It’s like a standoff in a western, but no one’s holding a gun. The weapon of choice is eggs. And the person looking me in the eye is my 12-month-old baby girl. Along with the eggs she also seems to hold all of the power.
How is this possible? Well, she makes the decision as to whether she’s going to eat or not.
Will that fistful of eggs end up in her mouth, or will she do the undeniably toddler-like thing and drop it on the floor?
I cannot force it. She is the decision maker.
And I can’t do a thing but make an offering of nourishment in the form of proteins, grains, veggies, fruits, kisses, hugs, and snuggles.
The role I play is that of short-order cook, food pouch-opener (and -closer), cup-filler, food tray-cleaner. On repeat. My understanding is this is motherhood. It’s everything and anything. And sometimes it’s nothing. Nothing but sitting there, waiting, and watching, but not watching—because if I watch, she’ll notice and then decide not to pick up that veggie noodle with which I thought I could outsmart her.
She cannot be outsmarted, because she is a combination of my husband and me. And I might be humble, but I think we’re both pretty smart, and of course our child is a genius.
But that veggie noodle (of which one serving counts as 3.5 veggies!) was gonna solve my veggie problems. I was gonna win the veggie feeding Nobel prize from my husband, because we could both sleep knowing she was putting something in her mouth that was green. And not an avocado.
We’ve got the avocado thing down. Most days. But then every day is different from the one before it.
Ohhh, chicken. She likes the chicken salad. She’ll eat that all day long.
Wait, did she just pull the food she spent the last five minutes chewing out of her mouth?! No, no, no, no.
I scramble for a protein substitute, because that toddler meal thing said protein was important. Freshly scrambled eggs? I think she just tried to fake like she was choking to avoid putting them near her mouth again. But she liked them yesterday. Oh, but that was yesterday.
Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away…
I digress. Apparently if my life were a musical it would require some heavy duty music licenses.
That is, until she giggles, which is a music all on its own. While I’ve been daydreaming, she’s thrown the food on the floor (and the cat) and is now shaking her head in a way to indicate that nothing I’ve put before her pleases her discerning palate.
It’s time for the old standards: A little cheese stick, some blueberries, maybe some strawberry banana. And Cheerios. In my world, ABC stands for Always Buy Cheerios.
And now she smiles, and I know she’s happy. As long as she’s fed and giggling, I am happy too.