Tuesday, February 26, 2013

the little table.



The girls got this little IKEA table for Christmas, and it's where they eat their meals and snacks (well, most of them). It's painfully cute to watch them scurry over and climb up in their chairs when I say, "want some breakfast?" or their current favorite, "do you want a smoothie?"

It took us about a week of intentionally working with them to help them understand that they were actually going to eat at the table, and to stay seated in their chairs, on their bottoms preferably, and to not throw their food or plates. I count it a good day if I can successfully serve them two meals and a snack in their chairs, the other meal or snack is usually in my lap on the kitchen floor. Especially when Andy works late.

They still love to drop stuff off the table, and it's my PET PEEVE. But two things are happening, usually: 1) They love to watch things drop, from anywhere. Science in action! 2) They want to help me "clean up" by literally cleaning everything off of the table to - where else? - the floor. Out of sight, out of mind.



So I just have to put aside my to-do list and sit with them for meals, and when I see that look in their eyes and their hand hesitates with the food over the side of the table, I intervene and have them put it in my hand instead, then I pick up the plates and say, "Looks like you're all done, thank you!"

If they weren't done and cry out for their plates back, I say, "Oh, when you drop your food, it tells me that I need to take your plate away. Please don't drop your food onto the ground. When you're all done, say, 'all done, mama!' (and then I make the all done sign) and I'll take your food away." I give them one more chance, and if they drop it again, plate goes away and we try again later.


If I don't sit with them or if I leave them to their own devices for too long, I can just expect to do a little more clean up, and the blame falls on me. That's been a really hard thing to accept. Why can't they just submit to my will obey?  But yeah, their brains are totally working on things OTHER than that right now, instead I imagine it goes more like this:

Afton:  "Mom, get this. If I drop this frozen blueberry off the table, watch it hit the ground! Awesome!"
Ruthie:  "I'm trying to help mama clean up! She always tries to get us to clean up, and when I do, then she gets upset. I'm confused." 

So I try my best to be consistent with table direction, especially no standing up on the chairs or throwing food, and sitting down to eat, but also lenient in some areas, because they're 19 months old, after all. Although I did look up from something the other day and they had climbed from their chairs up to the table and were standing on top, tummy to tummy. Yikes. 



Girls, please stop growing and help me to remember every day that you won't always let me cuddle you, most everything else can wait. I know it in my heart, but it continues to be a hard truth to embrace. And stop dropping your freakin' food. No, really. 


6 comments:

  1. Oh I love them, there such cuties!

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  2. Oh man, Pearl does the same thing. She drops her food all the time. At least we have dogs to eat it though, haha! The worst is when she just holds it over the side, a dog gets a nice lick, and then she puts it in her mouth.

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  3. always love your posts! future yogi for sure...made me laugh so hard! keep it up mama, you're doing amazing.

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  4. My littles have the same cute table...I'm impressed that you can get them to sit and eat at it!! It's such a fun little piece for them to use at home. Gosh, it does drive me nuts when they throw their food on the floor, but of course, I know they are just having fun...! I try to think of that Mary Oliver quote,
    “I believe in kindness. Also in mischief. Also in singing, especially when singing is not necessarily prescribed.”
    Perhaps the mischief is okay. LOL.

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    Replies
    1. Oh my email is rissabell@gmail.com- just saw that you had that request below. Would love to connect sometime!

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  5. Ah I laughed at this! I know it's infuriating but when it's someone else's kid it's pretty hard not to smile. We're going through the same thing with E (she's 22 months) but there is an end to it I promise! My older child puts leftovers in our compost bin, rinses his plate and then puts it on the bench!

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