that folks without the picky-generation in their houses can play along too. I'm inclusive like that.

coolbeans said... 3:35 PM, January 10, 2006  

1. In case you don't go back to check, I replied to your comment and told you I love Canadians.

2. I have a toddler who does a mean Stevie Wonder impression. And I mean MEAN.

3. The favorite bowl in our house is one of the three plastic bowls that aren't really meant for the dishwasher and look like we've pulled them out of the trash. No Nemo. No Pooh. Garbage bowl? HEAVEN.

4. Happy De-lurking Week! Feel free to share the button and the love.

SassyK said... 12:12 PM, January 11, 2006  

I've been checking in for a while discovering you via the sween and of course making fun of you (I note it is a tit for tat!) so I am a leaving a few words! Right back at ya!

Also congrats on the wee one. So cute. My sis is due in 4 DAYS - my first time at auntie-dom. Am feverishly noting any niddler tips to pass on...

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